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Chilling_Silence
06-01-2003, 08:33 PM
Review of Lycoris Desktop/LX Linux Build 0.61

This is a reveiw of the build that came witht the Australian PC User Collectors Pack 2002 Fully Bootable CD!

Firstly off I booted off the CD - This wass very painless as I can simply press F8 and select Boot Drive with my mothoerboard, however, others may need to change their BIOS boot order to allow for booting off CD first!

Installation was pretty painless, but my nVidia GeForce 4 wasnt picked up during setup, so I chose a GF2 card and configured it for the max 32MB (Even though my GF4 was 64Meg). It prompted for install drive etc, this was easy as I was going over my previous RedHat 8 install. I especially liked being able to play cards while the fiels were being copied. It gave me something to do while I waited for my cuppa to boil :-) It appeared to have stopped once or twice,
but carried on after a minute! The GUI was nice and pleasant as well, right from the very begining, with what seems to be aiming to be as user friendly as possible, and I believe this has been accomplished well! Setup of the Network Card was dead simple, and I didnt get the chace to try out modem setup, connecting across a LAN, but on the homepage (http://www.lycoris.com) is a link about Lucent WinModems and how to get them working, should you have one.

Boot loader was easy enough, giving me the option to boot to my other partitions, although two didnt contain an OS, only files!

When it was all done, I was presented with an XP-Style Bliss Screen Desktop. It was right into it, no fuss, but at the specified 640x480 resolution. It would only let me choose this because my old monitor (Which can normally do 1024x768) will only run at 60hz Refresh Frequency) wouldnt do any higher resolution at a 60hz, only a higher rate. A little bit of fiddling around with the Control Center's Display Settings file and I had a fully wrecked display No fear though, upon reboot I was prompted with a choice, right before the GUI was loaded, a menu was brought up, giving me the option of repairing it to Desktop/LX's standard config, carry on as is, and 3 other things that were not needed. I chose restore standard and it was peachy, but back at 640x480. I took to the config file XF86config-4 and changed every reference to 640x480 (It was the only resolution setting in there) to my request of 1024x768. Log out and back in to reload the configuration and I was away! Easy as that!

Everytihng was in an XP-Style interface, only the eye candy didnt seem quite so 'Intrusive' as XP's, and seemed a lot more natural!

On the desktop there was 4 icons waiting for me to explore. My Linux System for file browsing, Network Browser for graphically network support for Linux and Windows-based PC's. There's Personal Files for holding My Pictures, Music, and a Web folder too! There was also the Recycle Bin, hungrily awaiting my unwanted files.

My web connection was picked up over the LAN easy enough, browsing immediately on Mozilla which comes standard.

I also found that to my delight my NTFS and Fat32 Partitions had been picked up and were sitting in the "My Linux System"! NTFS was only Read-Only, but that was all I expected. Looking on the bright side, at least Linux supports Windows FileSystems, whereas Windows does not support Linux FilSystems! I was playing my Avril Lavigne video hit in seconds :-)

Also in My Linux System is the Control Center, which as mentioned before, is Windows Control Panel. From here, you'll need the "System password" which is also the root users password. In here you can configure your Video Settings, Printer, Internet/Network, Appearance, Userrs/Password, Multimedia, Setup Software and a few other things. Install New Software seeks floppy drives, or from the web. You also have the option to view and remove existing software installed. Looks to be very helpful!

Personal Files was just that, where my Music, Web stuff, and Pictures were obviously supposed to be saved to. Windows users will feel right at home with this.

Having had a wee look around, I decided to try and play some of my MP3's. I was about to connect and download the MP3 Playback plugin as needed for XMMS in RedHat 8, but it has been kindly bundled! I was ver happy with hours of music now ready for playback from my NTFS partition! Only down side is I couldnt edit one or two stray ID3 tags I had noticed, but a small issue, simply copyin the file to my NTFS partition, changing it and then copying it back when I next boot into windows (Im still yet to do that after 3 days of use)! I also noted that RealPlayer 8 is install
for streaming web-media compatibilty. DVD Playback, something not native to Linux, also seems to be included in the video Media player I used to play my videos in. This looks quite a bit like Cyberlinks PowerDVD that I had been using in Win2K! I am yet to try playback, but it looks good, picking up my DVD-ROM in My Linux System with no additional configuration needed!

I like my taskbar up the top, so that was next on my to do list. Right Click and selecting Preferences allowed my to change it so it was up the top, and was auto-hiding, Just how I like it. There's a quick-launch bar too, right next to the Iris menu, which is the Desktop/LX version of Windows Start Menu. Having a look around, I felt right at home with everything right where you would expect it, checking out all the software that is bundled with Desktop/LX. There is also a neat little setup, of the more advanced programs being under a folder in each individual Iris-menu folder called "More Programs" with extra things that you wont frequently use.

I really like being able to switch between virtual desktops in Linux, customizing the background for each virtual desktop. This switcher sits in the taskbar, basically is a mini-screen of each virtual desktop! This could be very useful at work, having one for work-related materials, and one for PressF1 which you shouldnt be at during work hours now should you ;-)

CD's are Auto-mounted and Auto-Run too. If there's more than one type of media, or if its a CD-Extra etc, it will prompt you with what to do! Another XP similarity, which I found comfortable to use.

WINE is another thing that comes with Desktop/LX, with it distinguishing between Linux files, and MS Windows Executable as it calls them. This was great, and I even began to run Unreal Tournament, but it wasnt showing up as a task, so I couldnt switch windows to it, and I couldnt press any buttons to skip past the intro, but it got that far! Perhaps with a little tweaking I might be able to get the whole thing to go!

Lycoris Desktop/LX Linux comes standard with the normal Linux apps, includeing games, image editing software, KOffice and a whole lot else!

All up, Im gonna giv eit a 9/10, sue to the fact that its still not quite finished, and there still needs a bit of work on the driver side for displays, everything else seems fine. USB, PCMCIA all work (PCMCIA was tested on a laptop and picked up a NIC no prob!) The GUI is nicely polished, but not over-baked as XP can seem at first. The similarities to Windows will make many new to Linux feel right at home. I like it, and Im switched, however, this reveiw was not made with the intent of converting all Windows users to Linux, and although I may have critiqued a few things in windows, I do it to more explain the joys of using Desktop/LX, and am not trying to convert anybody to Linux! This was made with the intent of giving people an idea of what Lycoris Desktop/LX is like, if they are interested in tryin git out, or those who are thinking of trying aout Linux, but are un-sure of what dirstobution to go with. It is also good, as there is no download needed, as it comes with a Mag for only $8.95NZ!

I hope you all enjoyed it, let me know what you think, and whether you will be trying it or not. Also, If you have got it, let me know if I have missed anything!

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

Jen C
06-01-2003, 09:00 PM
What a great review Chilling! :D - well done!

One question though - Was there an option for using Lilo as a boot manager instead of grub for dual booting with Windows?

I just need to reorganise a few things on my slave drive and then I will be definitely installing Lycoris! (I rushed out and brought the magazine at the weekend!)


Jen

Chilling_Silence
06-01-2003, 09:27 PM
Im pretty sure there was
Another thing is there's Remote assitance, and Desktop Sharing like XP, could come in handy for those PC n00b grandparent you made a cheap PC for and put Desktop/LX on :D

Im pretty sure I got most basic stuff, but feel free to ask a Q in here about it's features or whatever if you're curoius and I'll see what I can cook up :)

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

Baldy
06-01-2003, 09:36 PM
That was a very interesting review Chill, and one I would have been proud to write myself.

I am going to try and download a copy as the APC seems to be sold out wherever I look.

BALDY:-)

Chilling_Silence
06-01-2003, 09:36 PM
>
> I just need to reorganise a few things on my slave
> drive and then I will be definitely installing
> Lycoris!

Point to note, if you're installing it and wanna share the HDD, copy all your stuff to the primary drive, and boot off a 98 floppy and use FDisk.
Partition 1 half or whatever for your doze files, and leave the other bit un-partitioned for Lycoris to take control with. Then, copy the files off the primary back onto the slave doze partition, otherwise you'll lose your data.
Might be worth taking a look at the partitioning FAQ if you're unsure.

If you already know this.. I just thought I'd point it out.
Good luck :-)

> (I rushed out and brought the magazine at
> the weekend!)
>
>

When I saw it I couldnt believe it had Lycoris Desktop/LX on it, so I spent some of the money I was s'posed to use to buy a shirt for christmas with (You know, one of the "Here's $20, go get some clothes that fit properly and arent so baggy on ya* from the grandparents who dont like large clothing :D

Chilling_Silence
06-01-2003, 09:39 PM
> I am going to try and download a copy as the APC
> seems to be sold out wherever I look.
>

Download was about 550Megs last time I check I think, but its not the APC mag that had Mandrake on it in November
Its the Australian PC User Mag - 2002 Collectors Edition! Blue cover, also has the full EverQuest game on one CD, with 30 days free trial online :D
That's 3CD's in all, but its not the APC mag :-)

I just got it from the corner dairy :p

Dolby Digital
06-01-2003, 10:51 PM
All we need now is some screen shots ;\

Rod J
07-01-2003, 12:46 AM
Nice one Chilling_Silence :) Very interesting review, thanks for the info. I thought the Lycoris version of Linux would be worth a look.

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 08:33 AM
Dolby> There's http://www.lycoris.com for some screenshots, but Im more than happy to post a URL to some of mine later on tonight!

Jen C
07-01-2003, 07:07 PM
Well, I have gone and done it!!! :D

Lycoris installed with no problems, monitor settings are not quite right (but working on it) and my modem was detected (being a hardware external modem that was not suprising). Within minutes of the desktop loading I was able to connect to the net and I am making this post from Lycoris with Mozilla as the browser :D.

Unfortunately you are not given the choice of using Lilo, it was grub or whatever windows boot manager you had already installed - so grub it is.

My only pressing problem at the moment is I cannot eject the installation CD from the drive (tried right-clicking on the CD drive and selecting eject but nothing happens - paperclip trick is not doing much either).

Anyway - for all those considering linux, Lycoris is a very user-friendly installation OS, and as Chilling mentioned, looks very similar to Windows XP in destop appearance.

Jen

[pre]I really hope I can get this installation CD out without having to perform surgery![/pre}

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 09:28 PM
Hmm... Bummer about the BL...
I would Un-Mount the CD-ROM first, and then Eject it!
You should be able to open "My Linux System" and right Click on it, then select Eject!

I am uploading a webpage of screen shots now:

[url=http://www.geocities.com/rescuemannz/Lycoris.html]http://www.geocities.com/rescuemannz/Lycoris.html[url]

The pics are going up now, so they may not be up when you go there, Just keep refreshing.

BTW, This page is reccommended for 33K users or faster, as I've used PNG to retain the high-quality images.

You MAY need Quicktime, but Im not too sure!

lemme know what you think!

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

*Here's to hoping that the URL works!*

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 09:33 PM
Damn, Ah, well, Im in phoenix and there is part that links your to it.. You get the address :-)

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 09:48 PM
Well, Its all up:
10 Images, totalling 3.14MB.

I recommend you view it at a 1024x768 resolution, but the other res. do fine!

Let me know if the links are dead or whatever, Its working fine here... But you never can tell.... ;-) ;\

Just in case you missed it:
http://www.geocities.com/rescuemannz/Lycoris.html

I await your feedback!

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 11:10 PM
And I just found some more screen-shots taken by users like myself:
http://www.lycoris.org/myegallery.php

Enjoy!

Baldy
07-01-2003, 11:25 PM
working fine here Chill

Looks very nice, but why did they have to imitate WinXP

Dolby Digital
07-01-2003, 11:29 PM
Well done. That wasn't so hard was it. Now you can show it off to your friends :D

Actually I had set up a pc with Lycoris Linux on it in a pc shop. A customer came in and started to play with it and then said "This is nice, what is it?". When my friend said "Oh thats Linux", the guy said "oh!" and walked off!

Dolby Digital
07-01-2003, 11:37 PM
Cos Windows users who dared try Lycoris would "feel at home" and not dismiss it cos it looked funny. Of course one thing you can do is change the Window Manager which I'd love to see you do in Windows. ;\

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 11:38 PM
Hehe, Its something that IMHO is going to be able to rival XP...
As for the friends.. Well, They all love it, even the non-computer lterate ones!

I think the fact that Linux is still seens as a real PC-Freak sorta thing where command-line interfaces are the way of life (They still are, but for the average end-user, a GUI like KDE is nicer :p). That will change with time!

Also, the fact that it can be installed on every PC in the neibeighbourhood and still be legal is great, just burn off a copy for the mates to try Knoppix on and there's no lawsuit to worry about.

Linux can only be good with Paladium or whatever M$ are trying to do being just around the corner :(

Chilling_Silence
07-01-2003, 11:42 PM
Yeah, its not so much of a Major changover between OS's that way.. Its like the Lynx saying goes:
First impressions - Last!
On first look, it seems very at home with a lot of users, and that is what I like about it too!
Would you rather the immitated Win 3.1?! :p ;\

You can change the look and feel and stuff like that of it all, have a look around on lycoris.ORG not .COM as .org is not the official homepage... on lycoris.org, there's a fair amount of good stuff there that'd be useful for people to have a look at if thinking of tryin it out, or who are stuck with it once installed :)

Try it... I Dare ya!

csinclair83
07-01-2003, 11:54 PM
baldy...theres like 25 copies in each of the 2 feilding stores...u could go to ur store and get them to contact either
paper plus or books'n'more of feilding and get a copy sent to ya?

Baldy
16-01-2003, 12:21 AM
When you install Lycoris, will it automatically set up a partition so I can still have WinME, or do I have to use Partition Magic or similar?

Sorry if its already been covered, but I've just finished a 18hour day of signs and can hardly read. Need zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's

BALDY:-)

-=JM=-
16-01-2003, 12:37 AM
I forget the exact wording the installer uses. But yes it will create it's own partition if you tell it to. Pays to back up first anyway.

Chilling_Silence
16-01-2003, 09:05 AM
You've got a few options:
You can use the "Un-Partitioned" space on your HDD...
You can erase all partitions and use the whole drive for lycoris
You can erase all linux partitions and use that space for lycoris
or, you can mix and match your own.. but likely you'll have to re-install ME baldy :)

Rod J
16-01-2003, 11:02 PM
One of the options presented should be to shrink the size of your current WinME partition to create space for Linux. I'd go with that option myself. It's a good idea to do basic maintenance before you start, i.e. ScanDisk and Defrag. But backup anything important first of course!

Chilling_Silence
17-01-2003, 08:57 AM
Hmmm.... Didnt see that when I last did it...
I saw "Use Free Space" Which uses the free Un-Partitioned space. So it'll only use space that hasnt been allocated into a FAT of sometype!

I could be wrong though.

crozier
17-01-2003, 09:53 AM
OK, I went to Whitcoulls yesterday lunchtime and bought the mag. Got home and re-sized a partition to create some free space which I then configured for linux. I used boot magic to make the new partition active and rebooted with the installation CD. A very smooth installation and a few minutes later I had Linux up and running, I even connected to my Jetstream router first up. The whole thing looks good and if I only wanted to do pretty basic stuff I'm sure that it's a good OS - but not an XP killer, not a patch on WinXP. While it is an improvement on other Linux distros it's not at all intuitive. Bear in mind that it's supposed to be aimed at newbies (a market that linux has always missed) it falls short of the mark. For example, drivers for my GF4 weren't included so I decided to download them from nVidia. With any version of Windows installation would simply require double clicking the downloaded file and following the instructions or updating the driver from System Properties. However with linux it was near impossible to work out what to do with the 2 files I downloaded. Although I've been using computers for over 20 years I found it difficult to understand what needed to be done - what chance would a newbie have?

Chilling_Silence
17-01-2003, 10:34 AM
Well.. N00b's are s'posed to purchase it and therefore get help from the website and stuff...

Download the .tar nvidia drivers... Not many n00b's would need to download drivers for their card though, and if they did, Im sure they'd follow the instructions (Something I failed to do!).

download the NVchooser.sh as it says and open a console window and run:
sh NVchooser.sh (Remember its cAsE SeNsItIvE!)

It'll say that there isnt a specific version of the driver for this linux distro and so you should download the .tar file.. I've downloaded it (Did so last night) and Im gonna try updating it tonight!

Again... You've gotta be of the mind-set that its not meant to be windows, but a replacement for it!

Have fun with it! ;)

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

crozier
17-01-2003, 10:58 AM
>You've gotta be of the mind-set that its not meant to be windows, but a replacement for it!

That's part of my point - it isn't a replacement for 85% of people. I really feel that it's as clunky as Win 3.1

For all the MS bashing that goes on you have to admit that they have made the whole computer experience pretty painless for most people. I guess if you have a whole department whose job it is to ensure that's it's easy to use you might just achieve that. Linux is put together from a mish-mash of software that doesn't always have the newbie in mind.

>You've gotta be of the mind-set that its not meant to be windows, but a replacement for it!

Thanks for the advice on the GF4

BTW this distro runs markedly slower than WinXP
That can be said for all OS's.

Chilling_Silence
17-01-2003, 11:20 AM
>
> That's part of my point - it isn't a replacement for
> 85% of people. I really feel that it's as clunky as
> Win 3.1

No, I agree, that there is still a lot of people who are "Toying" with the Linux idea... Pretty soon there will be a whole lot more software available on the market for Linux (Besides the fact that a lot comes with it already).

In the mean time, for a lot of granny's or people new to computers, or people who a re not going to be gaming on it, then I think that this OS is more than perfect, saving $200 odd on the price of a PC coz it doesnt have XP Installed... Its even got Remote Assistance, just like XP, for those times when your younger nephew or whoever, needs to help out!!


> BTW this distro runs markedly slower than WinXP
> That can be said for all OS's.

Yes, the boot time is a little slower, however, on my Athlon XP 1700+ with 512MB RAM, it ran much faster than 2K when I was actually in it!

Obviously its not for everybody, but I think that most people who try it, should find it comforting to have Linux that looks at least slightly like the windows that many people have been brought up with (Myself included, even though I learned to program on a C64!)

Cheers


Chilling_Silence

crozier
17-01-2003, 11:31 AM
>Yes, the boot time is a little slower, however, on my Athlon XP 1700+ with 512MB RAM, it ran much faster than 2K when I was actually in it!

My Athlon XP 2000+ with 512MB DDR RAM run much slower than XP when I am actually in it.

I think what I really need to do is find a way to put my Athlon XP 2000+ CPUinto my old Amiga :D:D:D. BTW I have an Amiga emulator running in XP which give me the superior Amiga OS with the speed of a modern PC :D:D:D:D

Baldy
17-01-2003, 11:42 AM
BTW - why did they try to copy the look of XP. I am surprised they didn't go for a completely new look.

BALDY:-)

Chilling_Silence
17-01-2003, 11:51 AM
> BTW - why did they try to copy the look of XP. I am
> surprised they didn't go for a completely new look.
>
> BALDY:-)


For a totally different look, try:
http://www.redhat.com

Look for their ISO download FTP! ;-)

I think this is supposed to appeal to windows users because it still looks fair amount like it and feels a fair bit like doze does too.

Im using Lycoris and RedHat 8 at the moment, soon to be Mandrake 9 also!

Elephant
17-01-2003, 12:36 PM
>I think this is supposed to appeal to windows users because it still >looks fair amount like it and feels a fair bit like doze does too.

>Im using Lycoris and RedHat 8 at the moment, soon to be Mandrake 9 >also!

I haven't tried Lycoris but Mandrake 9 I have tried.
Had no trouble at all installing this one. It recognized my GeForce 64 Meg card and also my HP5550 USB printer with no problems.

I think you will like Mandrake 9.

Rod J
17-01-2003, 04:39 PM
Sorry Chill :)

I was thinking of my recent Mandrake 9 install ;) From the Mandrake documentation: "If Windows is already set up on your system, and you have never installed GNU/Linux before, DrakX, Mandrake Linux's installation program, will have to resize your Windows partition." It seems Lycoris' installation program doesn't have this option?

Elephant
18-01-2003, 07:43 PM
From the Mandrake documentation: "If Windows is already set up on your system, and you have never installed GNU/Linux before, DrakX, Mandrake Linux's installation program, will have to resize your Windows partition." It seems Lycoris' installation program doesn't have this option?

I use Partition Magic to make and resize Partitions B4 I install another operating system.

Chilling_Silence
18-01-2003, 11:41 PM
No, RedHat 8 doesnt have it either!
RedHat 7 was able to install onto a Fat32 Partition!!