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Yet Another Linux Distribution! This one is good, not at all quirky, and just works! http://pointlinux.org/index.html Based on Debian, just like Ubuntu, but it's much less cluttered. Actually, Ubuntu really annoys me on several scores! So far I was able to download the Point Linux 32 bit .iso (for those who don't know that is the CD data image file) and flash it to a cheapo USB stick using Windows 7 using https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer. It booted immediately from the stick on a Windows 7 machine as a "live CD" (i.e. without doing an install), and picked up ALL the hardware, including Bluetooth, WiFi, and HDMI video, with zero problems. I'm aiming to install it from the same stick on a number of old Windows XP machines, so will let you know how I get on. It could be just what many people need to revitalise an XP laptop that's currently gathering dust. I'm also trying out the 64 bit version running under VirtualBox on an i5 lappy. Will report back on that too. I'd previously tried out http://www.geteasypeasy.com/ on an old XP netbook. It looked very promising, but sadly the author seems to have lost all interest a while back. So... Easy Peasy Linux is no longer maintained, and therefore can't be recommended.
I knew about it but I'd never actualy tried it until earlier this week. I'm talking about Puppy Linux. It's a Linux that you don't need to install. One that is very small (but perfectly formed), and which boots very quickly. Actually there are numerous Puppies because there is a tool called Woof that makes it very easy for the computer savvy to generate yet another one. I've now got a USB stick in my "man-bag" that can fire it up on just about any machine, and optionally install it permanently. Why would you want to do this? Well.. when you turn on that old lappy or desktop and it tells you that M$ got sick of waiting for you to buy the same old Windoze code yet again (a pop-up on the XP screen I'm told by a third party), then think Puppy Linux. You can have the old clunker working better than it ever did under Microsoft in no time at all, and you needn't pay a penny to M$ - ever! Also great if a machine refuses to boot as you can likely get at all your files, and test that it's not a hardware problem, both at the same time. This post is being written on an old Asus EeePC that was gathering dust for years. All it turned out to need was a new keyboard; £14 from Amazon. The battery is seems pretty good, so's I removed XP completely and installed Puppy. It's now better than new! Just about all the hardware was immediately recognised - no Windows driver hell!!! I will write full instructions to put Puppy on a USB stick, and make it bootable, if anyone asks here. The information is out there is you search, but there are a bewildering number of ways to do it. It only took me a few minutes and a £3 8GB stick is more than adequate. In fact a 4GB would do almost as well. Puppy saves your work back to the stick by default, so you can resume your session on other hardware. Even with slow USB 2 this is still faster than the usual Windows XP boot sequence, and it tells you what is going on at every stage. Magic! That's the new keyboard tested then! Posting beats the quick brown fox, any day!
http://rastrack.co.uk/ If that's anything like accurate - wow! Was going to get one or two last year but I settled for an Olimex board, as those have a completely open design. Anyone in Bedders playing with a RP? And... for those who haven't got a clue what this is all about: http://www.raspberrypi.org/