Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Linux gOS Space 2.9: A personal review

In one of the previous posts, I mentioned that I'm using gOS Space 2.9 now in place of my PCLinuxOS 2007. After close to 3 weeks with gOS, I thought that I ought to write a simple review of the OS installed on my laptop.

For starters, I'm using a Compaq Presario V3125 (AMD Turion64 X2 TL-50) bought in Nov 2006. It has 1GB RAM, 80GB HD space, a nVidia Go6150 GPU and a Broadcom Wifi card.

I won't be writing on the installation part as it's quite simple to perform and is no different from the ones on Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS (they all install using almost similar GUIs nowadays :-) ). Once successfully installed (I'm dual-booting with Windows XP btw and was automatically recognized by GRUB :-) ), I enabled the Restricted Drivers under System -> Administration so that I could use my Wifi card and also my nVidia graphics card. The drivers were downloaded automatically via the net and was hassle-free. After that, I turned on Compiz and could enjoy the gorgeous 3D desktop interface that's famous with most Linux distros.

The cool 3D cube to view desktops in Linux

Another way to view all desktops ala Workspace on Mac OS X Leopard (yes, you can move windows from one desktop to another in Linux too :-) ). Linux had had this even before Leopard hit the market :-p

Expose in Linux....view all windows in the current desktop

I think you'd notice that the installation of the gOS Space 2.9 comes with the Dock like the one in Mac OS X. Not only it looks like it, but it functions like it also, and more. Remember when Steve Jobs introduced Leopard during his keynote and how the folders on the Dock could expand "Fan" or "Grid" style and we're drooling over it? Well, get your hankies ready as we can now do the same on gOS as well!!! Yippie!!!

Expanding folders "Fan" style

"Grid" style....and you can even browse folders/directories with it before opening Nautilus :-)

IMHO, for quick files browsing/directories opening, "Grid" style is much faster and more practical.

Now, what you'll be thinking now is that with all those things turned on and working together with the OS, they would consume RAM like eating popcorns.......but the truth is Nope. With all those things turned on, and with some other apps running as well, eg. Firefox, Evolution (Outlook in Linux) etc, usually they will not consume more than 60% of your RAM. Take a look at it...

What???!! Only 42% ???? Yup, you saw that right :-)

No offence to PCLOS (it's one of my favs distros), but I found that PCLOS actually consumed more RAM compared to gOS (I might just be the unlucky one :-( ). Nevertheless, on my system, gOS seems to run a tad bit faster than PCLOS.

Another thing that I like about Linux compared to Windows is obviously.......the speed. My research work involves writing papers using LaTeX and compilation of the codes in Linux is so much faster than Windows. I have Kile installed on my gOS and what took Windows 30 secs to compile needs only 3 secs in Linux. That's a huge leapfrog improvement in speed that I'm experiencing here.

Kile app: Write LaTeX codes here and it compiles them 10x faster than Windows :-p

And in gOS also (as well as Linux in general), you could choose the desired Power Management setting to prolong your battery life or to simply keep the temperature down.

Do you choose to run it hot or cold? Hmmmm.....:-p

For Malaysians who are using Streamyx, of which you need to dial to a PPPoe ISP, you could do so with Linux as well. Just type pppoeconf in your terminal, follow the steps and you're set.

Dialling to a PPPoe ISP. That's how you do it :-)

On the other hand, in this post also, I mentioned how I was captivated by the Dolphin File Manager in KDE4. Well, it seems that the Synaptic Package Manager in gOS lets you install Dolphin onto the system and use it as a secondary File Manager besides Nautilus (there's a way to make it as the primary one but being a secondary still works for me :-) ).

Dolphin in action! Yeah...go Linux!!! :-p

For the other apps/functions, I think you can try them yourselves...didn't really have time to explore everything yet :-). But for MSN-ing, usually what I'll do is to first open AMSN to check for any offline messages and then only use Kopete for the rest of the sessions. The reason for this is because AMSN is the only IM app in Linux that supports offline messaging so far (correct me if I'm wrong) but it's fonts look ugly....that's why I use Kopete as the main one here.

I guess that's all that I'll be covering today. Hope that you'll have the courage to try out Linux (not necessarily gOS or PCLOS, but others too..whichever that you like :-) ) in your own free time in support of Free Software. Who knows? You might just love it :-)

Go Penguin!!!


Cheers


2 comments:

bthop said...

does it has wine? to run windows applications

The Marktrix said...

Hi bthop,

Yeah it does have Wine but it's not working that well for me. I think if you plan to run windows apps on Linux, try considering getting the latest gOS 3.0 Gadgets which has Wine 1.0 built in and it should be more stable. Head on to www.thinkgos.com

Cheers