Linked by Adam S on Fri 14th Jan 2005 15:10 UTC
Gentoo has a great new review of VidaLinux 1.1 in which they conclude "If you're a moderately experienced GNU/Linux user looking to switch to a modern, upgradable, GNOME-based distribution that does not involve RPMs, or if you want to get into Gentoo without the steep learning curve, Vidalinux OS 1.1 is worth trying." As always, OSDir provides us the screenies.
Order by: Score:
I love that theme... =)
by J on Fri 14th Jan 2005 15:20 UTC

I used to use that desktop theme on XP for quite a while. It's called Longhorn Inspirat and can be leeched here:

Steep learning curve
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:02 UTC

If something has a "steep learning curve", it means that it is easy to learn (ie, progress is quicker over time, hence greater change, hence a steeper curve). I'm assuming they mean a shallow learning curve (ie, Gentoo is hard to learn)

Re: Steep learning curve
by Syntaxis on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:09 UTC

Technically speaking, you're right. covers this in some depth and presents various different points of view on the subject. Personally, I think that page is bang on the money when it points out that "Common sense warns that there is no advantage to using a word correctly if you know that the vast majority of your hearers will misunderstand your meaning." Even if you disagree, you might want to "avoid the temptation to adopt misused terms yourself but be circumspect in choosing your occasions to correct others."

by Cheapskate on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:12 UTC

i tryed it for a while, it is an easy way to get a stage-3 install of gentoo, it ran good for me...

Just an installer for gentoo?
by MatzeBraun on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:14 UTC

Is this more than a nice installer and package selector for gentoo?

by Wolf on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:32 UTC

2.6? Check out for the comparison between the purchase and download version. $30 for the purchase version. Ouch. I know you pay for other distro's for full function, but hell. A regular install of Gentoo, Fedora, SuSE, Mandrake, Ubuntu, etc includes most of the functions.

by jstn on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:33 UTC

Looks good, however I fail to see the usefulness of the screen shots as so many distros just reface many OSS utilities and make some modifications specific to their needs.

I'm probably just nit-picking again, I'm sorry! =)

purchase vs download
by neoTheCat on Fri 14th Jan 2005 16:43 UTC

if this is just a repackaged gentoo, all the things that do not come with the download version, can't you just get them via portage? i use gentoo, and for me, i use it because it's easier to pick and choose what i want to install. so, if it does not come with package "X", can't i just do "emerge X" and get it?

unless i am totally missing something here, which would not be unusual for me...

Steep Learning Curves
by Rex on Fri 14th Jan 2005 17:18 UTC

Huh? I completely disagree with the assessment of the phrase 'steep learning curve'.

Let's take GNU/Linux in runelvel 3 (no GUI) vs. the full Mac OS as an example (to keep it on topic). I need to use a computer that I have never seen before. It is placed before me and I am given a certain number of tasks to perform. I see t (time) as the constant in this equation, not the number of things to learn. I have to perform these tasks, and I have to do them before a deadline. I most likely have much more to learn to perform those tasks in time t at the Linux console than using the MacOS GUI, thus the learning curve is steep.

The contents of the page at the URL posted by Syntaxis is utter nonsense IMO (no offense to Syntaxis, I'm glad that you posted it).

Bittorrent tracker down?
by Jack on Fri 14th Jan 2005 17:29 UTC

Is anyone else getting the following erro from VL tracker:

"Tracker Status: Connection Error (ConnectException:Connection Refused)"

I've tried downloading via Bittorrent like a few nights back and had no luck back then, thought I'd try againg but still no luck.

Anyone got (faster) mirrors, or maybe a link to a working tracker?

Thanks in advance.

RE: Steep Learning Curves
by Jack on Fri 14th Jan 2005 17:40 UTC

Well if you were to put a person from the early 80's in front of a Mac OS-X and GNU/Linux computer they'd probably feel more at home with a GNU/Linux computer.

The whole WIMP interface may look easy to use but in reality it slows you down more than you think. I mean try navigating through a website filled with links and forms without touching a mouse it's down right irritating, unless you're using links in which case it's as ease as using your arrow keys. And those flash websites that think it's a smart idea to gobble up your focus so you can use their flash applets, geez.

Anyways I think if you're a total neophyte and never seen, touched, or even heard of a computer you'd probably have about the same luck with both OSes. Sure Mac OS-X comes with all those help dialogs and cute talking paper clips, but if you don't know they're there you're pretty much ass out.

by Rex on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:01 UTC

Efficiency & ease of use are not the same thing! I use vim for all of my text editing needs because it is powerful and efficient, but if I set a brand new computer user down and told them to write a few paragraphs and to edit a few more, and that it needs to be done by lunchtime, they have a much STEEPER learning curve in vim because t is constant and they have to learn much more to use a modal editor than an interactive one.

by Anonymous on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:08 UTC

If steep learning curve means fast or slow learning depends on which axis you put the time needed for learning and on which the progress acieved by the subject.

If you put the time on the abscissa (the horizontal axis) and the progress on the ordinate, then the steeper the curve the faster the subject made progress.

But if you put the time on the ordinate (this is the case you talk about) the steeper the curve the slower the learnig.

The posted link argues that in physiology diagrams the first case is widely used (the time is on the horizontal axis). As simple as that.

by Dogacan Guney on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:14 UTC

What is the gnome theme on OSDir screenshots? It looks really good.(kinda like Mac OSX, I guess)

by MonkeyPie on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:21 UTC

GAH! Cute talking paper clips? Mac OS X? That is clippy from Microsoft fame! Try to get these things straight!

Red Hat's Anaconda installer for Gentoo.
by Jim on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:23 UTC

To be honest, even as much as I hate having a million seperate Linux distros Vidalinux looks like a pretty good idea. It is not that Gentoo's installer is that difficult, is really more becuase id rather not have to use fdisk to install it, too easy to break an existing partition I am using.

I think I will give it a spin.

by Rex on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:25 UTC

Which is exactly what I'm arguing... You said "The posted link argues that in physiology diagrams the first case is widely used (the time is on the horizontal axis)". Which in my examples would make the curve steep. I would guess that most people would picture time on the horizontal axis.

Oh well... veering off topic now.

Steep => y >> x
by emarkp on Fri 14th Jan 2005 18:48 UTC

A coworker commented on this thread to me and my thought is that "steep learning curve" == lots of new stuff. Think of Y as "new material" and X as "familiar material" and the ratio is the slope.

For instance, VI has a steep learning curve at first (as you learn all the motions, get familiar with modal editing, etc.) but later commands are modelled on the earlier commands, so the curve isn't so steep (i.e. now that you've got more familiar material, the new stuff isn't completely new).

steep versus shallow curve
by pieter on Fri 14th Jan 2005 19:01 UTC

This must be one of the most interresting discussions on os news that I have read!

Could somebody give a function for a steep and one for a shallow curve? That way I can get some images with it too.

Re: MonkeyPie
by Jack on Fri 14th Jan 2005 19:07 UTC

--> <--

I've never had the pleasure, or misfortune, of using the Mac's MS Office but I'm guessing that the paperclip "Assistant" is included.

New to Gentoo...
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Jan 2005 19:48 UTC

I installed this (VLOS) on my laptop last night, so far I am very very happy. Only issue I have is my sound card not working, but I can sort that in due course.

I personally dont really like their theme, but thats fixed in a few clicks ;)

I have been interested in using Gentoo for sometime and well, the installation of Gentoo was not something I was terribly excited about doing.. VLOS has given me a very quick way to get Gentoo installed ;)

Gentoo's install
by seshu yamajala on Fri 14th Jan 2005 20:08 UTC

The best part about gentoo IS the install! Vidalinux is ruining the gentoo expirence.

@Steep curves
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Jan 2005 20:28 UTC

You are all assuming that the resistance is the same. Which hill is easier to push a barrel up, steep or shallow?

It would seem obvious that a steep curve is much more difficult to ascend, and by analogy something with a steep learning curve is more difficult to learn.

by Justme&I on Fri 14th Jan 2005 20:30 UTC

I installed this the other day. first impressions are I like it. However I am new to the whole Gentoo way of doing things. I am not fimailar with Portage and every time I use Porthole I get a failed message after waiting hours.

Bright Colors
by Johnson on Fri 14th Jan 2005 21:05 UTC

I believe bright color themes are ridicolous. Imagine yourself at an office staring at this white/bright color all day every day at the monitor. Sometimes I wonder what are people thinking when they make these themes official. It's like looking at Windows 3.1. See, Microsoft created grey user interface as default for most of their Windows operating systems. I believe this is mainly because grey is a nice color and it blends nicely with everything.

@seshu yamajala
by Erik on Fri 14th Jan 2005 21:49 UTC

The best thing about Linux is choice. Vidalinux is adding an option. And them doing so does not detract from Gentoo in any way.

my experiences
by atom on Fri 14th Jan 2005 22:33 UTC

i installed vidalinux about a week ago to test it out. i have used gentoo for a couple years now and am currently running ubuntu on my desktop.

unfortunately, i did not get very far with it. i have an nvidia card, so i require the binary driver to use both my monitors. when i went to install nvidia-kernel, portage informed me that i needed to install a kernel as well. the kernel i was running, a vidalinux kernel, is not available in the portage tree. so i ran a sync and watched as portage sync'd with a normal gentoo rsync mirror.

i wanted a desktop that was simple to set up. i've used gentoo enough on a desktop to know i didnt want a regular gentoo system. needless to say, i chose not to recompile the kernel myself and booted back into ubuntu.

hated it
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Jan 2005 23:02 UTC

I thought it was binary based, but all it is is Gentoo with Anaconda.

they also wanted money for plugins like java, flash.

Steep learning curve
by Ben on Fri 14th Jan 2005 23:42 UTC

Well, whatever the technical meaning of the phrase. I think we all can agree that when someone says "Steep learning curve" most people will think a more difficult one. Kinda like, climbing a steep mountain is harder than climbing one thats not.

Re: Gentoo's install
by pixelmonkey on Fri 14th Jan 2005 23:45 UTC

The best part of Gentoo is the install? I'd rather stay away from Gentoo then. I run Linux over five or six hours a day (Debian unstable), but haven't gone through a Linux install process in a few years (on my desktop, about four years, on my laptop, about two).

Who the hell cares about installers? Unless you're selling it on shelves to Joe Sixpack users, installers really don't matter.

by Anonymous on Sat 15th Jan 2005 00:44 UTC

Can someone tell me something about the speed?, it is as faster as Ubuntu? or maybe faster?

Kickstart ?
by Snake on Sat 15th Jan 2005 01:43 UTC

can you use kickstart ??? as it is using anaconda ?

RE: Steep learning curves
by Anonymous on Sat 15th Jan 2005 01:46 UTC

(I am OP).

Syntaxis - thank you very much for what be the most polite rebuttal I have *ever* read on the web. It was really cool - you got your point across without any way being abusive or arrogant. That's a rare skill and worth fostering.

Rex: it's difficult to explain in text, but a steep learning curve implies a lot of learning for a given amount of time, whereas shallow implies less. Does this make sense? It's hard to get across without graphs to explain. You are (more than likely) correct in assuming that CLI linux takes more time to learn, but think of it as a graph with t (time) on the x axis, l (learning) on the y axis. More learning = higher value on l. Because all learning seems to end up logarithmic (as illustrated by the law of diminishing returns), it tails off (hence learning curve). Therefore, a steep learning curve means that you get more "learning" for a given amount of time than a shallow learning curve. Draw it on paper - it makes more sense than how I've explained it! :^)

Jack: I'd love to see those who grew up with micros trying to use either CLI or WIMP. Could be very interesting. I grew up on micros, and I find the CLI quite comforting - maybe I need some Mac TLC?!?!? :^)

Anonymous: ( that's it! Better explained than what I said above, so thanks!

Pieter: ( Thanks! But I'm honestly not trolling - I'm just a scientist whose been writing up a study for a long time (i.e., *ultra-pedantic*!). As for functions - umm, not so sure, but there must be some around.

emkarp: ( - think of new stuff as stuff learned: steep curve = more stuff in less time than a shallow curve.

Anonymous: ( I think the learning curve refers not to effort over time, but rather to gain over time - a set amount of gain (in this case, learning) is achieved more quickly in less time with a steeper curve than a shallow curve.

Ben: ( You're probably (most likely) right, but like I said to to Pieter, it's hard to switch from "ultra perfect" science to how everyone else thinks! My fault!

More refs for those interested: which says: "In particular, the pleasure of feeling wise and correct is vitiated by the unpleasantness of being perceived as an arrogant pedant. So when an unenlightened nonpsychologist refers to a "steep learning curve," we glean the intended meaning and move on." Urgh, I feel so small (</humble>)

So I'll move on.

Hope we've all learned something. Cheers folks!

by Wrawrat on Sat 15th Jan 2005 04:08 UTC

As Vidalinux is based on Gentoo, I am pretty sure it has the same speed...

For some unknown reason, Gentoo was always slower than Ubuntu/Debian on my main desktop. However, it's faster than both on my laptop... Mind that I use fairly conservative cflags (only -march and -O2/-Os; nothing like --omg-optimized or --teach-me-unix).

I guess it depends on your configuration, but I wouldn't bother with Vida unless you have a spare partition/disk or you really want to get rid of your current distro. To my eyes, it's nothing more than Gentoo with Anaconda and some customisations.

RE: Steep learning curve
by Andrewg on Sat 15th Jan 2005 21:30 UTC

The phrase "steep learning curve" describes how quickly the individual must learn in order to be productive with the application.

Using an computer application as an example. Microsoft word can be used by anyone almost immediately, thats not to say they will know much of what the software can do or even how to use it properly, but since they can be productive almost immediately with little learning, MS Word would be a program with a SHALLOW learning curve.

Now take ARCEdit (GIS application). In order to get anyhthing done, one must learn a lot in order to get anything done. Therefore this app has a STEEP learning curve.

At least that is how the phrase has always been used in everything I have ever read. It also seems to make the most sense in the context it was used in the article.

RE: Steep learning curve
by Devon on Sun 16th Jan 2005 15:26 UTC

Why does time necessarily have to factor in at all? Does having more time to do somthing mean it takes less work? No, you just have more time to complete it in.

Perhaps a better way to define the "learning curve" is the relationship between the range of information that must be learned and the difficulty of learning it. If graphed, difficulty would be y, and the x-axis would represent the range of stuff to be learned.

If what you are learning gets very complex quickly, and/or doesn't build on and connect with previously learned information well, that would be a "steep" learning curve, represented as the range of info to be learned increasing in the y-axis quikly as it progresses on the x-axis.

If what is to be learned builds slowly and connects well, then even if there is much to learn it can be a nice "shallow" learning curve, as the difficulty of continuing to learn the material does not rise rapidly, and theoretically might not rise at all, and could even fall if its one of those things that gets easier the better you understand it.

The name
by setuid_w00t on Sun 16th Jan 2005 19:27 UTC

They were going to call it "Gentoo For Dummies", but they were worried that people would get it confused with the regular Gentoo distribution.

Steep learning curve, yah sort of yes. But if you turn it around it will be the opposite.
In my time spent with Gentoo I have learned some things that isnīt obvious for ppl who never have used it. One big thing is that you actually learn a lot about your system, I dont force Gentoo Linux onto my friends. I just say that if they would like to learn to use Linux they should try out Gentoo Linux.
Because of its nature, wich means that to get it to work ju must learn ;) .
It is good to know your system, its safer (you know it...) its more like what you want (no ads, no spyware...).

And to my knowledge "steep" is upphill, like klimbing an mountain. (and means that its hard to get to the point you want/need)

If you install linux just to write an email I say your probably an bit of, for such a thing you only need Knoppix Linux (bootable livecd, runs the whole operating system from one cdrom)

Also for all ppl saying Windows is better due to the fact that its gui, why then is it so that I keep my phone close so my friends can call me for help with windows? Id say that its more like windows lets you of to easy, this will change in time though. And that is a fact, when newer generations grow up they tend to adopt to things a lot faster than the old one.

I for one tend to learn the things as I click my way through my applications, or edit some configuration file (yeah Im a tinker ,).

And here some places to get some info on how to use/install and tinker with your Gentoo Linux install.
- (main gentoo site) (gentoo documentation) (doh!) (guides, howtos, and some manpages in a nice format)

Also there is some email lists, but i for one dont use them (I want my info instant).

irc @ #gentoo

// a few thoughts by jimmye (you will find me on #gentoo-se , that is im from Sweden) //