posted by David Donley on Wed 9th Jun 2004 18:53 UTC

"Mdk 10, Page 3/3"
I was experimenting a bit with it on a spare machine. It is a Fujitsu Lifebook Laptop. 800Mhz and 128MB RAM 20GB Hard disk, which I formatted to XFS filesystem. There was no problems there, Mandrake installed and ran perfectly on the laptop and detected all the hardware, I decided to try the webcam here using Hotplug... I started it as a service and tried plugging in the webcam. Like I said, it was not detected during the install on the main PC. Hotplug also did not detect it on the laptop. I suppose I expected that anyway I then reset the computer, it froze when it tried to shut down the Hotplug process. The next time I booted the laptop, it asked for a filesystem check. I let it do that and it carried on... until the Hotplug service. At this point the system froze again. I have read that if you leave kernel version 2.6 running for about 5 minutes after a crash, that it will recover. I left it 10 minutes and it did carry on to start KDE. I checked all the system logs to see at what point exactly the freeze occurred. It was indeed Hotplug trying to activate the webcam. It had found a device on the usb port, but did not load any driver for it as it, as it could not fully detect what was plugged in. I opened up the process manager and removed the Hotplug service. Hotplug had been disabled during install on both machines by default, now I know why. BUT, this can also help to displace some myths.. I had a problem, and was able to deal with it using the GUI only. I did not have to drop to the command line and enter some obscure commands.

An update on the webcam... I downloaded a driver for it, and installed it as a module. Simple in the end :)

Using the digicam is a dream. It sets itself up as an icon on the desktop, double click the icon (providing of course, that you set KDE up to open things with a double click), will open the camera as if it is another hard drive partition. Then the pictures on the camera can be viewed, moved to hard disk, edited, whatever... As usual, Mandrake 10 comes with a plethora of programs for editing/viewing pictures, like The Gimp, the ubiquitous open source Photoshop equivalent. Version 1.2 is included, which might seem a little old, but it is totally stable. I would rather have that when I would be dealing with the pictures I taken on holiday. FlPhoto is also a wonderful program with dealing with your own pictures, it will create albums and let you view them as slideshows. Mandrake 10 uses the GPhoto 2 camera database for cameras that are not using automatically added like a drive. I found this strange, as the database for all the camera drives appeared to be about 3 megabytes. I would not even dare to guess how big that driver database would be on Windows.

There are loads of games on the installation disks, and whenever anyone mentions Linux games, they always talk about Frozen-Bubble and Tuxracer.. I will not. I will however tell you about three of my favourite games..

Samegame, which is a type of puzzle game where you click on collections of orbs of the same colour, this makes them disappear and the ones above it to drop down to fill the spaces. It is very very addictive, although, I do not know why. Lbreakout 2 is a Linux clone of the old arcade game Arkanoid, including bat power ups and great sound effects. ArmageTron is a Tron bike clone in 3D. It can also be played over the internet. It is hard to play but well worth it once you master it.

I used to play a lot of games on my Windows system. My favourite game of all time was Enemy Territory. There is a Linux version of this, so I downloaded and installed it. Sweet. I have tried comparisons between the Linux and Windows versions, the Linux version loads maps far faster on this machine than the Windows version. This can be critical on some maps were the enemy spawns very close to you. It gives you time to prepare the attack. :)

I have tried over and over to fault Mandrake 10, and apart from that one crash in KDE and the missing software I use, I cannot find any faults. I was going to give it a mark out of 10, but instead I will give it a percentage mark. 98%. Very good but still a very slight margin for improvement.

About the author
I live in Belfast Northern Ireland and have studied computer science to masters degree level.

Table of contents
  1. "Mdk 10, Page 1/3"
  2. "Mdk 10, Page 2/3"
  3. "Mdk 10, Page 3/3"
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