My Minor Rant.

March 14, 2010 at 11:43 am (arch, friend)

I just wanted to rant for a bit since I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII the last couple days, and haven’t spent too much time messing around with my desktop. Anyways, so a couple of weeks ago, I figured it would be a good idea to switch my friend to Arch Linux from Ubuntu. The transition made sense as he kept asking for “the newest version of linux” and he was _slightly_ higher in tech knowledge then most people. I decided a rolling release might be a better fit for him. I went ahead and installed it on his computer as well as putting KDE on there and told him the few basic commands he would need to know to update his system as well as installing a package.

Unfortunately, I didn’t install all the applications he needed, so I spent a solid half an hour trying to walk him through installing an application over the phone. Of course with my luck, the packages weren’t compiling for some reason, and I still can’t figure out why one isn’t compiling. After a bit, we finally got the program he needed working.  You start to bang your head against a wall when I get asked questions like this: “It says ‘Proceed with installation? y/n’…what should I do?” I decided I would head over to his house the other day and see if I could walk him through a few more steps and see if I could just install everything he needed so I wouldn’t have to walk him through another half an hour or so just to install another program.

I arrived at his house and decided to install a few programs and update his system. I know his internet connection is fairly slow (150 Kbps download and wireless to boot) so downloading packages might take a while.  I turned on his computer and noticed he had about 6 panels at the top of his screen as well as a missing task manager. I had set up the panel bar at the bottom how he liked it BEFORE I left his computer at his house a few weeks ago. Everything was in disarray. I ended up deleting all 6 unwanted panels at the top of the screen as well as adjusting his bottom panel bar. I made sure to lock it again.

I went ahead and tried to install a few programs, I immediately noticed how laggy and slow his computer was with KDE. His computer isn’t slow by any means, but it’s not fast either (AMD Athlon 3000+ I belive, 512MB’s of ram, Nvidia 8600 GT). I simply had Amarok and Konsole open as well as his wireless loaded in the backgroud. Even with Amarok shut, it was still incredibly slow. Using packer took forever to load and download.

I decided I might try to see if his computer needed to be updated. Lo and behold, 500+ megabytes of files needed to be updated. Ugh…

I’ve been trying to convince him to switch to a lighter alternative which would drastically speed up his computer as well as cut down on the size of his updates. Something along the lines of XFCE or something. He didn’t seem to mind the sluggishness of KDE and is still fascinated by the beauty of it. I did suggest I should try to walk him through an Arch install after he gets used to the feel of Arch. That way he would understand his system much better and should be well enough on his own. He’s moderately tech savvy, but still has a fairly low understanding of computers.  I essentially told him to mess with and possibly break your desktop to get a feel for it. Afterwards we could do a full reinstall of Arch.

So, any suggestions on an alternative desktop that’s pretty and fast, or any tips on speeding up KDE? It’s unbearable to work on his computer. I have debated on putting an openbox install to boot into when I have to work over there.


1 Comment

  1. Aaron said,

    Have you looked at kdemod?

    I hear it runs very well on older systems and still gives you the eye-candy.

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