(For the first day of this series READ HERE)

Hi, Quintin here. For the most part I am flying solo today. I came back late from the Lets Talk Geek podcast last night where I elbowed myself into being their guest for the week and I did not have the chance to get Elzje’s insight into our featured distro for the day.

I will add it later after one of her epic dinners.

On to the day then…

Quintin

Far be it for me to give too much away too early, but the title of today’s entry has the WOW attached for a reason. I reviewed Puppy about a month ago, and thoroughly blasted it. That was Puppy 5.01.

Today we look at 5.10 and the improvement is IMMENSE.

The Puppylinux community responded tremendously well to my unfavorable review the previous time, and I am VERY glad to report that there is very little to fault version 5.10 for.

In fact I love it.

But before I get overly gushy, let me get back to the topic at hand – is this a valid lightweight distro?

Can I give it to my mom to use?

Well the “mom” or “grandma” question we will answer at the end of the series, but so far it is looking good for Puppy.

Few lightweight distros offer as much as Puppy does – the pre installed program selection is large in comparison with some of the other distros we tried.

Add to that the helpful text the prevails throughout Puppy and you have something that can be given to less technical people. A reservation though – although the presence of explanatory text everywhere is a great idea, less technical users might balk at some of the terms.

I do believe that the guys did their level best to keep the language technically correct and also easy to understand. It is a difficult tightrope.

Elzje

First off, I like the blue and Grey. I have simple tastes, and this is nice. One thing I really like is the descriptive names for all the icons and the descriptions everywhere.

I would consider using it for a while after this series is done, in fact. As far as I can see it will fulfill all my needs.

As far as gramma goes, her needs are very basic. I would like to teach her some document editing, and show her how spreadsheets work, so it would need to be able to run at least OpenOffice (It does – Q).

It might be a bit of overkill for her.

Questions and answers

  1. Is it reasonably quick?
    Puppy has a heritage of being lightweight and fast. This version does not disappoint. Puppy lives in only 70 MB of RAM!
  2. Can you use the Internet with ease?
    Yes. Puppy comes with a browser installed, and when you click on the “browse” icon the first time you get a list of browsers to add.
  3. Can You Edit Documents and Spreadsheets?
    Yes, Gnumeric and Abiword are installed, among others. OpenOffice is a package manager away.
  4. How easy is e-mail use?
    Syplheed is installed.
  5. Are Codecs available for all the common formats?
    Yes. Puppy is now compatible with Ubuntu (from version 5 I think) so whatever the standard repos don’t have you can get from the Ubuntu repositories.
  6. How hard is it to join networks?
    This used to be one of the quirks of Puppy Linux – Setting up networking has generally been a pain. I am happy to report some progress in this area, but I was at first not completely sure if I was connected or not.
  7. Is it a swap-in for a higher end distro?
    No. Puppy is a distro on it’s own. There is no similar higher end distro. That said, Puppy is one of the most powerful (even high-end) linux distros out there.

Summary

Puppy is here at last. What makes me even happier that this version of Puppy that we tried is so much better than the previous version is that the guys who work with Puppy are so awesome.

Can I give this pup to my mom? I am not too sure – Puppy will fit the bill very well, but it is just a bit TOO powerful for her. Is it good for someone who has an older pc and needs a Linux distro? Very much so.

Get the version of Puppy we tried HERE. (download link to ISO image)

Read Day NINE here – our first reader requested OS – Peppermint OS. Interesting Concept.

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