Monthly Archives: April 2009

A quick look at Mandriva 2009.1 RC2

A few days ago, Mandriva released the RC2 version of Mandriva 2009.1. Release Candidates more or less contain the

Mandriva Logo

Mandriva Logo

final set of packages and I thought it was a good time to check what is contained in the new version which would eventually find its way to my laptop.

Mandriva 2009.1 RC2 can be downloaded from various mirrors listed in the wiki. I am a GNOME user and hence I downloaded the GNOME variant. I was also keen to see what the newer version of GNOME 2.26 offered.

First Impressions

The Live CD booted much faster than the previous versions. I did not time it but it was definitely faster. The boot

Mandriva Boot Screen

Mandriva Boot Screen

screen also revealed new artwork which I like better than the one in Mandriva 2009. Apart from the looks, the system was as stable as any other Mandriva release.

Software

  • Kernel: 2.6.29-desktop586-1mnb
  • GNOME 2.26.0
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0.1

In addition to the regular stuff like Firefox and Pidgin, Inkscape, Cheese and Kino are included by default.

Mandriva 2009.1 Desktop

Mandriva 2009.1 Desktop

Fixes

  • Printer config has been included in the Mandriva Control Center. It was a major oversight in the previous release and good to see that this has been fixed.

Misses

  • The Live CD, as if a tradition, does not shut down properly. This time the disc is ejected but the computer does not shut down.
  • Compiz Fusion did not work completely while using the Live CD. The window title bars were not visible but otherwise it looked ok.
  • Another major problem I noticed was Ctrl + Alt + Backspace did not restart X.

Evolution – Email Client

I was very keen to see how Evolution imported Microsoft Outlook PST files and it did a fairly good job. However, there was something odd about the way the imported emails were displayed. The mails were shown in plain text first and then as I scrolled down, the complete HTML version was available. I am not sure whether this is a bug or feature so I reserve comment.

The calendar items imported from the PST file were nicely placed in their respective time slots on the Evolution Calendar. They were still available as emails in one of the folder, the purpose of which I did not understand.

Neither of the above noted items are Mandriva’s fault, though.

Conclusion

Though there are a few glitches in the RC2, I hope Mandriva would fix those in time for the release and deliver a yet another solid release.

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The weekend

The past couple of months have been really busy and I could not post as often as I wish I could. I know I have abused this excuse 😉

This weekend I am planning for two things

1. Play around with Mandriva 2009.1 Spring RC2 release and record my findings

2. Read a bit of Rainbow Six. Though I have played the game a long time back, reading a book is much different.

I am all set. Have a great weekend 🙂

Backup Disaster

I thought it was quite sometime since I backed up the memory card on my Nokia N81 phone and decided that I should not delay the backup. So, I pulled the 2 GB Micro SD card out of the phone, inserted it into the adapter and the adapter into a card reader and the card reader itself into a USB port. Mandriva had no problems detecting the card. The card was mounted and a nautilus window opened up.

Problem 1: Copying files from the card to the computer kept failing. I had a look at the folder which was causing the problem. There were a lot of folders with names that could not be read. Either they had ASCII characters beyond the human readable range or just a box. I decided to leave things as they are and copied just the photos and the videos on the card.

Problem 2: The next problem arose when I put the card back into my phone. The card was not even recognised. I tried to restart the phone but in vain. Neither the photos nor the tracks showed up on the phone. To make matters worse, the phone became dead slow and stopped responding in a while.

I was left with no option but to reformat the card. This also helped in clearing out a lot of garbage that came with it when I purchased the phone. I noticed that the filesystem was FAT16. I formatted the card to FAT32 knowing that it would work since my previous Nokia models like 6233 and 6600 supported FAT32. I don’t know why in this day and age, a storage device is formatted as FAT16 by default.

I put the card back into the phone and visited the gallery. The gallery was empty but atleast there were no signs of trouble. I removed the card and put it back into the reader. Now I had the default folders created. I copied the photos, videos and music tracks back and put the card into the phone. It works like a charm now. I ended up formatting the card just because I tried to back it up. Phew, what a day!