March 24, 2019

Sneak Preview: Corel Linux OS Second Edition - page 4

First Looks

  • August 7, 2000
  • By Michael Hall

Our first task was to replicate the network connectivity we had under Windows, which was an unfortunate place to start. The system incorrectly identified our Linksys NIC and attempted to load the module for it proactively. Unfortunately, this tied the card up in such a way that the graphical network card tool couldn't load the correct module.

Worse yet, we eventually discovered that no matter how many times we changed the setting, the system persisted in ignoring our changes and loading the wrong module. It required a visit to /etc/modules to correct the problem. We also discovered that the module for our NIC as shipped was broken. Mercifully we had the source for the module on hand on another machine.

Once the NIC was working, the rest of the network setup was straightforward. As with our Windows installation, we set the machine up to share a DSL connection with our primary machine via IP masquerading. Once we entered the names of our DNS hosts and identified the appropriate gateway machine, we were set. It was also a simple matter to point the configuration tools at our Samba server.

Though we didn't look into it further, Corel has added support for "SoftModems" in this release. We also noted that it included the Roaring Penguin PPP Over Ethernet (PPPoE) client, which is essential to getting DSL to work in some areas. In addition, a new connection wizard makes getting the machine to talk to the Internet over dialup accounts easier.

Corel Smart Move
One remarkably useful app for transitioning Windows included in this release of their OS is "Smart Move," which looks for existing Windows installations on the machine, looks a little further for individual users, and offers to transfer application settings to analogous programs under Linux. It understands how to deal with Internet Explorer and Netscape cookies and bookmarks, Outlook, MIRC, and ICQ settings, and a variety of desktop preferences, including wallpaper, color scheme, and even mouse "handedness." We tried it out with a few settings, but since our Windows installation was fairly new, we didn't have much to check against.

Interestingly enough, Smart Move also appears to have been built around the WINE libraries, though the need for this wasn't immediately apparent.

USB Support
Another new feature found in this edition is USB support; though USB isn't an "official" part of the 2.2 kernel, there is a backport patch available that Corel evidently decided to roll into their distribution. The control panel offers a list of USB devices connected to the machine and their status.

Included Applications and Tools
There are quite a few packages included with the distribution to get the new Linux desktop user going once the installation is hammered out. Corel has included two of its own productivity apps: WordPerfect 8 (the Motif-based version they released for free some time ago), and its new Wine-based Photo-Paint, which is a featureful graphics program similar to PhotoShop or the GIMP.

In addition, it included Adobe's Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, IBM's Java Virtual Machine, a complete set of OSS sound drivers, a limited edition (read: incomplete) copy of Myth II: Soulblighter, and some more demos from Loki. It's also included the Citrix and GraphOn think client software. Finally, it also provided the BRU backup package.

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