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Run With The Big Dogs On Chubby Puppy Linux - page 3

It's No Dog

  • October 20, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

On the old Thinkpad, Chubby Puppy detected the plug-in SMC 2632W 802.11b card without any trouble. However, it didn't configure an IP address from my network automatically. I had to go into Start, then Setup and use the Ethernet/network Wizard to tell Puppy to retrieve an IP. After that, Mozilla (and other network dependent programs) started normally.

Networking on the Pavilion notebook proved to be an exercise in frustration. The 10/100 wired Ethernet port connected fine to my router and the interface worked out of the box, er, doghouse. Connecting through a CAT 5 had me surfing in no time. However, I was unable to see or configure either Prism-based SMC 2632 card or a USB-connected DWL-122 adapter (on the Pavilion). Seeing as I had to use a Windows driver with ndiswrapper under SUSE 9.2, it's no real surprise that the on-board Broadcom BCM4306 chip wasn't detected, either.

One of the first things I did after boot up was to remove the CD from the CD tray. How about that? That's sure hard to do with other liveCD versions of Linux. Chubby Linux never missed it.

Next, I started Mozilla and applied the speed-up techniques for pipelining and so on. The page loading was noticeably better than what came standard. The bundled version of Mozilla was 1.8b2. Settings were retained, so the downloads were fast, even after a reboot.

I tried loading OpenOffice.org Writer while Mozilla was still running. As expected, it took about 30 seconds to get it going. Still not too bad, considering the horsepower of the old Thinkpad. Without Mozilla, Writer loaded in about half the time. The Writer version was 1.1.4.

You'll be glad to know that LinNeighborhood is bundled into Chubby, so hooking up to a Samba server or Windows machine is painless.

I mention that because if you are going to use a machine like this for work, you'll probably be going to a central server for documents. And, that's exactly what I did when I checked out OpenOffice.org Impress, using LinNeighborhood. My test presentation used a few slides and graphic moving along a path. It sat on one of my Samba servers. I mounted the remote share and downloaded the file to my /root directory. I then opened the file in Impress and clicked through the animation. I executed flawlessly. Using one of these setups for presentations might be just the ticket for presenters who worry about walking laptops.

The point of this is that Chubby Puppy Linux is small and fast, on old hardware. For wireless, low cost, possibly retired desktops and laptops, it is a good match.

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