Suggestions/Preparations for next install fest

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Visakh

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Apr 13, 2008, 9:34:24 AM4/13/08
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First of all, let me congratulate everyone for making the first
install fest a runaway success. This was a vindication of our belief
in free software and the enormous effort put into promoting it. Kudos
to GLUG, Space, Zyxware, FSF India and the several individuals behind
it. But, this also means that there will be more such activities in
the future and may be on even grander scales. For that we will have to
prepare well in advance. Please make your suggestions for that in
this thread.

There were several inefficiencies and hiccups during the install
fest. That is forgivable and forgettable since we were completely
inexperienced. What helped us overcome these problems were the
patience of the public and the heroic persistence of the volunteers. I
remember that the last 2 installations (IT@school, Fedora) took
several attempts and several hours to finish- due to power issues. But
avoiding such problems in the future can help us have smoother and
grander sessions.

Everyone, please make sure that your suggestions are represented
here.

Regards: Gokul Das

ashik salahudeen

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Apr 13, 2008, 9:43:41 AM4/13/08
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We can meet somewhere and decide on how an install fest has to be
conducted next time.

My suggestions

1) Have distro specific people around.

We had people asking for specific distros . So we need people who use
popular flavors. This time we had SYam and Kurian for Fedora and the
reest of us for Ubuntu.

2) Set up a common file server to serve as repository

In case of apt , tools like apt cacher are a boon. Fedora people , do
come up with ideas for setting up local repos.

3) CD/DVD distribution and pamphlets : We need a desk for install
media distribution and articles.

4) Reception committee : We need someone who will greet the people ,
find out their needs and direct them to the distro specific groups.
They would also need to do load balancing , i.e) routing people
efficiently.

5) Troubleshooting team : There should be a team with a laptop with
internet connection so that they can troubleshoot if and when installs
run into difficulties.

shibu c

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Apr 13, 2008, 9:48:04 AM4/13/08
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friends,
The opensolaris distrubution was worth checking and it is likely to  become popular with  better hardware compatibility
in future and of course being promoted by Sun

As Sasi Sir has pointed out we should  have used the charisma of the celebrity guest
(wish if the snap of had appeared in any local news paper...) trying opensource A snap of the same would definitely generate some curiosity among the  public
(Should we use the term free ...is there a notion among public that anything  which is free is not worth ?)

Majority of the computers being sold out are assembled ones.Definitely the assemblers/system integrators will have a major role in spreading free software
as the buyers would definitely try out Linux on a dual boot system
Linux can be a hit among youngsters/kids as its having a rich set of educational tools applications /games/ and features any other proprietary OS can claim

Once again congrats to all volunuteers of LUG

thank you
Shibu Chandy

Visakh

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Apr 13, 2008, 10:32:45 AM4/13/08
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Here are some improvements that we could make:

1) Power supply: This was probably what gave us the biggest headache.
Supply failed several times and connections were severed accidentally
(stopping IT@school installation once). In several cases, extensions
were too short requiring us to cascade several of them. We didnt have
enough power strips or extension cords- and cascading them makes it
too hard to manage. In future, it would be better if we can create our
own power distribution system using larger cables (15A recommended).
This can avoid cluttering and help us cover larger distances from the
supply points. One another problem was cascading of UPS (I have never
seen this done before- is that alright? Gurus please enlighten!). And
its better if we use separate UPS for each system. Even with large
UPS, we couldnt support every system. And, this could help us overcome
power failures in a better fashion.

2) Network & Servers: Network setup was not bad this time, but
failures plagued the LAN. This needs to be improved (i dont know what
to suggest- i leave the suggestions to the gurus). I would be superb
if all the systems are connected by a single LAN (instead of two), if
our resources permit. This would require longer cables and different
networking schemes. Another requirement is that of repository and game
servers. Anoop chettan was working very hard on a mirror repository,
but i couldnt find it in action (what happened?). We should keep a
mirror repository ready to deploy on demand. As for game server, the
present system worked really well.

3) Dedicated distribution & records counter: The volunteer at a
separate counter can take care of distribution of free/paid CDs/DVDs.
The counter should have a system with all necessary distro images to
write CD/DVD on demand. The same counter can be used for keeping
records of sales and home service requests. I feel that home
installation requests can be made paid ones in the future, so that
they can discouraged and fest-site installations encouraged.

4) Demonstration sites: I couldnt find usage demo for Linux being
conducted. That was probably because of the unexpected response
rendering the volunteers too busy to do that. Many customers had
genuine doubts. So we should keep upto 3 counters (if resource and
space permits) and as many volunteers dedicated for demo and help. One
should be for Redhat/RPM based systems, one for debian based systems
and one exclusively for other free software. And as usual, the
eyecandy/multimedia demo using projectors worked like a charm- there
will be no argument that it is the winning formula.

5) Promotion of other free software: Sadly in the commotion, everyone
forgot to promote other free software despite the fact that we
represent all free software, not just Linux kernel. Our respected
guide Kerala farmer suggests that we include OOo, Gimp etc at the next
event. We should seriously think about and plan this well.

6) Presentation: This is just an idea- not a solid suggestion. I was
surprised to find that people enjoyed hearing about advantages of free
software. So, someone could stay there and explain these points with
live demo. Say- show how stable free software is, free software
alternatives available, security advantages, legality etc. This person
can stay outside the entrance so that he can act like a crowd puller.

7) Media publicity: One of the major reasons behind this success was
the exemplary media coverage given. That included the invitational
news articles, live radio coverage, appearance of super star and the
follow up reports. Please make sure that this good work is continued
for our future events as well.

Regards: Gokul Das

V. Sasi Kumar

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Apr 13, 2008, 10:42:29 AM4/13/08
to ilug...@googlegroups.com, sasi...@gmail.com, Harish CM
On Sun, 2008-04-13 at 19:18 +0530, shibu c wrote:
> friends,
> The opensolaris distrubution was worth checking and it is likely to
> become popular with better hardware compatibility
> in future and of course being promoted by Sun

I think, from memory, that OpenSolaris was not running very well. My
friend Harish has been trying out a number of distros, and he should be
able to comment on many of them. Dear Harish, will you reply? Currently,
Parsix appears to be a very good distro. FreeBSD is also becoming mature
for the desktop. So we have three good options for the kernel. If Hurd
also becomes useful soon, then we will have four options for the kernel,
but all distros will look more or less similar for a user since the core
is actually GNU!

> As Sasi Sir has pointed out we should have used the charisma of the
> celebrity guest

Perhaps, we could start with our website. Let us put up his photograph,
if you have one and a write-up. I can link to it from my blog and then
let us how we can push it into the media. And you could do away with the
Sir.

> (wish if the snap of had appeared in any local news paper...) trying
> opensource A snap of the same would definitely generate some curiosity
> among the public
> (Should we use the term free ...is there a notion among public that
> anything which is free is not worth ?)

We could use the term swatantra software instead. I think we should
slowly move towards it. We use it in Malayalam, and it could easily be
used in English too. And in other Indian languages.

> Majority of the computers being sold out are assembled ones.Definitely
> the assemblers/system integrators will have a major role in spreading
> free software
> as the buyers would definitely try out Linux on a dual boot system
> Linux can be a hit among youngsters/kids as its having a rich set of
> educational tools applications /games/ and features any other
> proprietary OS can claim

Possibly, more, actually. Kerala school education is moving towards an
IT enabled paradigm, and we may get the opportunity to develop
educational software in certain subjects like Biology, History, etc.

> Once again congrats to all volunuteers of LUG

Certainly. The event has certainly excited a lot of people, and let us
cash in on it. Let us plan more events, not necessarily an install fest
always. We can celebrate the "foundation day" (by whatever name) of FSF
India, the Software Freedom Day and, maybe, even the Open Document Day.
Congratulations everyone!

Best
--
V. Sasi Kumar
Free Software Foundation of India
http://swatantryam.blogspot.com

V. Sasi Kumar

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Apr 13, 2008, 11:12:23 AM4/13/08
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On Sun, 2008-04-13 at 07:32 -0700, Visakh wrote:
>
> 3) Dedicated distribution & records counter: The volunteer at a
> separate counter can take care of distribution of free/paid CDs/DVDs.
> The counter should have a system with all necessary distro images to
> write CD/DVD on demand. The same counter can be used for keeping
> records of sales and home service requests. I feel that home
> installation requests can be made paid ones in the future, so that
> they can discouraged and fest-site installations encouraged.

Yes, a counter for sales of stuff and for registration is essential. I
feel two people may have to be there, if there are sufficient
volunteers, to handle both matters, thought both of them may not have
any work part of the time. And there is certainly no harm in asking for
payment for house calls. In fact, we should not make it appear as if
free software is all about it being free of cost.

> 5) Promotion of other free software: Sadly in the commotion, everyone
> forgot to promote other free software despite the fact that we
> represent all free software, not just Linux kernel. Our respected
> guide Kerala farmer suggests that we include OOo, Gimp etc at the next
> event. We should seriously think about and plan this well.

I am sure, the next time it will be more organised. This time's must
have been a good learning experience. What about lectures or classes on
specific popular applications? Or on groups of applications, such as
Office tools, image editors, scientific computing, etc.? Some people I
know have been asking for such classes. And even on a more in-depth
training for an ordinary user.

> 6) Presentation: This is just an idea- not a solid suggestion. I was
> surprised to find that people enjoyed hearing about advantages of free
> software. So, someone could stay there and explain these points with
> live demo. Say- show how stable free software is, free software
> alternatives available, security advantages, legality etc. This person
> can stay outside the entrance so that he can act like a crowd puller.

I guess, a poster giving these details can be designed such that it is
readable even from a few feet, with some good attractive graphics. We
could make posters on applications like Gimp, Blender, Audacity, etc.
that may attract some professionals working in multimedia who believe
that only certain proprietary applications can be used for their work. A
professional who tried out Gimp told me that it is as good as Photoshop
and is actually faster.

> 7) Media publicity: One of the major reasons behind this success was
> the exemplary media coverage given. That included the invitational
> news articles, live radio coverage, appearance of super star and the
> follow up reports. Please make sure that this good work is continued
> for our future events as well.

It would be good if we make a write-up of the day's events, a write-up
that is "journalist-friendly", and get it to press offices in the
evening along with a couple of photographs. The press tends to publish
it when we have done most of the work for them :-) It may be good if we
can also say about when the next such function would be.

Visakh

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Apr 13, 2008, 11:16:48 AM4/13/08
to ilug-tvm
I missed 2 points.

1) Security: This time we are really lucky that none of our belongings
or equipments were stolen, despite them being easy to grasp. Thanks to
the honest public. But next time, we should concentrate a little bit
more on this. We should make the systems harder to detach and remove-
especially the network and power elements. They should be kept far
from the public's reach as much as possible. We should have an area
inaccessible to public where we can keep our belongings (I know- it
wasnt possible at Kanakakkunnu- But i was really nervous leaving my
laptop on a sofa while serving public)

2) Internet connection: Internet connectivity is an added advantage.
Though it was not possible this time, next time it wont be that hard-
considering how much media coverage we got this time. We could ask
some ISP to sponsor us by giving connectivity at the venue.

One possibility: Considering how people came from far reaches of the
state (even calicut), why not conduct such fests even outside the
city? May be we could collaborate with LUGs there, if any? Or may be,
i am just dreaming and thinking too grand. Nobody needs license to
dream! :D

Regards: Gokul Das

Visakh

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Apr 13, 2008, 1:26:05 PM4/13/08
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On Apr 13, 7:42 pm, "V. Sasi Kumar" <sasi....@gmail.com> wrote:

> And you could do away with the Sir.

I am sorry that you find this type of addressing too formal. But it is
our way of showing respect- we have very few other alternatives to do
so. I was there at the tech talk yesterday and found your speech
extremely captivating. Most of the concepts you explained were
familiar to me forehand (being an active promoter of free software),
but hearing that from a dedicated, extremely proficient and
enthusiastic professional was a totally different experience. I
enjoyed every bit of it even with the power interruptions. So please
forgive us if we do show formal respect :D.

This group has suddenly achieved a great level of energy with
yesterday's success and support of great personalities like your own.
All this time many of us worked in isolation trying to promote free s/
w among friends, but with limited success and a lot of cynical
replies. This event has suddenly given us a strong voice. Everyone is
excited and it does show in everyone's treatment of others.

Regards: Gokul Das

Ram 007

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Apr 13, 2008, 1:29:59 PM4/13/08
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Well The next time ...try to get ur own venue for the "ur own
fest".....giving the rent....ok ....not parasitic

ashik salahudeen

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Apr 13, 2008, 1:33:07 PM4/13/08
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Sriram , this is not a place for fighting . This is not a place for
getting emotional also. Please refrain. this is going to be the last
warning . Ok ? be cool about things.

Joju Joshua

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Apr 13, 2008, 3:25:26 PM4/13/08
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First of all, aren't we forgeting something?

We all need to thank Anoop Jacob Thomas and Anand, for their total to
dedication and support in organizing this event, with dishaa. I know
how much had they worked to make this event a success. They are part
of SCT, but they took a lot of pain and effort to promote this
installation fest. We all should especially appreciate them for all
their efforts. I believe they had visited almost all media offices and
informed them about the fest. And, to my knowledge, they had taken the
pain to collect the required hardware and other stuffs from different
parts of the city. I would especially thank Anand for his effort in
getting the t-shirts in time. there was some probs with the courier
due to which the shipment arrived on day late. Anand had gone to the
courier office early morning at around 4pm to get our shipment and
distribute them to all of us.
i just thought that these two names should be specially mentioned..
big applause to them..
then thanks tp all others who had earnestly worked for the success of
the entire event, namely, ashik, syam, kurien, gokul, rajiv, manuel,
prasad, anoop, .. if any name is missing, please forgive my bad
memory. Special thanks to Anoop @ Zyxware, for his helping hands
towards everything related to this installation fest and promoting
GLUG

Joju Joshua
Zyxware Technologies

Rajiv Nair

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Apr 13, 2008, 3:29:47 PM4/13/08
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Link to the deshabhimani article

http://www.deshabhimani.com/e_paper/2tvm130408.pdf


--
Rajiv R Nair

"Love, Peace, GNU/Linux....."

V. Sasi Kumar

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Apr 13, 2008, 10:31:09 PM4/13/08
to ilug...@googlegroups.com, sasi...@gmail.com

On Sun, 2008-04-13 at 10:26 -0700, Visakh wrote:
>
> I am sorry that you find this type of addressing too formal. But it is
> our way of showing respect- we have very few other alternatives to do
> so. I was there at the tech talk yesterday and found your speech
> extremely captivating. Most of the concepts you explained were
> familiar to me forehand (being an active promoter of free software),
> but hearing that from a dedicated, extremely proficient and
> enthusiastic professional was a totally different experience. I
> enjoyed every bit of it even with the power interruptions. So please
> forgive us if we do show formal respect :D.

I do understand, and thanks for all the nice words. But I still feel
that we can do away with the formality. It is our cultural background
that makes us want to say "sir". But I feel it is not really needed.
Love and respect are in our hearts and should reflect in our behaviour.

Not that I would strongly object, like RMS does. He comes from a
different cultural background where even teachers are addressed by their
name. I can understand that. I just feel that it just brings in a kind
of distance.

> This group has suddenly achieved a great level of energy with
> yesterday's success and support of great personalities like your own.

I don't consider myself one.

> All this time many of us worked in isolation trying to promote free s/
> w among friends, but with limited success and a lot of cynical
> replies. This event has suddenly given us a strong voice. Everyone is
> excited and it does show in everyone's treatment of others.

It is great to see all the enthusiasm. Let us keep it up. Plan new
activities. I am sure everyone enjoyed it. I had to travel and thus
missed much of the excitement. My friend's scooter key was missing and
that added to the problem. Hope to be involved next time.

Visakh

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Apr 13, 2008, 11:49:51 PM4/13/08
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On Apr 14, 12:25 am, "Joju Joshua" <jojujos...@gmail.com> wrote:
> First of all, aren't we forgeting something?

Jojuetta, noone has forgotten anything yet- many are still tired from
the hard work of Saturday ( :-) Wait till I get to class and tell my
classmates!). Being team members, we have seen first hand, the
enormity of work gone into organizing and executing this. Ofcourse,
the team including you must be congratulated, especially Anoop@SCT,
Anand and Anoop@Zyxware for their tedious work. Kudos everyone!

But this thread doesnt aim to undermine or cover up the success. This
success will ensure that there will be more such activities. You may
already know that there are 2 such activities on the anvil- one at
Christ Nagar and one at Technopark. So why not plan for the next when
the excitement is still on? Drink the coffee while its hot! :)

Regards: Gokul Das

Joju Joshua

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Apr 14, 2008, 12:05:17 AM4/14/08
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> Drink the coffee while its hot! :)
>
> Regards: Gokul Das

Sure Gokul. We will definitely plan out things. Now that we have
experienced how things are, and also from both sides, i believe we
will be able to organize one in a far better way next time. I have
seen the enthu and joy of almost all of the guys involved in this.
They all deserve special appreciation.

And these couple of days were amazing, isn't it? how lovely it is, to
see people with same passion and vision and desire come together and
achieve great things. i could really experience that. I will never
forget these days. especially the preperation night at zyxware, the
midnight at the palace thinking and wondering what to do with all the
tables.. lol.

anyways, i hope to see ya all today afternoon.

--
Joju Joshua

Zyxware Technologies
Trivandrum
www.zyxware.com
Ph: +91-471-243-7711
Mob: +91-989-587-7134

>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------<
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" M K Gandhi
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------<

Prasad SR

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Apr 14, 2008, 12:10:21 AM4/14/08
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Sad we wasted a lot of biscuts and snacks the previous night

--
Regards,

Prasad.S.R

" Be kinder than necessary. 'Cause everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.......
If you tremble indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.........Che "

Anoop Jacob Thomas

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Apr 14, 2008, 12:44:42 PM4/14/08
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James of FSF-India had called me to tell me that Kerala IT mission is interested in organizing a similar event(2or3 days). What do you think?
Jiju from Saturn Technopark told us that he can arrange a similar install fest at Technopark, and another one in Christ Nagar, and in my opinion we have to do all the three.
Congrats each and every LUG member, really proud. Great effort it was. Lets make this happen each day and lets enjoy.
--
Anoop Jacob Thomas

Prasad SR

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Apr 14, 2008, 11:01:55 PM4/14/08
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If the Fest is open for public in any one of the area. What is opinion about conducting a "Road show" on the previous day of the event preferably from 4pm to 6pm from Zyxware to Eastfort in bikes and cars with banners of GNU/Linux, FSF, etc.???

Anoop Jacob Thomas

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Apr 14, 2008, 11:31:40 PM4/14/08
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That is a nice idea, we should have such demonstrations also(in malayalam demo). I support it
, we have that many volunteers and we have that many cars/bikes.
--
Anoop Jacob Thomas

കേരളഫാര്മര്/Keralafarmer

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Apr 15, 2008, 1:14:05 AM4/15/08
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I would like to support it.
--
Thank you
എസ്.ചന്ദ്രശേഖരന്‍ നായര്‍,
ശ്രീരാഘവ്, പെരുകാവ്, പേയാട്-പി.ഒ,
തിരുവനന്തപുരം. 695 573
Ph. 0471 2283033
Mob. 91 9447183033 OR 91 9495983033
Blog: http://keralafarmer.wordpress.com

Joju Joshua

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Apr 15, 2008, 1:37:29 AM4/15/08
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> If the Fest is open for public in any one of the area. What is opinion about
> conducting a "Road show" on the previous day of the event preferably from
> 4pm to 6pm from Zyxware to Eastfort in bikes and cars with banners of
> GNU/Linux, FSF, etc.???

Road show is a good idea for publicity, but it should not end up as a
waste of time and money. What about a walk instead of car and bike? As
a matter of fact, many of us lack exercise too, lol. ;-) We can call
it a Walk 4 Freedom (W4F), or Freedom Calls, or something like that?
If a walk, we may get chance to interact with the public, right? We
can do it like a silent walk - no dialogues, no shouting, just banners
and t-shirts and boards etc.

Caution Rajiv!! Do not participate in the walk as it might result in
you disappearing!! hehe. Just joking.

bikes and cars - definitely a good idea, but the latter will cause no
pollution. what say? This is just a suggestion.

If cars and bikes, why only till zyxware? Why not from one side of the
city to the other side. I believe 2 hours would suffice. :-()

കേരളഫാര്മര്/Keralafarmer

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Apr 15, 2008, 1:47:12 AM4/15/08
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Surely Cars will interfere traffic & the Public especially it is the time for the employees to go back to residences. Bike  or by walk is better one.

Harish CM

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Apr 15, 2008, 5:32:22 AM4/15/08
to V. Sasi Kumar, ilug...@googlegroups.com
dear sasi,
Parsix seems to be the best distro based on debian; the recent Mandriva with the 2.6.24 kernel also good distro out of the box with an easy configuration of 3d desktop. Slackware based vector linux is another one. Right now i am trying to download a linux distro called Symphony which has a Mezzo desktop and based on ubuntu which can possibly run well on lower end PC's. Solaris, solaris based distros like belenix gave me lot of problems; FreeBSD based PC-BSD is also an easy install for newbies with good hardware recognition. LFY has FreeBSD distributed along with their April 2008 issue.
regards/harish
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