PCLinuxOS vs. Ubuntu: redux
koppie — Thu, 01/10/2008 - 02:48
PCLOS has improved in my eyes but my opinionated opinions are still here.
Since my last review I solved the two big hardware problems with PCLOS: the sound and the webcam. I found a post in the PCLOS forum saying "I just tried pressing buttons in KMix and the sound started working. Not really sure what I did." Well I did the same thing; started pressing buttons and the sound started working. Not really sure what I did.
The other problem was the webcam: in both Kubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and PCLOS, the webcam gave me a green screen. I could faintly see my own outline; it was like Hulk-cam. Anyway this morning I thought I'd take a crack at fixing the webcam, so I fired it up . . . and it just worked. Linux fixed itself, I don't really know how. That seems to happen a lot (unlike Windows which breaks itself and I don't really know how).
I got a lot of responses to my last entry--thanks to everyone who posted. The comments were what you'd expect: complaints about PCLOS' name (it's so unoriginal) and "have you tried asking for help on the forum?"
First of all, I'm a big believer in community-based support. There are many forums (fora? forae?) that I check on a regular basis. But when I looked for help on the sound and webcam, I didn't see any clear answers. I couldn't find updated instructions on installing the video card driver, either. I muddled through and everything works fine now, but that's precisely my complaint. I'm dreaming of a distro that Just Works. If you combined Kubuntu's strengths with PCLOS' strengths, you'd pretty much have the perfect OS. Windows works right out of the box, and Linux needs to too if we really want to compete. (OK, I know that's not really true; Windows makes you install a bunch of third party drivers in order for your hardware to run correctly, whereas Linux handles it internally and usually transparently. But still, the average user isn't ready to futz with a bunch of settings just in order to get the sound working.)
In addition, I'm studying for the bar. I don't have a lot of time for troubleshooting any more. If that's what Linux requires in order to run properly, then it's a hobby OS, not a "real" OS, and a lot of people won't have time or patience for it. I know that's a little harsh--and not entirely fair--but I think you see my point.
About the name, PC Linux OS . . . yeah it sucks.Â It's embarrassingly generic.Â "It's an operating system.Â It's Linux.Â It runs on a PC."Â Thanks guys.Â And their slogan, "radically simple" - really?Â Then why are you running KDE instead of Gnome?Â On the other hand, it does seem more like something Windows users would be into.Â Bland and generic.Â Compare that to Ubuntu, which is beautiful and has meaning (Kubuntu too--I think it means brotherhood or something).Â On the Ubuntu live cd there's a video of Nelson Mandella talking about what Ubuntu means.Â For a moment, watching that video, I truly believed I was saving the world with my OS.Â PCLOS has none of that.
But, it's the better distro.Â Who cares about the damn name?
Bottom line: I'm glad my sound and webcam are working, I'm definitely going to hold on to PCLOS and I definitely like it more than (K)Ubuntu (which is saying a lot). But I'm still looking for the One Distro to Rule Them All.