Musings after 8 hours of continuous use

August 5, 2007

[EDIT: If you’re interested in this post, you probably want to go back and read my initial post after using the desktop in my simulator as well.]

I happened to be in a terminal window recently so I grabbed a quick screen shot when I realized I’d been using the machine for almost 8 hours straight.

Uptime 8 hours

(By the way, PCoR stands for “PC on Rails”, I assume an early name for the project)

So what do I think after 8 hours without any material problems?

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The Zonbu & Dial-up? Er, no.

August 5, 2007

Antique PhoneReader Andrew recently asked:

“Also, how well does Zonbu work over dial-up? Not every place in U.S. has affordable access to high speed broadband. Given it reliance on network storage, it seems that large files would not be ideal. Could you run some speed test for S3 over dial-up and broadband, that might be of interest to your readers.”

I’m afraid this is going to be a short post…

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Google Maps on the Zonbu

August 5, 2007

Google Maps Ocean Drive

I had a request to check the performance of Google Maps on the Zonbu.

I’m not an expert in Google Maps, so I did a few look-ups, navigated around, turned on and off various markers and then played with some of the fancier options…

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System monitors not displaying in color

August 5, 2007

I swear, I never worked formally in a QA department.

I’m not trying to be picky.

I’m not hunting for problems, only making observations as I go about day-to-day life with my Zonbu.

I found another strange bug.

I don’t know if this a version issue (as I’m now on 5.789 and I started out on 5.783) but I have lost the color coding on the CPU/Mem/Swap monitors on my panel. CPU should be blue, Mem green and Swap yellow. As you can see below, they have all decided to be blue.

Panel monitor not displaying color

I’ve mentioned before that the stock XFCE audio mixer needs improvement as well.

In addition to being blue, like the CPU monitor (assuming the other problem is fixed) it also -looks- like a monitor. It really needs a slider and that big speaker icon could probably be shrunken and integrated with the slider like it is in windows.

Can someone else check and see if their monitors show up in color?

-Mr. Zonbu


“I don’t have installed bug buddy.”

August 5, 2007

I just had a Borat moment.

I was learning about some of the features of the screenshot tool, when the tool itself crashed on me.

Bud Buddy

The error message, which sports broken english, told me that the application had crashed and that the Gnome error reporting tool “bug-buddy” is not installed.

This strikes me as something that perhaps could/should be installed on the Zonbu?

As the Zonbu depends on the continued development and refinement of the applications in its stack, I would think sending feedback to the original developers of applications, when they crash, is probably a good idea.

-Mr. Zonbu


The Zonbu needs a welcome wizard

August 5, 2007

Magic hatAfter starting from scratch with my Zonbu today, I noticed that it lacks something fairly important – there is no “first run” wizard.

A PC replacement for non-technical users that doesn’t have a welcome wizard? Seriously?

You probably remember how XP or Vista behave the first time you install them on a new machine, they prompt you for all kinds of details, login names, time zones, desired network settings, audio volume, sound tests and so forth.

When you’re done answering questions, the system has a basic configuration and usually offers to play you a welcome video to introduce you to the layout of the desktop and some important functions.

By contrast, the Zonbu just drops you on the desktop after your first login…

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Putty should be included as an SSH/Telnet client

August 5, 2007

One of the tools I use every day is the (very) lightweight SSH client, Putty.

I understand that I can spawn a terminal and use SSH at the command prompt of my Zonbu, which I’ve done a number of times over the past few days. However, Putty is nice enough to remember my frequently used hosts, and various other settings that I need to make on a per system basis.

Putty also allows me to capture data from my SSH sessions to files and various other handy things. The binary itself is tiny and I think it has few, if any, dependencies…

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I hit a pothole…

August 5, 2007

Zonbu LogoI’ve refrained from writing much about this until now, but I’ve had kind of a rough weekend with my Zonbu.

It’s been in various stages of function since Friday, none of them complete.

I started having weird experiences with disappearing desktops, disappearing start menus and various other oddities including not being able to access my documents folder from the desktop (I could from the terminal window), Rhapsody not installing, odd console errors etc.

I worked with Zonbu support, back and forth and we tried a number of things…

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Vista boot times for comparison

August 5, 2007

Vista LogoI recently looked at the Zonbu boot times compared with my Windows XP desktop.

One of the comments from a reader was that we should also consider Vista boot time. Gregoire from Zonbu is also fond of making comparisons to Vista.

I just timed the boot-up of my brand-new HP laptop, Vista Home Premium, with its dual core 2 GHz AMD Turion processor, 2GB of RAM and I’m not sure what speed hard drive. I believe its a 5400 RPM…

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Study: you probably have 880 MP3s and 100 PDF files on your PC

August 5, 2007

Comscore StudyI noticed this article on www.DownloadSquad.com this morning, and thought it had a lot of relevance to our discussions and the online storage aspect of the Zonbu. I’ll give you a snippet and let you jump over to their site:

“Internet research firm comScore says the average U.S. computer had an average of 3GB worth of MP3 files, and over 300MB worth of WMV (Windows Media Video) files. The study looked at computer hardware and software configurations in April. Here are a few other interesting findings:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/08/03/study-you-probably-have-880mp3s-and-100pdf-files-on-your-pc/

-Mr. Zonbu