My Brand New Helena

Last week I replace my Felicia (Linux Mint 6) with Helena (Linux Mint 8). The installation was similar with any previous Linux Mint, but the most obvious different was there was an introduction slide show when installing Helena.

With a little bit of modification my desktop looks like this.

Helena Desktop

My Desktop of Helena

You can find in the Internet for full screen shots of Helena.

After I used Helena for almost 1 week, I can confirm several best things from Helena compare to her sibling, Felicia.

  • Very fast boot time, this is very obvious, because Felicia needed almost 1 minute just to show login screen, and Helena only needs less than 30 seconds.
  • The time needed from login to ready desktop also very short.
  • Nice desktop theme. Even though I believe I can set the theme by myself, but as a default theme, it saves a lot of my time.
  • Firefox v.3.5 is much stable compare to the version 3.0.
  • Compiz is more smooth and stable.
  • This might be subjective, but I feel the program launching is faster and more stable.
  • One last thing the font seems nicer compare to Felicia’s.

But, I still have one big problem with Helena, the transfer rate from and to USB harddisk is very slow, or maybe, slower than Felicia. The transfer rate is only 1.5 – 4 MB/sec, which is very annoying.

Without transfer rate problem, I think Helena is a very perfect linux distro, especially for new comers.

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Linux Mint Felicia

Up to today I’ve used Linux Mint 6 aka Felicia for about 9 months. Before I used Felicia I’ve used its sister, Daryna. I’ve noted some differences between them. Herewith I conclude my experience with Felicia on my Compaq Presario V3000 notebook.

Best things about Felicia:

  • The Compiz works nicely in my notebook. I can say that it’s superb because I don’t experience any problem. On Daryna, it gave me a lot of problem, so that time I didn’t use compiz.
  • The menu system is quite nice arranged.
  • Because of it based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu based on Debian, I can have many option of applications that I want to install.

Bad things about Felicia:

  • Firefox is hang quite a few times, sometimes once a week. It’s really annoying, but I think the problem is with the Firefox and not Felicia.
  • Felicia also hang, although not so often. When it hang, the Caps Lock light was blinking. I can’t tell in what condition the Felicia hang, but if it hang, I have no choice, I used hard shutdown to turn it off.
  • There are multimedia buttons on my keyboard, but it seems the Felicia doesn’t like them, unlike Daryna last time, which worked perfectly.
  • Transfer rate from my notebook to USB Harddrive SATA is very low. On average the transfer rate is only 4MB/sec. In addition, I think it also affected my USB DVD Writer, which made me spent more than 1 hour to burn 1 DVD.

Overall, Felicia is quite a good operating system. For most of the time it is quite stable and usable. I like Felicia, even though I feel Daryna still better. Hopefully the next Linux Mint can give me a better experience than Felicia.

Anyway, I want to say thank you to all open source developers, especially Linux Mint team.

Play Romance of The Three Kingdoms XI in Linux

A few weeks ago I got a copy of “Romance of The Three Kingdoms XI” PC game. I tried install it on my Linux Mint Felicia machine, of course with Wine installed first. The installation process was fine. Nothing is unusual. But, when I tried to play the game, the 3D graphic was badly rendered. I barely saw any object in the game. Everything messed up. Although, the gameplay was working fine, because I was still able to move the army in the game and built city’s facilities.

Then, I searched in Google. I found out that the newer Wine version is able to solve this problem (check this link). I followed the instruction in the website to install the newer Wine version directly from Wine repository and not from Ubuntu repository. I ran these in the Terminal:

wget -q http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/387EE263.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –
sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/sources.list.d/intrepid.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

I tried to run the game again, and this time the game display was better, actually it was perfect. 😀 The only problem is there is no sound in the game, but that’s secondary, I still can play without the sound. Upto today, I already played for more than 2 weeks, and I’ve never encountered any problem. And, you know what, it is a great game, I like this game so much… Thanks, Koei.

Screenshot-ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XI