Discovering the PC all over again
A Linux distro released in 1999, it as desinged to be commercial Linux distribution to complete with the like’s of Red Hat, and Windows to an extent.
86Box Version 3.7.1
Motherboard: Azza PT-5IV, later PC Partner MB540N
Processor: Intel Pentium OverDrive MMX @ 180MHz
Video: S3 ViRGE/GX2 – More on this alter
Sound: Nothing seems to be picked up, tried both ISA PnP and PCI
instillation went OK, and it gives you the option for text or a graphical installer. Main hurdle was with the video card, the Trident video card would not launch the X window system, Swapped to an ATI video card that had the same issue. Eventually changed to the trusty S3 ViRGE, which works and loads the X Window System.
The first time you boot the OS, it goes through settings up the various packages that have been installed, and then starts up the X Window System.
I ran into the same issue that had occurred with Mandrake Linux where the X Window system had problems starting up which was down to the video card chosen, it seems S3 graphics card work the best with these early Linux distros.
Logging on is simple, just entering the username and password that was created during setup. If you chose to install either KDE or GNOME, you are presented a choice on which desktop environment to use.
This was a common environment that was bundled with multiple distros back from this period.
Like other KDE distros, custom themes can be applied and there are a few included out of the box
Most of the software here is already featured in existing Linux distros
Applications – Includes Text Editor and Advanced Editor (Kwrite 0.96)
Games – A few games are bunded, Abalone, Asteroids, KblackBox, Konquest, Mahjongg, Minesweeper, Patience, Poker, Reversi, SameGame, Shisen-Sho, Sirtet, Smiletris, Snake Race and Sokoban. Many of these have been included in other distros.
Graphics – Dvi Viewer, Fax Viewer, Fractal generator, Gimp, Icon Editor, Image Viewer, Paint (kPaint 0.4.3), PS Viewer and Snapshot
Internet – Archie client (Some sort of file sharing program?), Biff, Chat Client (Ksirc), Mail Client, Netscape and News Client
Multimedia – CD Player, Media Player, Midi Player, Midi/Karaoke Player and the Sound Mixer Panel.
Settings – Sort of like the Control Panel, this relates to the KDE user interface and can be used to set the screensaver, theme, wallpaper background and sound effects.
System – Appfinder, Arrange Icons, Desktop pager (manage multiple desktops), File manager, Font Manager, SysV Init Editor and Task / User manager. Some of these only function with root access.
Utilities – Features programs like the Address book, Archiver, Calcuator, Cut & Paste History (klipper), Hex editor, kFloppy, kLots, kNotes, Konsole, MoonPhase, Mousepedometa, Personal time Tracker, Printer Queue, Process Manager, Terminal and World Watch.
Disk Navigator : Quickly access and navigate through the hard disk and the directories on the system. Despite having two floppy drives and two CD-ROM drives, Storm Linux only shows one of each.
Unfortunately this is where I started getting problems with this distro, I was unable to browse the drives with removable storage, No CD-ROM I had mounted would show up which meant I could not install any additional software. Same occurs with the floppy drive.
Even after reinstalling the distro on a different emulated motherboard, I was still unable to mount and browse any forms of removable storage, for both IDE or SCSI drives.
Enlightment & GNOME
The interface is similar to what we saw with mandrake 7, and features GNOME bundled with Enlightment.
There are occasionally pop-ups that are generated by Enlighment that convey the shortcuts used by the desktop environment.
Multiple desktops are supported, and enlightment gives a smooth transition when switching to another desktop. You can use a mouse gesture to flick between the desktop’s, this behaves very erratic in 86box, with the traditions being too sensitive.
Shortcuts are provided on the desktop, with a 3D looking Netscape navigator icon, along with shortcuts to GNOME news, Debian Homepage and Slashdot.
Most options that relate to GNOME can be found here, options are divided into several categories. Version desktop – 1.0.51
When a setting has been changed, the text on the left turns to red to show a change has been made that has not been saved, pressing the OK button will save and apply that setting.
Options can be set:
Default Editor: Usually emacs by default, change the default text editor
Desktop: Change the background by selecting a supported image file, images can be tiled, centered or scaled. Alternatively a gradient colour can be set instead. Set a screesaver of which the OS comes with a large bundle of screensavers, you can also set the monitor standby time from here. Themes are also supposed which relate to the colour schemes used for the user interface, in GNOME only one theme comes included (Default) with the option to add more. Lastly there is an option to set the Window Manager, currently Enlightment.
Mime Types: Change the default file typles for selection file extensions
Multimedia: Change sound settings for event like when the user minimizes or restores a program, similar to the sound effects in Windows or the appearance sounds in Mac OS.
Peripherals: Configure settings for the keyboard and mouse, such as the keyboard auto-repeat, or have a clicking sound when a key is pressed. Here you can also amend the mouse sensitivity and acceleration, and if the mouse buttons are left or right handed.
StartUp Manager: Change programs that run on startup
URL Handlers: Change which browser a handler should open with
User Interface: Change the appearance of application windows, and for the status bar.
KDE programs that have been installed can also appear here within their own submenu
Applications: Includes shortcuts for popular software like Netscape, gEdit, Emacs, Address Books, GHEX, gnotepad and Gnumeric spreadsheet.
Games: Its empty, no GNOME games appear in the list
Graphics: Electric eyes and The GIMP
Multimedia: Includes EDS Volume Meter, Audio Meter and CD Player (TCD 1.0.51)
Settings: Shortcuts to the GNOME Control Center
Utilities: Includes a few utilities like the GNOME Terminal, System Monitor, Search Tool and a Stripchart Plotter.
Help System – Shows information on how to use the operating system
File Manager – Bring up the file explorer
SAT – Some sort of administration system, as this distro was intended for use on an enterprise network.
Storm Package Manager – The package manager for this distro, install and remove packages that correspond to applications
Logging out of the GNOME environment that returns you to the logins screen. From there you can start the shutdown process.
Also a bonus screenshot, here the motherboards BIOS antivirus detects Linux as a virus, possibly since its modifying the boot sector.