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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Introducing PULP - 125 MB Puplet for older hardware
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2010, 04:38    Post subject:  

OK, I made some new improvements, so that a new version is justified. Having used Puppy as a solid base and being much more confident in remastering stuff I think a version bump to version 0.1 is warrantable.
The next release will even have a codename LOL:
"fruitshake"- Wink .

The issues to be addressed in "fruitshake":

PULP will get an email programm.
Something like slypheed GTK1 should be sufficient. Also I don't have my email on my PULP computers I understand that people need email clients.

Office:
As one user found out Siag office has issues with fonts, also, handling of modern document formats is pretty bad. It will be replaced by an old version of Abiword. I probably will keep the Siag spreadsheet program, since I haven't found a good substitute in GTK 1.2 (old gnumeric anyone?).

Picture viewer:
I don't like the one used in PULP anymore, it doesn't have full screen. Will try out danpei and others, as always input from users is very welcome, remember that I focus on xlib or GTK 1.2 apps.

Emelfm will get a lot more filetypes, so usage is even easier.

Next thing I have in mind might sound a bit strange for PULP 0.1, but I decided to inject some BLING Shocked .
Also PULP was pretty fast, you can't escape the fact that it also was ugly as hell.

For the next release I'll try to get it to look a bit like OSX (kind of...)


OK, since you stopped laughing now, I'll explain myself: Almost all is done with some new icons for the taskbar and a more or less clever jwm configuration. Also, I'll use a newer version of jwm. The rounded window corners are just beautiful.
All this makes the RAM usage of JWM go up about 500 KB which is very moderate IMHO. What do you think? Of course, if you change back the configfiles all will be back to the older setup and only a tiny bit more RAM usage, due to the newer version of JWM.

I even found different GTK 1.2 engines and made/ downloaded some themes that don't suck. Some even look better than GTK2, and I kid you not.
If you want really polished applications- you can have them now. Unfortunately, as everything, this comes at a hefty price- loss of speed. Some GTK engines are worse than others, but generally the more beautiful the themes are, the slower they get. My Pentium2 handles some of the prettier ones quite well though.
If your machine can't handle it, then just go with the old themes and all is back to normal.

What do you think about the canges planned, anny issues not adressed? Your input is appreciated.

Cheers, Christian
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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan 2010, 10:36    Post subject:  

Christian,

This is really good news. I, for one, appreciate your dedication to this project.

It sounds like you're talking about using the old Abiword that ttuuxxx reworked. That should run very well. Another option might be Ted, which I've used before, but you'll still be stuck with rtf only and unable to open doc files.

Siag is the only spreadsheet I've been able to find that would fit your parameters, unless someone (ttuuxxx maybe?) has reworked gnumeric in the same way he reworked abiword.

Having a little bling is not a bad thing, but cpu/memory overhead is a critical issue (at least for the projects I'm looking at PULP for). Then again, as long as its easy to disable those things, its all good. My only issue is the solid black desktop. How would I change that to something like a dark blue or green or something?

Awesome job, again. Thanks!
Sully

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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2010, 08:25    Post subject:  

Quote:
It sounds like you're talking about using the old Abiword that ttuuxxx reworked. That should run very well. Another option might be Ted, which I've used before, but you'll still be stuck with rtf only and unable to open doc files.

I know Ted, and as you already mentioned it is rtf only.
And yes, I'll use tuxxes abiword. which is basically an early version that still happens to use GTK 1.2.
Quote:

Siag is the only spreadsheet I've been able to find that would fit your parameters, unless someone (ttuuxxx maybe?) has reworked gnumeric in the same way he reworked abiword.

I just have to find an early GTK 1.2 gnumeric version. So far my search even for the source cod, has been rather fruitless. We'll see...

Quote:
Having a little bling is not a bad thing, but cpu/memory overhead is a critical issue (at least for the projects I'm looking at PULP for). Then again, as long as its easy to disable those things, its all good. My only issue is the solid black desktop. How would I change that to something like a dark blue or green or something?


Disabling of the GTK themes works graphically via theme selector.
the other stuff involves renaming and editing config files. My programming abillities are near nil, so it has to be this way- sorry. I'll write some tutorials on how to change everything.

I wrote sometihing here on changing the background color:


http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=353153#353153


Thanks for your input,
Christian
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recycler


Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 122
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb 2010, 06:25    Post subject: pulp
Subject description: excellent
 

Hi, good to see that Pulp development is continuing. I managed to download Pulp from a rapidshare link (wordpress with pwget kept restarting after 6mb of the download) and am impressed by the concept and speed at which it runs. I coordinate a re-use project for older computers and personally have brought a couple of older laptops at auction recently to run puppy on. I spent a frustating time with a 200mhz Toshiba with 32mb ram - mainly graphics problems. Will have to try Pulp on it at some point. Will definitely be doing an install to my 300mhz toshiba portege (3110CT) which runs puppy 4.3.1 ok but is a bit slow. (BTW version 4.0 of puppy onwards included a toshiba laptop fix which can be manually added on to older puppy verisons.)

Looking forward to an updated version of pulp. My main concern was the lack of any backdrop ... win 98 on the 32mb machine runs well playing mp3s and can handle changing the backdrops with faststone viewer ... so it must be possible for linux to do something similar.

I agree with you that with 256 mb or more the latest official puppy release is your best bet. I have tried a lot of puppy versions (especially appreciating those from Ttuuxxx) but I have always come back to installing VLC, Mplayer and now Google Chrome on top of the latest puppy release.

Writing this on a very responsive Satellite Pro 4300 with 256 mb ram and 600 mhz processor - Puppy 4.3.1. Adding wine makes no noticible difference to the speed and I like Thunderbird as my email client.

Thanks for your work on Puppy!
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1511

PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb 2010, 06:57    Post subject:  

I agree Siag is disappointing, I've used it (or tried to) in Vector Light but eventually gave up and installed Open Office.

Just a thought here; Deli Linux is another Linux distro aimed at old computers, and they managed to use both Abiword and Firefox in their previous release (7.1 Big). Maybe a look at their package list would be helpful here?

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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb 2010, 10:36    Post subject:  

Quote:
Looking forward to an updated version of pulp. My main concern was the lack of any backdrop ... win 98 on the 32mb machine runs well playing mp3s and can handle changing the backdrops with faststone viewer ... so it must be possible for linux to do something similar.
Hm, actually I planed on not including a background picture- to me it's just a waste of memory, BUT it will not be black anymore. Probably a lightweight third party app like feh can handle the task of providing a background picture. IMHO the background picture issue isn't that much of an issue in reality, because as soon as you are in X, the webbrowser covers most of the background anyways.

Quote:
Writing this on a very responsive Satellite Pro 4300 with 256 mb ram and 600 mhz processor - Puppy 4.3.1. Adding wine makes no noticible difference to the speed and I like Thunderbird as my email client.
When working with Pentium IIIs stock puppy linux is all you need- so quick- ubuntu can only dream of this speeds.
Quote:

I agree Siag is disappointing, I've used it (or tried to) in Vector Light but eventually gave up and installed Open Office.

Just a thought here; Deli Linux is another Linux distro aimed at old computers, and they managed to use both Abiword and Firefox in their previous release (7.1 Big). Maybe a look at their package list would be helpful here?
In the current development version I left out the writer portion of Siag office. The spreadsheet is still there- IMHO it is far from usable in a productive way, but it is an adequate spreadsheet- file viewer. If you have to do some serious calculating, you better install gnumeric from the repos. I managed to track down abiword 1.0.7 which is almost as fast as Siag, but has much better support for file formats people actually use.
Stay tuned,
Christian
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recycler


Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 122
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 12 Feb 2010, 16:45    Post subject: pulp
Subject description: have tried on pII
 

yes background pic not such a problem and having a terminal 'button' means I didn't miss the icons too much. These pentium ii portege notepads have only usb1 though and so my workaround is to transfer files via my Ubuntu samaba server. Which was not possible in pulp without Pnethood (at least not possible in a way which I can easily understand and get working!).

Good to have firepup included. Look forward to seeing how the project involves. Smile
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 567
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb 2010, 23:04    Post subject:
Subject description: DosPulp Puplet?
 

Cheers zenfunk-

Just a quick suggestion, and probably waaaay out of the ballpark for any number of reasons-
What about DOS apps run from within Pulp to accommodate the Office functions? With the DosBox 0.7.3 pet being about 750Mb, http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=326969&search_id=541490616#326969, freeware/open-source apps such as Breeze http://www.theabsolute.net/sware/oldfav.html#breeze and others such as might be found from the "reimagery" site http://www.reimagery.com/fsfd/txtedit1.htm#wordproc. Of course, a number of DOS apps might be needed to make the addition of DosBox cost-effective in terms of distro size resources.

I've seen both Colonel Panic and DMcCunney feature on various DOS forums, just as they grace the Puppy forums - and as they haven't volunteered such a course previously (to my knowledge) there must be some convincing arguments against using a lite Puppy as a DOS portal. Perhaps it would be just too retrogressive - even MS Word 5.5 for DOS is now freeware...
Any thoughts?

Last edited by Puppyt on Mon 15 Feb 2010, 12:59; edited 1 time in total
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Mon 15 Feb 2010, 11:37    Post subject:  

Thanks for your suggestions, but you might be too late. I think I got most of the more common office file formats covered.

doc:
antiword: I included 2 scripts that open doc files as a pdf and as text- very convenient and faaast- no images though.
abiword: opens doc files, openoffice files and various other formats just fine- although it is a bit slower than the antiword solution above, it also gives the best results.

odt:
included the odt2txt tool which opens odt files in a text editor- just like the antiword scripts above it's very fast.

xls and openoffice spreadsheet format:
Can be viewed with Siag.

Siag also handles csv files and Lotus 123.


Using Puppy as a platform for DOS emulation:
Mostof the old DOS apps, although being freeware, they are not free software, so I will not include them in PULP because I fear copyright problems, if not now, then in the future.

Although dosbox etc. adds an extra layer of processor load to the system, it seems that it is not nearly as bad as wine or java. The old DOS apps are very lightweight also. So, in theory, a puppy that is run as a "launcher" for DOS programms seems reasonable even for older PCs. Because of the non free nature of most of the dos programms, they are not fit for including them in a puplet, but it might be a sensible way for someone to pursue in private.

On the other hand there is freedos which can run all those old dos programms nativelyin a free operating system, so you can spare your old machine all of the linux overhead. Of course you have to (re-?)learn DOS in the process Wink .
My 2 cents,
Christian.
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 567
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Mon 15 Feb 2010, 15:08    Post subject:
Subject description: DosPulp Puplet issues
 

Thanks Christian, for again taking the trouble to respond in a well-considered way.
Sorry to interrupt your work with such reinventing-the-wheel hokum: I see that the "Pup4DOS" project may be soon moving into its 0.7 version with support for puppy4 - there doesn't seem to be much urgency there, however.
Your points against using non-GPL office software ("freeeware") in your release candidates is well made again (re earlier discussion in this thread on TextMaker), and puts the option of using DOS word processors like Breezy and ProText in their place - as the responsibility of the end-user.
The biggest drawback I see for retrogressing into DOS is that few, if any, office applications seem to supply translators for any proprietary formats post-2005 (including the DOS version of AntiWord). Ahhh, Progress.

Cheers!
-------------------------------
"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it"
— Omar Khayyám (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 03:04    Post subject:  

Quote:
The biggest drawback I see for retrogressing into DOS is that few, if any, office applications seem to supply translators for any proprietary formats post-2005 (including the DOS version of AntiWord). Ahhh, Progress.
Well, then you are where you would be with the old Linux applications like Pathetic writer or Ted etc. Very Happy

However, a freedos based distro would be wickedly fast though. It might very well fly on a 486.

BTW, isn't Pup4DOS just a bootloader that boots Puppy from DOS or Windows? Probably I'm missing something here.

Your Puppy DOS app launching distro is a bit like the Idea I once had- run a Mac 68K emulator inside Puppy and have a MacOS run inside of it (the older systems are freely downloadable from apple).

It kinda worked (not very fast though), but you will get copyright problems if you distribute it- so- bugger. Nevertheless, it was very cool to run System 7 on an old IBM Laptop. With a bit of effort the Puppy layer can be hidden very effectively to fool the bystanders- Wink .

Cheer, Christian

PS: I burned the first iso of PULP 0.1 last night- now some more testing.....
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 18:52    Post subject: Moving on to PULP 0.1 - yeeehaw  

Finally.....

http://rapidshare.com/files/351589378/PULP_0.1.iso.html

Unfortunately I just got rapidshare as a filehost, so if someone want's to mirror- please do so.
I'll try to write a release note tomorrow.
As always, please post bugs here.

Happy hacking,
Christian

BTW: all the applications below are GTK 1.2
desktop.png
 Description   PULP desktop just after bootup
 Filesize   10.86 KB
 Viewed   2473 Time(s)

desktop.png

gqview.png
 Description   filemanager and picture viewer
 Filesize   190.55 KB
 Viewed   2494 Time(s)

gqview.png

internet.png
 Description   email client, webbrowser
 Filesize   122.18 KB
 Viewed   2484 Time(s)

internet.png

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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 21:56    Post subject:
Subject description: DosPulp Puplet?
 

Puppyt wrote:
I've seen both Colonel Panic and DMcCunney feature on various DOS forums, just as they grace the Puppy forums - and as they haven't volunteered such a course previously (to my knowledge) there must be some convincing arguments against using a lite Puppy as a DOS portal. Perhaps it would be just too retrogressive - even MS Word 5.5 for DOS is now freeware...
Any thoughts?

I go on about DOS a bit because I go back far enough to have used DOS on a daily basis. I started with MS-DOS 2.11, and went on from there to 3.3 and then DOS 5.0. (I carefully skipped DOS 4.0... Razz)

I still have and use a few old DOS programs, like Eric Meyer's VDE editor and Vern Buerg's LIST file browser, and have a virtual DOS environment under XP using Rex Conn's superb 4DOS command.com replacement. I also still regularly play several old DOS games, including DOS versions of Unix Larn and VMS Empire.

But while I'm comfortable at a DOS command line, and still fluent in an assortment of older DOS programs, I can't recommend DOS for something like this. The basic problem is the one you allude to. What, exactly, would you do with DOS programs run from Puppy? The answer, alas, is "not a lot".

DOS brings an assortment of baggage with it: 16 it applications, restriction to old 8+3 file names, a memory model that heavily restricts memory usage, and non-existent support for a number of current things. Most of the stuff you might want to work with would require a fair amount of massage to get into a form your DOS programs could work with, and more massage once you had to put them back into a form anything else would work with.

And many DOS apps are problematic because they were written when a program could assume it was the only thing running on the machine, and would do stuff like write directly to the hardware for performance. You can't make that assumption in a multi-tasking environment. (I just got a Linux build of an editor I like under DOS - TDE. When I ran it, it spiked the CPU. The maintainer confirmed my suspicions: it's polling the keyboard for input instead of waiting to detect an event. That was how you did things under DOS, and while the code is portable enough to build under Linux, it has some DOS specific quirks...)

If I wanted to try something like that, I'd look for Linux console mode applications to replace GUI apps. Back in the day, you used things like WordStar or WordPerfect for word processing, Lotus 1,2,3 or Quattro Pro for spreadsheets, and dBase III or IV for database. They were all console mode applications. The web didin't exist, nor did web browsers, and being online generally meant calling BBS systems via dial up modems. Things were console mode, as GUIs didn't exist, and PCs were single tasking, running one program at a time.

It you could get the applications, you could more or less replicate that, though it might be a case of multiple CLI apps, each on a separate console. But you ultimately founder because you need to deal with things like Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Adobe PDF files, and the applications that can do that are GUI based.

If by some chance that's not a requirement for you, you can go really light weight and drop the GUI entirely. Boot to a command line and do everything from there. Don't load X-windows and a window manager at all. The overhead of running X and the requirements of displaying GUI apps are the single biggest hurdle any machine trying to run Linux must jump. There are an assortment of tasks you can use that approach for, like a print server, file server, or firewall machine. But for most of what you'll want to do, X and a GUI, and GUI based apps are requirements.
______
Dennis
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 567
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb 2010, 00:00    Post subject:
Subject description: Pulped DOS
 

DMcCunney wrote:
...I can't recommend DOS for something like this. The basic problem is the one you allude to. What, exactly, would you do with DOS programs run from Puppy? The answer, alas, is "not a lot".

DOS brings an assortment of baggage with it: 16 it applications, restriction to old 8+3 file names, a memory model that heavily restricts memory usage, and non-existent support for a number of current things. Most of the stuff you might want to work with would require a fair amount of massage...


Ah-ha- I guessed that you were the real Dennis McC. Many thanks indeed for such straightforward clarification on the issue of DOS - I had imagined that something a little "out of the box" might have helped in a lite puplet of any make (not just Pulp - apologies for hogging your thread, Christian). But no: you've made a very convincing argument for the negative, especially wrt the overhanging requirements of the X environment.
And while your recollections of the DOS universe brought a tear to my eye as I recalled the first computers to join our family (Osbourne 1 and Kaypro 10) and WordPerfect 4.1 - no mouse, no pull-down menus and just a template cut-out over the function keys for guidance - I see no reason to inflict such experiences on Gen Cloud.

Thanks again, DMcC - kuDOS
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb 2010, 07:49    Post subject: PULP 0.1 release notes  

PULP 0.1 release notes:

PULP- the ultralight puplet is catered towards older computers with little
processing power (Pentium I or II) and low RAM (up to 128 MB).

For information on how the (moderate) speed gains over the allready quite fast Puppy Linux are achieved, please read the first post of this thread.

The current version is based on the previous (PULP 0.03).

It contains vast improvements in useability, document handling and bling.

Technical notes:
I found that GTK 1.2 apps are invariably faster than their GTK 2.0 counterparts. Unfortunately they are also very ugly to look at. This can be changed when different "theme engines" are being used. Some of these engines make the GTK 1.2 apps almost indistinguishable from GTK 2.0. Unfortunately they also make the applications slower.

You can play with the differnt GTK themes, just open MU's- GTK- Themechooser in the root menus first submenu ("Desktop").
The most bling would give you the AquaX theme- both for GTK 1.2 and 2.0 apps. If your machine can't handle it, leave AquaX for GTK 2.0 and choose Aqualight (for GTK1.2 only) instead. Still pretty, but a lot faster. If your machine is really slow, or you don't want the overhead introduced by the better looking GTK- theme- engines, then go with one of the original themes (e.g. Puppy- xp2).

The desktop panels in PULP 0.1 are arranged to look a bit like the operating system from a well known music vendor. IMHO the usability increases over the standard onepanelatthebottom- layout, but probably it is just a matter of getting used to something.

Applications:

Filemanager- Emelfm 0.92:
A fast GTK1.2 two pane filemanager. For instructions how to use look here:

http://flusslinie.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/use-emelfm-like-a-pro/

Picture viewer- GQview:
I hunted down an old, GTK 1.2 version of GQview with a thumbnailing system. It gives you the much needed previews for your photos, since the filemanager doesn't provide that.

Texteditor- GTKedit and Beaver:
GTKedit is just blazing fast. For a more complete editor (syntax highlighting etc.), I included an older version of beaver.

Webbrowser
Firefox 2.20
Compiled with the GTK 1.2 option- a bit faster than GTK 2.0 but still very slow

compared to...
Dillo:
fast, light, no bling, just what your old machine needs.

Email- Client- Sylpheed:
I found an older GTK 1.2 version of Sylpheed (now renamed Claws if I'm not mistaken), if you are used to Outlook or Thunderbird, the interface should look familiar.

Word processing- Abiword 1.0.7
The last Abiword with GTK 1.2- very fast start up time (compared to the new GTK 2.0 versions) and allready very feature rich.

Spreadsheet- SIAG
Old spreadsheet proggie, probably not very good for much productive work due to poor support of modern file formats, but for looking into the occational spreadsheet file it is just fine. If you need more then install Gnumeric (GTK 2.0- very slow on vintage computers) from the repository.

PDF viewer:
For pdf- viewing I included xpdf 3.1. renders not as nice as newer versions but is faster.

Console applications:
midnight commander- file manager
elinks- webbrowser
mp- texteditor
centerim- instant messaging, chat
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