water cooler :: Top 5 Tiny Distros

My point in posting this being that some people never learn, and that he isn't even good at reviews, including the mistakes quoted by lucky13.
The Veredict

Distro        Ease      Looks   Useful   Stab/Funct  Laptop  total/5
CDlinux 5   4                   3               5 3            4
SliTaz     4    4                    4                 5  0      3.4
Damn Small  2          3                2            2     0         1.8
Austrumi      4 4                  4              3 2   3.4
Puppy        4   3                    5                5 4     4.2

(newbe point of view)
I take a walk by puppy.org and download the ver 4 ,with my home pc celeron 300 and motherboard intel i810 and 128 mb ram..

 I think that for the core distro (live cd and runs) its the same result
i can rescue files and browse in www i can add apps ....the diferent things are that with 30 mb more(puppy) its improved  the resolution in xorg  and keyboard in spanish ...more help in menus and hierarchy to solve config of usb wireless zydas ...(but no run , the autoconfig detected chip but no works)....the other diferent thing is the "There's lots of blue"  that i said in previous post to care the dsl image, the blue color is used to do a transmission of safety in advertising to consumers , food markets etc...
both distros have strong communities

The aesthetics and the helps in dsl can be improved and its a work for the community(newbes). The top level of dsl(gurus)have to improve kernels and apps if its  possible in 50 mb , another goal is to do a sub 100 mb that if is compatible with old pcs and few ram, the cds and pendrives have a lot of mb to use...

my veredict is to put a 4 to dsl...

I'm curious why he gave DSL a 2 (out of 5) for stability and being "useful." He mentioned that it comes with a variety of software, all of which works, and I've yet to encounter problems with DSL's stability on any machine on which I've run it regardless of method (CD, hd install, frugal, USB-HDD, etc.). It freaking works. What more does he expect?

He didn't bother to detail what he tried to do to get his hardware to work. Is it DSL's fault if he doesn't RTFM or that he uses hardware without native Linux drivers? Look at the hardware he used: bcm43xx, SATA hard drive, etc. Did he try the SATA bootcode? Doesn't say. Just says he couldn't access his hard drive or USB key. I have a bcm43xx card, too, but I blame myself when it comes to using it in Linux or BSD because I knew it lacked support outside of Windows. Where does the responsibility for choice of hardware fall -- on distro developers or on users? If it's on developers, how far are they supposed to go in supporting binary drivers and the kludges required to make them work? Obviously, he absolves himself for buying and using hardware that's not open source- and/or Linux-compatible.

I recently had a brief exchange with a podcaster for his review of Absolute Linux, a Slackware-based distro also targeted at older and less-endowed computers, because it totally got something wrong (about binary packaging versus compiling) and focused a lot more on aesthetics than function. He complained about the themes, wallpaper, and "ugly GTK1 or FLTK" apps. As if older computers should be bogged down with bloated graphics and heavy pixmapped themes, GTK2, and bleeding edge software.

The exchange starts at the link below and ends on his blog (linked in his comments). He claims I misunderstood him about compiling, but I subjected myself to listening to the podcast in question again and it's clear that he never mentions packaging and intimates throughout that "it's a cool project if you have time to compile things you'll need." Even mentions Gentoo in this context. He also defended the eye candy thing throughout.

It's always going to be apples and oranges -- at best,  if it's even that close. When someone whose primary experience with Linux is something like Ubuntu tries to review something like Slackware or one of the BSDs, there's very likely going to be a disconnect because of the lack of familiarity with doing certain things yourself, with the differences between how things are handled, with presumptions between "users need these things done for them (edit: whether they want them or not)" versus "our users are savvy enough to do these things themselves (edit: IF they actually even want these things)." The result is too often a very misleading review that focuses on appearances but ignores the underlying paradigms involved and unique features stemming from the way things are done. That was at the heart of my complaint about the podcast above. It's at the heart of my statement yesterday that most reviewers and their reviews are full of sh**.

It certainly applies to this review of five tiny distros. There's no reference to the compression methods employed by the five distros (which is important when considering target audiences and how one distro can use 2.6 and be "small"-ish but may not be suitable for older hardware), there's nothing about which of them runs as root only (trading off security for ease of use a la Windows 95), nothing about installation options, nothing about binary packaging and ease of extending the base ISO. Like I wrote yesterday, that all takes a backseat to BS about how it looks and harping about kernel and app version numbers.

The other part of the users, the ones who prefer a dumbed-down-not distro and would never touch ubuntu, are those that don't generally do reviews. What a shame.
Does this guy know what he's talking about:

It comes with ndiswrapper, but I couldn't access my hard drive or usbkey - so it was useless.

What was he trying to do - does he think ndiswrapper is used to acces the hard drive or usb drives?

It will work on hardware as old as x386 (them first pentiums)

Ummmmmmmmmmm...... 386's are not Pentiums!

I run DSL (latest stable & RC's) on a 2 year old E6600 Core2Duo - 1Gb and 5 year old Athlon XP2800+ - 512Mb generic systems with SATA hard drives, quite frequently in VirtualBox emulator on XP on the first system & also on a Libretto laptop (P1 - 166MHz, 64Mb) I have tried to get Ubuntu onto another P3 900MHz box I have lying around, but having gone through the installation I got fed up with the slow start-up (amongst many other issues such as unusable slow response) & went back to DSL. I looked at puppy & the eye candy drove me nuts (I run XP with the win98 theme!). The helpful user community & large extension library for DSL are something no other distribution seems able to match.

Keep looking on the bright side & accept that some people just can't see the wood for the trees.

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