[PC-BSD Testing] Testing Digest, Vol 7, Issue 9 results of two installs

Richard Ashton richard.a at internode.on.net
Fri Jul 20 16:59:50 PDT 2007

testing-request at lists.pcbsd.org wrote:
> Send Testing mailing list submissions to
> 	testing at lists.pcbsd.org
>    4. Re: Testing Digest, Vol 7, Issue 8, beta freeze,	HAL
>       (Richard Ashton)

Here are my comments on trying this download on two totally different 
computers... comments which are based on the way I used to evaluate CAD 
software for print media some years ago, viewed with the perspective on 
an end user...

My testing is done using plug-in racks, for speed and simplicity in 

Main testing machine is locally assembled, using an MSI (Micro-Star) 
mobo with AMD Athlon processor (1200 I think) and 512 RAM Via inboard 
chip etc

Currently second test machine is a Compaq Presario motherboard from a 
3200 series desktop box, which has Intel (810?) video, separate NIC, 
Celeron 770 processor and 256 of RAM; this is sitting in another box 
which has room for extra and plug-in hard drives etc.

Both will only allow install via Safe Mode (menu item 3)

Both will run v1.3 without any probs, after doing two mods after 

Only the Presario would actually install and allow this ISO to run, and 
requires menu item 3 (Safe Mode) to do so.

1.	I've been meaning to ask all along, in "timezone", where is "Currie" 
in Australia?

2.	It takes a lot longer to use the new installer GUI pages because 
there are more of them. I thought one of the big attractions of the 
previous one was its simplicity and lack of ambiguity. I realise a lot 
of thought has gone into it. Particularly the choice of adding stuff 
from disk 2 - maybe a better explanatory text before the choices are 

I liked the previous concept of languages and selected pbis as 
comprising Disk2; I have no disagreement with change, but this change 
seems to have created a more cumbersome method for someone off the 
street, whether or not they have technical knowledge.

I believe some techs might be reluctant, because of the increased 
complexity, in becoming familiar with the product, when you compare with 
not just Linux but the two earlier versions of this product. Indeed the 
press "raves" put the simplicity of it all as its major selling point.

It has taken me a lot longer to look at this newest version, and I'm not 
sure I particularly like it.

Post-install X Configuration

1.	Unlike 1.2 and 1.3 (and maybe 1.1, can't remember) which defaults to 
1280x1024 which suits my graphics chip and monitors) it defaults to 
1024x768. Someone who isn't aware may unintentionally accept the default.

2.	I find that on my machine with the Via chipset and Athlon processor, 
it now fails to configure and run at any resolution at all, which makes 
it a pretty useless system for everyday use, for earning an income (if I 
were not retired).

I also find that at least 50% of the time in changing to try another 
resolution, I need to reboot as a ctrl-alt-backspace doesn't work to 
restore the setup menu.

3.	As an observation, I wonder if the gaming fraternity have now the 
ears of the developers? I saw a comment about mouse resolution. I would 
have thought that a desktop version of FreeBSD would have aimed at 
inroads into the lucrative corporate environment rather than amusement.

I notice that RoFreeSBIE currently works in both Live and Installed 
versions on this particular computer.

I'll need to try #18 (perhaps tomorrow) on my 64bit MSI/AMD board (with 
the same HP M900 19-inch monitor which I used to earn an income creating 
and modifying CAD designs.

Observations from running the installation

1.	Seems a tad slower to boot, and needs Safe Mode (menu item 3) on both 
machines to make a proper fist of starting up.

2.	Download software icon is missing from the desktop. I download the 
pbi's to a local repository that I want to use or think I want to use - 
so this doesn't affect me, but I wonder about people alreading using the 
product who might look for it.

3.	Customising the login screen (which I have always done), 1.3 displays 
"Welcome to %n" correctly as "Welcome to computername" whereas this test 
ISO displays "Welcome to PCBSD" which may be an error in the version of 
KDE if ISO #18 is using a different KDE version than 1.3 and 1.31

A very wierd one here...
I have created a set of beastie icons from the 128x128 image found 
online somewhere, and substituting for kmenu.png in 
/usr/local/share/icons/crystal/<resolution size>/apps this works well - 
as always - including the two snapshots I tested. The beastie logo works 
on all users (I always create two users in testing).

Now, when I also change login permissions to allow root GUI (performed 
in kdmrc) on the #18 test iso (and the one earlier I tried), the logo 
reverts to the KDE gearwheel as the menu image in *users* but the 
beastie stays in *root*! Icons in the icon directory remain "beastie".

Not so with 1.3 which works perfectly in this regard.

Go figure lol!

Richard Ashton

More information about the Testing mailing list