[PC-BSD Testing] Sept 11 snapshot -- KDE Appearance won't hold custom colors

Ian Robinson fitchkendall at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 20:34:05 PDT 2007

The September 11 snapshot is working great on HP Vectra VL400, PIII, 1Ghz,
built-in ATI Video.

I liked the Installer's new Monitor Resolution Tool with its default to 24
depth, the choice of many, many settings, and the ability to set custom
settings for the monitor.  I also liked that it correctly identified my
video card instead of defaulting to vesa.  This tool is much refined and it
elevates one's first impression upon installing PC-BSD that it is the first
class desktop OS that it is.  Great work in refining this tool.

I also liked the Home Folder on the Desktop.  For first-time users it makes
it easier to use the file manager.  It would be great on the panel too as it
was in 1.3.

The fonts are clear and crisp.  I don't know what the differences are, but
they look much improved.  Similarly, the terminal window fonts look good and
the files are now color coded in the default display.

The Network Manager has a nice, clean, and elegant look these days
consistent with its functionality.  It just works great.

I tested almost all of the menu choices.  Things just worked.

The only problem I had was the KDE "Appearance & Themes" would not hold a
custom-picked color for the Active Title bar.  When I picked yellow for the
active title bar, it showed it as yellow briefly then changed into an olive
drab.  All of the set themes held their colors.  The problem may be a KDE
problem, not a PCBSD problem.

I skipped the PBI's on disk two and downloaded from pbidir.com just to see
if they were ok.  I installed these pbi's and ran the programs without any


All in all, I was very, very satisfied with this snapshot release.  Sure,
the pretty face is nice, but 1.4 is way faster than 1.3.4 in booting, disk
access, screen redraws, and even browsing the web.

Dru Lavinge said I should tell Kris about my change from Netware 5.1 to a
PCBSD Server, so I will:  I set up the 1.4 beta on an file server for
NFS/Samba access.  This was a small office network running 15 clients (6
Win98, 5 WinXP, 4 PCBSD) and four printers.  PCBSD ran the pants off the
Netware 5.1 server it replaced.  It ran the pants off Netware even though
Netware was on the better computer (Compaq ML370G2, Dual PIII 1.2GHz, Smart
Array Raid-5, 2 Gb Ram) compared with the PCBSD (on a Dell Precision 420
dual PIII 700GHz, single scsi, 512 MHz ram.)

Although PCBSD had the overhead of running KDE, top showed CPU usage at only
4% - 6% while massive file transfers were going on to populate the server
with our 30,000 documents.  On the client computers, the directories and
files list is rendered on the screen instantly, even where a directory has
hundreds of documents.

Netware -- you are toast.

Finally -- another story to tell -- because my snapshot installation began
with a problem that at step 3 or 4 the installer would not recognize my hard
disk.  I was surprised because the BIOS recognized it, and the CD Loader saw
the drive too.  I could see the drive with a live Gparted CD and I could
delete and create a partition with Gparted.  I could not see the disk with a
live BSD CD.  I swapped hard disks, but the result was the same.

But --------> After I swapped the IDE cable for a new  one, I had no
problems.  The cable, which looked like it was in good condition, must have
had some subtle connection problems (perhaps repeated connecting and
disconnecting from drives separated the connections where the wires enter
the plastic connector).  I concluded that BSD is more sensitive to disk
connector problems than GNU/linux.  So what, of course.

However, I'm mentioning that story here because so much of the traffic on
the PCBSD channel concerns the inability to install the OS.  Invisible
hardware problems can and will affect the installation.

I close with my great appreciation to all the hard workers who have toiled
endless hours at their desks put this release together.

Ian Robinson
Salem, Ohio

FitchKendall [at] Gmail [dot] com
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