[PC-BSD Testing] 7-Alpha-3 on Laptop -- Mixed Results

Ian Robinson fitchkendall at gmail.com
Thu Jul 17 19:19:08 PDT 2008


I'm testing the installation of PCBSD 7 Alpha Version 3 on an Acer
Laptop with a standard P4 1.5 GHz "Centrino" with built-in Intel
video, sound, and wi-fi that is common hardware in laptops.  The
previous operating system on this laptop was PCBSD 7.0 Alpha 1 which
had run very well and had never frozen.

1.  The installation was fast and appeared flawless.  I used the DVD
iso for this installation, and from power on to post-installation boot
took only 18 minutes.  That's a fantastic installation speed because
my installation also included ports, source, and all PBI's except
KOffice.  The installer screen fit the 15" display exactly.  The
installer correctly identified the Intel video driver & max screen
resolution (1024 x 768).  Fonts were clear and easy to read.  Sound
worked, but I haven't tested a video DVD yet.

2. KDE 4.1 Beta loads the desktop quickly.  KDE brings up the
available programs quickly except for file finder.

3. The installer correctly detected Intel wi-fi (PRO/2200BG) and
applied the iwi driver.  But it did not set it up.  Using ifconfig to
deliver the arguments manually set all the parameters except that the
status remained at "no carrier."  I am guessing that the problem is
that the Intel firmware is not installed yet, but I don't know because
I overwrote the previous 7.0 Alpha 1 installation where the iwi
interface was working.  I'll hook up the laptop using an ethernet
cable and try to install iwi from ports.

4.  The most unusual problem is that the laptop will freeze at random
times -- usually after thirty to forty minutes of use.  The screen
goes black with a 1/4" x 1/4" white square in the upper left corner.
Sometimes the laptop will reboot on its own at that point.  If the
laptop does not reboot on its own, keyboard input is useless and the
laptop just hangs there.  I cannot jump to console or anything else.
A power-off is required.  I wonder if this is related to KDE 4.1 since
I did not have that problem under 7.0 Alpha Version 1.

5.  Congratulations to Kris on his role in the development of KDE 4.1.

6.  KDE 4.1 does seem fast, and has lots of widgets to customize it.

7.  I disagree with comments that KDE 4.1 is "not intuitive."   I like
the tabs at the bottom for favorites, programs, computer, etc.  I also
like that KDE auto-detects the other partitions on the disk. However,
I would like to see user options to let the panels expand
automatically when the cursor is over the menu branch like KDE 3.x.  I
would also like an option to let the panel auto-scroll  up and down
when the mouse reaches the top or bottom if there are more menu
branches than the panel is displaying.  I'm referring to the way that
bookmarks scroll in Firefox.  Additionally, I am hoping that Kris will
use the well-developed main branches of the menu system that he has
previously refined in PCBSD 1.4.x and 1.5.x when PCBSD 7.0 goes into
production.

I'm having a lot of fun using PCBSD 7 and KDE 4.1.  PCBSD 7.0 is going
to be really great.

Ian Robinson
Salem, Ohio


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