Information Technology, Thank You Sir May I Have Another

First Look – OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 – OpenSUSE Tumbleweed – Porteus 3.2.2

It has been a bit off-putting that none of my YABU (Yet Another uBUntu) Linux distros would recognize my Doro 626 phone when plugged in. They all seem to know “something” was plugged in, but could not identify it as a storage medium so I could move pictures from it to my desktop and include them in blog posts. This had me sending an order to OSDisc.com for a few non-YABU distros to try.

OpenMadriva Lx 3.01 was the first Live disk I tried. It was horribly slow to boot, but, the screen looked nice _and_ when I plugged in the phone the notifier popped up with the option to open in file browser. I set about starting the installation. Some fool decided the installation script should recognize multiple monitors and do monitor spanning by default.

  1. They never get the right and left choice correct
  2. Dialogs appear split between both monitors.

In my case this meant the monitor in front of me, which is right of the other monitor, got 1/3 of the dialog on its far right edge and the second monitor got 1/3 of the dialog on it’s left edge. The other 1/3 must have went into that mystery space between. Since dialogs are forced center I couldn’t even drag them to a viewable position.

Still, I persevered and managed to complete the installation. There was no option to install third party or proprietary software as some other distros provide. Once completed the machine didn’t want to shut down for restart. I don’t know what was wrong, it just wouldn’t so I had to hold the power button. This desktop has a very fast SATA III 1TB hard drive in it, yet the boot process for OpenMadriva Lx 3.01 was still horribly slow. I watched various startup script messages then the screen went black. I did some searching on-line only to find lots of posts about “boot to black screen” without any real solutions.

Time to try OpenSUSE Tumbleweed.

This Live disk did seem to boot a bit faster. It too recognized my Doro 626 when connected so I thought I had a solution. I’ve been warned about thinking before and some day I will stop doing it.

I knew I was going to find myself in RPM hell again. I also knew I would be doing battle with Yast and the built in firewall again, but, having a KDE desktop which would recognize my phone made the pain worth it. I started the installation and was greeted with dialogs that the OpenSource driver for NVIDIA video cards might cause random crashes and lockups. I was given the option to use some form of emulation instead. Once I finished the last question I went into the house for supper.

When I came back after eating supper, doing dishes and taking the dog for his walk along the pine trees, the install was still going on. It wasn’t stuck waiting for an answer, just still going on. My line-of-site Internet connection isn’t the fastest in the world, but it is generally fast enough for me. Certainly faster than the HughesNet Gen4 connection I used to have _and_ it doesn’t have a wretchedly low data limit. In theory it has no data limit they just throttle your speed once you use 150Gig in a month. Last time I looked the most I ever used was 30Gig and that is with 6 or more computers doing updates. I try not to download full Linux distros, preferring to order a disk. If I need it now I do it, but most times I have a week or more of things I can do before I really would need the distro so might as well save the bandwidth for the ever shrinking minds using FaceBook and chat applications.

Why is any of that important? Despite the portly 2+ Gig Live disk ISO size, the OpenSUSE install forces a download of just about everything. It doesn’t install then force you to sit through updates later when you could actually use the desktop for something.

Eventually the installation completed. I tried a few things then connected to the Internet looking for NVIDIA driver installation guides. There was a great big warning that the NVIDIA driver would not work with Tumbleweed and that no pre-built binaries were going to be supplied. The driver was reported to only work with Leap. I had tried Leap months earlier and it wouldn’t boot on the machines I wanted to use so I threw the disk away.

Time to try Porteus 3.2.2

This ISO is a very small download. The KDE version was the largest yet it weighs in at only 412MB. Yes, I can finally use up another of those CD-Rs I have laying around! The Live disk was a weird and somewhat slow boot. When I plugged in my Doro 626 it was not recognized. I didn’t even notice that it recognized something getting plugged in. Scratch Porteus.

In the end I laid back down my bare metal backup of Mint 18 KDE. In theory, since other distros do not have a problem recognizing the Doro 626 phone a fix should be coming down the pipe. I saw quite a few posts more than a year old about various YABU distros not working with this phone but no actual solutions.

The Doro phone line is a big seller for Consumer Cellular and I’m sure many of you have seen their television commercials. This is a growing provider and by extension, the problem of not working with Doro phones is a growing problem for YABU distros.

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