sábado, 31 de julio de 2010

Mandriva Powerpack: Upgrade or Fresh Install?

I recently bought the PowerPack of Mandriva 2010 Spring for my home desktop, which boots both with Windows XP and Mandriva 2010 (also Powerpack).

I placed the DVD on the tray and it prompted me for either an upgrade or an install. I chose "upgrade" and the process was going fine until I got an error message about a repository that was not available...then the upgrade went very slowly and got stuck.

So I started over and chose "install" this time. The process went on fast and I restarted the computer. The new Mandriva Spring Powerpack was working perfectly.
I noticed that Avidemux, the video editor was included, which made me very happy because I had problems to install it with Mandriva 2010.

On the other hand, I had a bad surprise when I turned on my printer-scanner (an Epson Stylus TX 200). The printer was enabled without problems, and it even had a new beautiful black icon. However, the scanner utility just refused to read the hardware.

After reading a bit, I learned that, apparently, there was a bug that prevented xscan from finding the scanner. Thus, I decided to roll-back to Mandriva 2010 and I got this combined 2010/2010.1 user interface. Interestingly, the scanner worked. I had to tweak the bar because the device notifier and other elements overlapped.

After thinking, I put back the Mandriva 2010.1 DVD on the tray and started the installation again. This time, I chose "upgrade" one more time. The process started off kind of slowly, but picked up speed and finished without any error messages. When I booted up the system, the computer came up with the beautiful Spring interface and it read the scanner perfectly.

What happened? Well, I have my hypotheses:

1. The internet connection has not been very stable lately because of multiple power surges. Maybe there was one during the first upgrade and that caused the failure to retrieve the repository.

2. I used a DVD unit that has been malfunctioning. As a matter of fact, Windows says it's already dead, but Linux let me use it almost normally.

3. My Mandriva 2010 desktop had many different software packages. Maybe that made the system unstable for upgrading.

Whatever the reason was, the computer is working perfectly now. It was a fraction of the price you pay for Windows and a fraction of the time you use for its installation, too. And I learned a lot by trying and solving the problems.

That's a good thing with Linux. You abandon passivity (my antivirus cannot get rid of this virus...My computer runs slowly... I have to format the HD periodically to be able to use the computer...Oh, well...)

It was definitely worth it.

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