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News / Development Blog

A heartfelt thank you to all, especially those who've downloaded and tested Lighthouse! Smile  

I appreciate your support and feedback on the forum. I've been away for a while and haven't written any updates lately. I continue to use LighthousePup Beta 5 on all my machines, at times dual-booting into Kubuntu 7.10. Lighthouse 215 Beta 5 works so well for me I haven't felt the need to update it... patting self on the back. Wink

Based on thorough testing and feedback, I think the latest version, Lighthouse215SeaM_Beta5.iso is solid and ready for final release--'as is'. Even though it was a 'Beta release', don't hesitate to try it yourself. Are you looking for a Puplet based on a newer Puppy 3.xx core? Please try these, in no particular order:

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/MuppyPuppy "Muppy"

http://www.ttuuxxx.com "Fire Hydrant"

Nice digest of current Active Puplets here: http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Puplets

Here's my current 'wish list' for Lighthouse or another Puplet:
Have a Happy Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year,
 - TazOC

10/02/2007 LighthouseBeta5 release Comments welcome at Puppy Linux Discussion Forum | Puppy Derivatives | LighthousePup 215Beta5
Working toward a final release, I've changed Conky ~/.conkyrc: commenting out the terminus font line, added 'use_xft yes' and 'xftfont LiberationMono:size=11' for improved readability. Also permits finer adjustment of font size. Prior terminus font was practically limited to 12 or 14.

9/28/2007
LighthouseBeta5 release Lighthouse215SeaM_Beta5.iso
It's been a long time coming--more than two months of work since Beta 4; most updates and new features are described on this page. Flash 9 is updated to
9,0,48,0. Also includes updated 'tips-lhp.htm' with frugal install changes for the additional file 'verify-md5-lhp' described in 9/20 post below, additional troubleshooting and updated autostart information.

Updating from LighthouseBeta3/Beta4 to LighthouseBeta5: as usual please reboot with Lighthouse CD-Rom and at the boot menu enter 'ram' or 'lhp pfix=ram' or 'puppy pfix=ram' and copy or move your pup_save.2fs file to another folder before doing anything else.

If desired, you may then try booting from the LighthouseBeta5 CD-Rom with your existing pup_save.2fs in place. However, for best results I recommend a 'clean install': boot into ram / livecd as above, move the existing
pup_save.2fs to another folder, copy (overwrite) Beta5 files from CD-Rom: initrd.gz, pup_215.sfs, verify-md5-lhp, vmlinuz and zdrv_215.sfs and create a new pup_save.2fs at shutdown. After restarting you can open the folder with your backup copy of pup_save.2fs, right-click | Mount-data0 and restore any files that you need.

9/20/2007 Edit-SFS-LHP: More refinements: additional user feedback and logging for the error conditions I've come across so far. Log window now opens with app and displays output during processing, start to finish. Not as much as I'd like, but better than before. Custom error codes 64-68 logged and included with exit command at completion of shell script.

LighthouseBeta5: Further improvements to Xonclock alpha-blending, both in Xorg and Xvesa, and when changing desktop background. New Lighthouse core file verification 'verify-md5-lhp' on the ISO allows checksum verification of base files from a running Puppy/Lighthouse even after the ISO has been burned or files copied to other media, if that file is copied also.

New Recent Tracks List app ideal for audio streams. The list
uses cover viewer XMMS plugin. In Lighthouse the track list remains after XMMS is closed but are cleared at system shutdown--or by enabling 'Clear Tracks' and selecting 'Refresh' in the new application.

New Aero-BlackCoffee and Aero-BlackPearl GTK 1&2 Theme files. Fixed taskbar and title bar quirks in elox and IceVista-mod theme files. Fixed several missing icons in JWM menu system. Games--broken Shanghai replaced with Xmahjongg.


9/3/2007
LighthouseBeta5: Fixed problem with Logoff/Shutdown disappearing from Icewm menu. Now scans for that at logon and runs /usr/sbin/fixmenus if it is not present. I've been trying to sort out intermittent software and hardware problems with my CD burner;
checked the jumpers and bios setup--OK. I decided to disconnect it. So far, so good. Maybe it's a goner. My DVD burner seems fine. Also looking at newer versions of K3b 1.02 and 1.03 and KDE 3.57; probably not compatible with Lighthouse 215 but maybe with upcoming Puppy 2.20.

8/17/2007
LighthouseBeta5: Progress seems slow but steady. I grabbed pmount drive mounter from Puppy 2.17.1. Looking through the script I was concerned about a dependency but it works very fast now with Barry's updates and is more reliable as well--I really like it. Not yet tested with Lighthouse on a few less common drive types, but I think the improvements far outweigh possible problems.

Inspired by the new filemnt by SunBurnt in Puppy 2.17 I updated the scripts in Lighthouse that mount .2fs, .sfs (mount-data) and .iso (mount-virt-drive) files. Successful mounts now pop-up a handy unmount window along with the Rox-Filer window. The pop-up gives some information on a successful mount and serves as a reminder to unmount when user is finished with the file system. Clicking 'Yes' will close the Filer window and unmount the drive.

Minor updates to Defaults Wizard placing a tip on opening suggesting to use 'which' in a terminal to locate the path to be used in the wizard. Changed the title 'GUI_STRING' to
'DefaultsWizard'.

pgs_K3b: K3b does not recognize mkisofs or genisoimage in pgs_K3b-12.17-02_215.sfs although 'which' command does see them. I was able to burn ISOs created outside of K3b. Looking for a solution to this and maybe readcd and transcode also. Comments welcome at Puppy forum I monitor this thread: Puppy Derivatives LighthousePup

8/12/2007 K3b and pgs/Gimp ready! SFS tested in Lighthouse215 and Puppy 2.17 pgs_K3b-12.17-02_215.sfs 116M
For Puppy 2.17, make a symlink to it that ends with '_217', e.g.
pgs_K3b-12.17-02_217.sfs

Last updates to above K3b SFS: In /usr/bin/
I renamed k3b to k3b-bin and call it from a new script k3b after exporting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH noted yesterday. Also exported Java paths in Art of Illusion's apprun to fix Java not found error.

8/11/2007 pgs_K3b-12.17-02_215.sfs is getting better. All icons now show in .desktop files and menus, in both LIghthouse and Puppy 2.17.1. Found out how to enable dnd of mp3 files into an audioCD project, by adding /usr/lib/KDE3 to LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Now I need figure out how to make that happen when the SFS loads...

If you have a full grub boot loader installed already, consider a frugal install of Lighthouse215 on /mnt/home dual booting with Puppy 2.17.1 in /mnt/home/boot/pup217, separate pup_save.2fs files, sharing SFS files with a symlink, if desired. Details on this forum post. I do not recommend a full install nor 'saving files and settings to a partition'. The latter alternative option seems to be offered when booting from grub without a pup_save file or first time. So I always choose the default 'save to a file' instead.

tuxfamily.org Free hosting for free people. Just for free-libre software. Check it out! Download area of 1 GB.

8/10/2007 
For LighthouseBeta5 I moved the numlockx-on script (turns on NumLock key at startup) from ~/.xinitrc to ~/autostart/DisabledItems for laptops that may not want NumLock enabled by default. To enable, just move numlockx-on into ~/autostart.

Updates to Edit-SFS-LHP. Note the new suffix '-LHP', to separate from Pizzapup's dotpup so that either version can be installed. Now uses mksquashfs-gzip, if present for improved version compatibility. Currently testing in both LIghthouse and Puppy 2.17.1.

7/28/2007 I found a good Flash 9 test page today www.adobe.com/products/flash/about. Scrolling down the page I see a new version for Linux 9,0,48,0. I haven't tried it yet; am currently running 9,0,31,0.

7/27/2007 Mariner SFS Squash File System for LighthousePup only (Screenshot, above right.)
lhp-mar-02_215.sfs 252 MB is an OpenOffice / Web / P2P expansion pack including Firefox 2.0, Opera 9.22, Flash 9, Java 1.5.0_11, Thunderbird, KompoZer, Bluefish, TightVNC Server, Azureus, mysticmarks' OpenOffice 2.2 Full, CUPS Installer, selected themes, backgrounds, mplayer and XMMS skins. Keep Firefox up to date with automated updates. Kempelton theme in FF and lix-1.5 in Opera, improvements to look and feel in both browsers Numerous extensions and themes available for Firefox and Opera. Featured in Mariner Screenshot above: Underdog at disney.com on Opera, Widgets: TouchtheSky (Weather), Multfunctional Analog Clock.

K3b 0.12.17 CD/DVD Burner, GIMP 2.2.13 with pgs (Graphics Package for Puppy 2.15CE)
pgs_K3b-12.17-01_215.sfs is available for testing K3b.

7/25-28/2007 Continued work on LighthouseBeta5. Fixed outdated links in PuppyHome.htm browser start page. Added checks in /usr/local/bin/cups-printing-system to see if cupsd is present & running, if not try to start or check for installer and suggest user what to do, instead of opening Dillo to a blank window! CUPS is just an installer dotpup in the above Mariner SFS file. I noticed Barry integrated CUPS into Puppy 2.17; that's even better, but I haven't managed that in Lighthouse. Edit-SFS now informs the user if more space is needed to successfully edit or rebuild a squash file. Tweaks to improve Xonclock, Rox background and IceDock startup. I'd been favoring dark backgrounds because the clock didn't alpha-blend before. So far it does now--I'm crossing my fingers. Tip: If the clock doesn't blend just double-click it. Added the missing binary /usr/bin/bc for pmount. Removed my code from ~/.xinitrc that adversely affected Xvesa resolution. Conky now updates less often in Xvesa to reduce screen flicker. Default RXVT-LHP Terminal prompt changed to standard long (. psl) instead of extended color (. psc) because of wrapping issue on long lines. Only the prompt itself is affected, terminal still has colors. Three mode prompt switching still available as before. Included zmixer in autostart (minimized to tray.)

7/24/2007  Xvesa Interim Fix see this post at Puppy Derivatives. Lighthouse will have a folder /root/autostart/DisabledItems. Just like it sounds, anything inside this folder is not autostarted, it's just a place to keep them in case they are needed later. I edited the 7/21 post below for the newly disabled item, xmms-p autostart, and more.

7/21/2007 dWLkR, 8-bit, Subito Piano on the Puppy forum noted problem with Xvesa extremely low resolution. (Edit 7/24 Interim Fix above.) Don't use Xvesa with Beta4. I will try to fix this or work around before next release. If you have chosen Xvesa, press Ctrl+Alt+BackSpace. Then type 'xorgwizard' and select Xorg. If still no luck, reboot with lighthouse CD typing 'ram' at the prompt.

I'm thinking that it would be best to disable the Xmms autostart feature. Really only works for always on network connected boxes, which leaves out many traveling laptops. I moved the 'xmms-p' shortcut from /root/autostart to /root/autostart/DisabledItems. So you can move it back if you wish to restore the autostart function in frugal mode.

I got Opera 9.22 and FireFox with Flash9 and Java working in a web apps squash file that I hope to release soon. Flash9 works at www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome and www.disney.com. (Edit 7/24 Ignore the shockwave indicator and install prompt. As of this writing, shockwave requires MS Windows or Macintosh. The Flash test below that is what to look for. Hopefully it will indicate the installed version when pointing toward the right side.)

7/16/2007 lighthouse215SeaM_beta4.iso is on the download page. More on Puppy Forum at Puppy Derivatives

7/13/2007 Ok, got some other responsibilities taken care of and today back I'm back at it. Edit-SFS now checks to see if it is already running. I found out the hard way that running two instances isn't a good idea! Same check now in CopyToEdit-SFS. Minor updates to Muppy Icedock, wmfire-coronal. pupver now recognizes versions of: LighthousePup, Puppy, everything in /etc/rc.d/PUPSTATE, 1st 7 lines of /var/log/Xorg.0.log and [IceWM, Qt, KDE, K3b, kicker] if present.

7/5/2007 I was happy to see an email today from Nathan Fisher about a couple of beautiful wallpapers, ephemera4.jpg and Linux the revolution. Ephemera4 is by Pete Trbovich, who maintains a blog and gallery at penguinpetes.com. If you haven't already take a look at grafpup.org. You'll find a fantastic Linux distribution designed especially, but not only for graphic artists and imaging professionals.

Edit-SFS is a squash filesystem editor by Pizzasgood I updated for Lighthouse. I also wrote CopyToEdit-SFS for right-click access in Rox-Filer. InLiveCD mode /tmp is used for working directories (limited by available RAM memory.) In frugal install PUPMODE=12 a symlink from /tmp/tmp-starting-dir to /mnt/home/tmp is used so that larger SFS files may be accommodated. I changed CopyToEdit-SFS so that it only uses the /mnt/home file system if it is ext2, ext3, reiserfs or reiser4. Don't use Lighthouse 0215 Beta3's CopyToEdit-SFS on a vfat/ntfs drive unless you bypass CopyToEdit-SFS and use Edit-SFS directly. This fix will be in Beta 4.

7/3/2007 Lighthouse Beta 4 progress: bugfixes, Xmms autoplay issue, cleaned up ~.packages to improve petget quirks, pupver fix, removed gtkboard game, a few unneeded files. Also working on Mariner SFS and Voyager SFS. Got latest ver of K3B from debian.org working with KDE 3.55 libs. Needs Mariner SFS. I hope to have a Beta 4, Mariner and a testing (pre-alpha) Voyager K3B SFS available this week. Happy Fourth of July!
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