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Well, Presto is a lightweight OS.
This because it is based on a minimalist Linux distro, made by Xandros with a couple of tricks, like an App Store and an easy install.
The story is not even new: see Puppy Linux (the most famous) and a lot more…

The (not very) new thing is that it installs directly into your Windows partition as a standard software and it modifies your C:\boot.ini to start as a second OS (Windows will start as default after 30 seconds timeout).
So it jumpstarts your PC with Linux in seconds (yes, for Windows you’ll have to reboot).

Here is what a classic boot.ini will become:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\grldr.mbr="Xandros Presto"

Presto Snapshot 7
The other nice thing is that Xandros has acquired the old Lindows/Linspire CNR service and integrated it into its distro, making it just another package manager (with its unique motto One Click Install), with purchasing functionalities (yes, there you’ll find both free and pay software).

A plus is that it auto mounts the Windows partitions and you may read and write them without any problems.
(You also get a full user partition, so that you may have separate files from Presto/Linux and Windows)

The thing is, it’s so minimalist that even the basic functionalities may result a little bit odd.

First note: it launches in 15 seconds from the OS selection. Quite remarkable on my P4 1Gb RAM. Unfortunately it’s exactly the same as my Windows XP fresh install (well, yes, Windows takes a little bit more space, it takes a lot of time to keep drivers and updates up to date, costs a lot more and it gets slower and slower when you install more and more software)

Second note: there is a left lanuchbar which is way too big on my 1024×768 monitor, so that even the Presto home page gets horizontal scrollbars.
Presto Snapshot 2

Third: yes, the launchbar is nice, but it’s not a fully featured application toolbar. You only have the bottom space for the resident programs and a link to open windows. And no, you can’t reduce apps to icons.
Even the old dear Alt-Tab works, but it doesn’t highlight the application thumbnail: it just shows the window borderline and displays the currently selected app name…. mmmh not very useful (is that skype?). You’ll have to get used.
Presto Snapshot 3

Fourth: ok, now let’s rock with one click installs! Go to the app store and… yes it’s a web page ;-)
Ok, i want this screen capture nice GPL software because it’s just 160kB.
But no! You have another 73MB of dependencies :(
Presto Snapshot 8

Yes I know, I know: you can’t have a 15 seconds-to-go OS and 160kB apps all in one shot :-P

Conclusion: well, the idea is nice and very interesting, but I’ll wait for the next release…

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Banzai: how to cut iced food

March 18th, 2009

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This is not a joke.
I know you have that wanderful piece of meat, or that huge lasagne ready dish, or you just have a nice wife who likes to cook for you and/or prepare the food and put it in a big pan in the freezer, because she doesn’t have time to prepare it on the fly (lasagne is a difficoult one).

So you will end up with that delicious dish in the freezer, but you can’t eat a whole lasagne pan: 4 days in a row? ;-)
After some time, you’ll starve for that, and finding no other mouth watering food in your fridge, you’ll really want a way to cut that dish in two or four pieces (no you’re not so smart to cut it before icing it, i bet you can’t do that with a lasagne pan: it’s very difficoult :P )

So this is a fast banzai guide to cut iced food. Why banzai?! Ehehehe :-D …keep on reading!

First: use disposable pans for your food. They can be reused, if treated properly and they don’t take up too much space. And most important: your food will be more easly take off the container!

So, take your pan and be prepared to get your fingers iced. If you would like not to get your fingers stick to the ice, you may put the pan in the ordinary fridge and wait some time for it to melt a little bit.
Ice cutting: step 1
Warning: even if you put your unused part in the freezer, this is not reccomended if you’re not eating the whole pan in a couple of weeks. You know: germs proliferate easily.
And never leave this kind of food outside the fridge, ever!

Now, take the big ice block free and etch it with a big and sharp knife both sides. Be sure the incision is deep enough, or it won’t break
Ice cutting: step2

Next put something below it, in the center of incision.

Now scream with all your breath: BANZAI (in the mean time of this difficoult task, you will have to hold the ice in one end and hit it in the other)
Ice cutting: step 3 - banzai!

Tada! :-D

Put the part you would like to eat in the fridge and wait for melting (or put it right in the microwave if you’re hungry) and the rest back in the pan and back in the freezer.

Done!

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