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Tadpole Computers Talin Notebook Series

Tadpole's Talin

click to enlarge

The Java Desktop branding jumped out at me as I configured the network and employed the administrative GUI to add users and groups. But from the descriptive text shown as commands, I could tell that YaST2 (yet another setup tool) and SuSE were under the hood.

StarOffice 7 leverages the performance enhancements introduced in Java Virtual Machine 1.4. In fact, StarOffice was downright snappy--a departure from previous versions. Font problems remain, however. Although most mappings from Windows to Linux were fine, I would have liked better support for common fonts like Times New Roman.

Mozilla 1.4 comes with Flash, Java 1.4, Adobe Acrobat and RealNetworks plug-ins preinstalled. Flash- and Java-enabled sites worked well, but the sound quality via Flash is unacceptable unless you're one of the few who can make out what Charlie Brown's marble-mouthed teacher is saying.

No-Hassle USB Support

One of the most obvious areas where Tadpole has done some work is peripheral support. The same USB Memory Stick that can't be read by other Linux desktop distributions was recognized, mounted and immediately available with no user intervention. I could read and write files, as well as drag and drop to copy from the Talin 15's 60-MB hard drive to the USB stick. The system correctly reacted when I flipped the stick's "write protect" switch.

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