This finally may be the one.  I am currently writing this blog post from Mandriva, a Linux distribution originally based on Red Hat.  The transition hasn't been without its pains, but Mandriva has been the best of the bunch for me.  However, up until tonight it just wasn't quite there; a few nagging issues, including a rather annoying DNS resolution bug that slowed my browsing a little made it not quite the Windows replacement I was hoping for.

While again trying to set up the ability to record Skype conversations, I created a heap of microphone problems that compounded into me destroying both Gnome and KDE from the system, only to reset them from command line.

Yet here I am, and this is tremendous.  A tweak in alsamixer restored microphone functionality, and KDE as a replacement for Gnome has been phenominal.  Every complain is gone -- for what is supposedly the bloated desktop manager, I am incredibly pleased with it.  Browsing is far snappier than it ever was on any other platform, along with all the benefits I had prior found.

KDE is remarkably well designed.  It's much more user-friendly, visually appealing and, so far, stable than Gnome.  On top of that, the font aliasing has made Opera much more usable that it's become my Linux browser of choice as well.

The only question is the ease of installation of that specific set-up, as in terms of Mandriva 2009 installers, it only comes bundled with KDE 4, which I haven't tried and hasn't received the warmest of critical receptions (Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernal, called it a "disaster").

The other little usability issue is that the package manager's default repository is quite limited in its available software.  Fortunately a counter to that is the fact that Mandriva uses RPM install files, which are ubiquitous.

Aside from that, everything's been incredibly smooth.  The installation was by far the most well designed, as was the interface and setup.  Gnome to KDE was like night and day, and hopefully that can be the experience for future Linux convertees.

It still needs to stand a lengthier test, but Mandriva+KDE 3.5 appears to have finally hit the magic spot.
Posted by Ellyoda Tue, 10 Feb 2009 07:36:51 (comments: 6)
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 10:40:15

From their site -- The mobile and installable Linux desktop

on a USB key -- looks like a painless way to experiment.

Tue, 10 Feb 2009 10:46:49

I'm holding out for a new and improved version of Microsoft Bob


Wed, 11 Feb 2009 06:45:55
USB boot is very nice once you have it set up to work, but more difficult to create than just a CD or DVD.  It's not as simple as burning an ISO image, and older BIOS firmware doesn't support it.

Technically Microsoft Bob wasn't an operating system, just like Windows 3.11 wasn't, either.

I can't help but reiterate that this is what I've been hoping for the past few years, occasionally giving Linux a shot followed by frustration.  I again have that sense of just wanting to be on the sytem, even if I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Oh, and classic full screen command console via CTRL+ALT+F2 combined with vim editing FTW.
Wed, 11 Feb 2009 10:11:28

I share your frustration, I have tried twice with Linux and left in frustration, so your first hand experience is definately meaningful.

After seeing all that Euro #@$% on their site I am not getting the USB.

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 02:32:42

Windows 3.1 was not only an operating system, it was the best one (besides Vista.) How many times did you have a program crash in 3.1. ..............well?

Also with a blog title like this, you'd think it would be about someone finding their soulmate or something. But I guess you found your OS soulmate LOL

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 02:50:53
Windows 3.1 was a program on the Operating System of DOS.  Windows did not become its own OS until Windows 95.  A program crashing is also not necessarily an indication of the quality of an operating system, but the code of the programming you're running.
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