1. Update to the Experiment

The experiment continues. Today, mrs.devnet spent about 5 hours in her new Mandrake 10.1 environment and was scribbling away with a notebook on her likes/dislikes. She then opened up Open Office and began typing up a storm. I took a couple of screenshots while she got up to take a break so we can have some eye candy for the review. I also had to intervene 4 times right away…so I think what we’ll do is intervene on these four things for EACH distro so that they have an equal playing field. The following items were where I intervened…

I had mrs.devnet run ‘alsaconf’ on the distro because sound wasn’t enabled right away. I checked Kmix beforehand for mute but to no avail for it was unmuted. It seems Mandrake had problems with the SB Audigy X-Gamer sound card I have. No worries, I got it up and running with a quick alsaconf…which I will do for each distro if needed. Reason being, there wouldn’t be much of a review if mrs.devnet couldn’t listen to music…she’d give up before even starting. There is also no way that she would ever figure out to open up a terminal, su, and run alsaconf (now she will…before, no way).

I also mounted a music share to the desktop so that mrs.devnet had access to her music library. I will also do this for each and every distro.

Mrs.devnet also consulted me on a couple of points as well and I attempted to bring mandrake into swing with java and flash with only minimal assistance (i.e., showing her the correct website to get stuff from and showing her where the instructions were…not doing it for her). We’ll have to wait for her final review to see if she got it configured.

The last thing done is that I gave her our smtp and pop server logins and passwords so that she could connect to check her mail. So those four things were done in this distro and will be done for each distro installed.

She’ll continue to use Mandrake 10.1 Community for the next 2 days and then switch back into windows. Then she will compose her review based on the criteria posted in this blog and also her own criteria. She’ll rate the distro on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best for each area in the criteria. We’ll continue on to the next distro which is the latest stable version of SimplyMEPIS, SimplyMEPIS 2004.06. After MEPIS, PCLinuxOS followed by FC 3, then Knoppix, and finally we’ll add Ubuntu…just for kicks. We’ve got a good start thus far! We’ll keep you posted!

Author: devnet

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix and Linux administrator, a Technical Writer, a System Analyst, and a Systems Engineer during his 20+ years working with Technology.

5 thoughts on “1. Update to the Experiment”

  1. i forgot to say check out the mandrake control center.
    as root mcc should open it up and and you can go under software and go to install and put a partial name for a software you want it will list everything to do with that.it might also list some things you dont really need also. so i try to check to make sure i need them.

    and she really needs to try out pysol cards the klondike style.it beats solitaire hands down.
    good luck

  2. I’m of the opinion she would be able to install gentoo. I installed it knowing very little about linux. I just followed the documentation [which I had printed out before hand] and ended out with a stable system with everything I needed.
    Of course you’d have to watch out. Mrs. Devnet might then start compiling a kernel specially optimised for your toaster.

  3. I think that would be a bit over her head…even though it would have a step by step. See, she hates command line/linux prompt stuff at all costs. She will stick with a GUI as much as possible. Gentoo would probably be a bit too hard for her. I remember when I installed it…I was even a bit confused (installed a year ago). Can’t wait for the next step though…she’ll post something on Wednesday or Thursday for Mandrake.

  4. i remember when i started and commandline was very scary.now for some things it is my preference as i get fewer complications.
    cant wait for the next update.


  5. She’s ready to go on to the next distro this weekend. She’s beginning her take on Mandrake (as of last night) which means she put in around 5 days of ‘getting used’ to it.

    I’ll be posting her findings sometime tonight if she has her review done…if not, it will be first thing on Friday. I know that she’s gone back to Windows XP for today, tomorrow, and Saturday as was part of the original plan…going back to windows allows her to purge Linux out of her system…to a degree.

    The goal with this is to be as unbiased as possible meaning all distros will be given an even playing field out of the gate. My wife is also a very good writer and will attempt to be unbiased and non-judgemental on things the OS isn’t responsible for as much as possible

    So, on Sat Evening, we’ll install SimplyMEPIS and continue on with the experiment.

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