Experiment 1.3: PCLinuxOS .81 Final Rating

Linuxblog Introduction: We took an average windows user, gave her a handful of distributions of Linux, and forced her to use each distro for one week. We gave her alsaconf, email servers, and mounted her windows partition to the fresh install. Then, we faded away and quietly watched her in her new environment. You too can join us by reading on…

1)Look/Feel – I was impressed right off the bat with the look and feel of PC Linux OS. It’s much more professional looking than the others I’ve looked at, very clean and sleek. It could still use a little more flair, but I felt very comfortable looking at the desktop, it was by no means second rate. I like that they have the icon “Home” instead of the confusing one’s that others tend to use. All in all it was very user friendly. Once again, I was disappointed that I did not get to experiment with the Gnome desktop because it was not included in the software. I understand that with a lot of work, I could install it, but that is way beyond me. Still, I had fun with this one. (Score – 9)

2) Performance – Very fast. My husband tells me that PCLinuxOS is optimized for our computer. Whatever. But it gets me a desktop 5 seconds after I type in my user/password and that is the fastest I’ve seen. I’ve had no problems whatsoever. (Score – 10)

3)Hardware/Software – Everything that I needed was right there when I needed it. As mentioned in my initial impression, I was thrilled to find that Limewire is standard with this distro. I was so impressed with downloading files in Linux that I don’t think I will ever download files with Windows again. I’ve also decided that it’s ok for Mr. Devnet to set us up with a permanent Linux desktop in our house. He was very happy to finally have my approval. My mouse still doesn’t work properly but I think this is a browser problem (so I’ve been told). (Score – 10)

4)Upgradeability/Security – I’m going to stop pretending that I have a clue about these issues. Since they don’t affect anything I’ve done so far, it’s only fair to give them a 10. Okay, so maybe that’s not fair but this is my review! (Score – 10)

5)Documentation – Their community website looks to covers all bases, as far as someone like me can tell. It was very well organized and I couldn’t help but notice the reader survey on their homepage. I think the new tux looks more professional but the old one is cuter. (Score – 10)

6)Installation – Took less than fifteen minutes. There seemed to be some confusing things that I would not have understood on my own having to do with partitions. Yeah, I have no idea. There should be an option to just use the entire disk like there is in the distros I’ve seen before. (Score – 8 )

And now…once again…it is time for my criteria…

Continue reading “Experiment 1.3: PCLinuxOS .81 Final Rating”

Experiment 1.3: PC LinuxOS .81a – Initial Impression

After about two hours of fiddling around, (it didn’t seem like that long, I was actually enjoying myself) I do believe this has to be my favorite thus far. The install went smoothly with the only hitch being that it did not want to accept my login name. I was annoyed with that at first but once I got started I quickly forgot all about it and only remembered it just now. Almost everything I have tried to this point has worked without any difficulty or any need for research or advanced knowledge. –This is my bag, baby!!

I’m not going to say much at this point besides the fact that the look and feel is so far the best of the distros I have tested. The real kicker was finding Limewire for Linux in my menu and ready to go. I must say, I sure could have used a pair of “Oops, I Crapped My Pants!” when I saw how much cooler this file sharing program was compared to anything I’ve ever used.

You’ll be hearing from me in a few days with what you can safely bet to be a glowing review for PC Linus OS 8.1a.


Experiment 1.2: SimplyMEPIS 3.3Test2 Final Rating

Linuxblog Introduction: We took an average windows user, gave her a handful of distributions of Linux, and forced her to use each distro for one week. We gave her alsaconf, email servers, and mounted her windows partition to the fresh install. Then, we faded away and quietly watched her in her new environment. You too can join us by reading on…

I think everyone knows what’s going on here….so let’s get on with the review…

1)Look/Feel -I was confused by the desktop icons that read Hard Disc HHD1 [/] and the like. Figuring out that this was what was similar to “My Computer” took me quite some time because I was just so intimidated by the way it was labeled.There are four icons labeled similarly (Hard Disc, etc.) on the desktop and I was confused.I am sure plenty of other people would be too.For this reason I am taking off a few points that I would not have otherwise taken.

I didn’t get as much of a chance to use Gnome as I would have liked to this time around.I will probably use it first on the next distro so I can really decide which one I like the best.But regardless of the desktop I use, Simply MEPIS seems to be about the same to me in the looks department as Mandrake.It does not dazzle me because I am a real sucker for attractive designs.I think that it feels a little more familiar than Mandrake, so I give it points for that.It is easier to find my way around too.The start or K menu resembles the ones I am used to in Windows.(Score – 6)

Edit: On reviewing my notes one more time…I remembered the dragon at the logon screen. It looks like some second rate PBS kids show character. Really, what is with that dragon? Somebody needs to kick that to the curb.

2)Performance – It’s not as fast as Mandrake was in opening applications and surfing the Internet.I can’t figure out why programs are slower to start.But this is not too big of a deal.Overall, it performs well.(Score – 8)

3)Hardware/Software – I liked the fact that so much is already there and I didn’t have to go around trying to figure out how to download so many different things.The problem is that the things I did have to download, I had that same problem of trying to track down their location.I didn’t like the fact that all the cool features of my mouse do not work.(Score – 5)

4)Upgradeability/Security – It seems like MEPIS is set up to make upgrades really easy but I do not dare try one.The upgrade menu has endless options but it all looks like Greek to me.The security issue is kind of lost on me, I have no idea how secure it is.(Score – 10)

5)Documentation – There seems to be no shortage, I found a few websites out there that looked ready to help a new user.I did learn that sometimes you don’t get answers to your questions though.I can’t say that I expect much when relying on the kindness of other people; They don’t have all the time in the world for idiots like me.But they do seem to have a major community thing going on.Besides that they have a really decent quick start guide but because of my stupidity, it didn’t do me a whole lot of good. (Score – 8 )

6)Installation – The initial install was smooth with less than fifteen minutes total to completion.This was possibly the most impressive part about the whole thing.(Score – 10)

Now we talk about MY Criteria…

Continue reading “Experiment 1.2: SimplyMEPIS 3.3Test2 Final Rating”

Experiment: Update!

Hello all! Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news…however, we had to go out of town this weekend and therefore mrs.devnet did not get a chance to experiment with MEPIS over the weekend. She still would like to spend about 2-3 more days to do it the same justice for a review as she did with Mandrake. So…once again, sorry about the delay for SimplyMEPIS…rest assured that she will use the same approach to SimplyMEPIS and won’t pull any punches nor hide anything that she thinks. Stay tuned this week for her review!

Experiment 1.2 : SimplyMEPIS, Initial Impression

I wrote this on Monday, sorry it took so long to post. I had to mail this to myself and post it through Windows because my browser would not allow me to paste this from Open Office, that really bugged me! Anyways:


Okay, I’ve been fooling around with Mepis for two or so days. It is easier to find my way, so I haven’t even thought about using Gnome yet. KDE is working just fine but I will still try both.


I was really impressed that I haven’t had problems with Java or Flash, I have been able to browse all my regular websites without any trouble. I have run into some things that will not work. It has come to my attention though, that this is not a problem so much with the OS as it is a browser problem. It’s also a Windows Media Player problem because they don’t like to play nice with Linux and other Non-IE browsers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I know there isn’t much that can be done about it so I’m not holding a grudge, but I still don’t like it.


While browsing the web I got this message:


Sound Server-The KDE Crash Handler – The application sound server crashed and caused a signal 6 (SIGABRT).


—It’s some sort of bug but what do I do with it? I still have sound so I guess I will just ignore it for now. . .


A few annoyances that I will have to work on is, yet again, locating programs that I have downloaded. There is also the fact that I cannot figure out how to import music files to the media player, it’s different from Mandrake. I can only play one song at a time right now. I also tried some customizing but I could not get the screensaver I liked to work. The Internet seems sluggish too, I HATE that.


One plus, though, is that K3b, the burning program I had such a hard time installing last time, was standard on the desktop. And it was in the multimedia menu, so I could actually find it! Awesome!


P.S. – Something I forgot to include in my review of Mandrake (I can’t believe it!!) is that I somehow got it caught in an “infinite loop” and I basically crashed it. My husband said he’s never seen this particular kind of crash before in Linux. I obviously didn’t fix this on my own because the ctrl-alt-delete thing had no effect and the only other thing I could have done was pull the plug. –Anyhow, just something I thought I should probably share.


Experiment: Mandrake 10.1 Community Final Rating

Linuxblog Introduction: We took an average windows user, gave her a handful of distributions of Linux, and forced her to use each distro for one week. We gave her alsaconf, email servers, and mounted her windows partition to the fresh install. Then, we faded away and quietly watched her in her new environment. You too can join us by reading on…

Here I am the Average Windows User.I think I’m going to like Linux.That is, if we can work out a few things.I don’t think Mandrake is going to be my favorite—I hope.I hope because I really want to find an OS that is easier to work with.I am purposely not taking a lot of suggestions because most people would not have that luxury.I’m the person who just happened to hear that there was something out there like Windows, but FREE–or at the least a whole heck of a lot cheaper.I am the person who is curious but very limited in knowledge.Please keep this in mind as you proceed.

1)Look /Feel – I stand by my initial impression, it’s okay.I have no complaints with the look and how it works.I do however have a problem finding program files, in windows it is easy, go to program files on my drive and find the files.I can’t find any map like that inmy desktop and believe me I’ve been looking.I think by now I am so tired of looking that I wouldn’t be able to find it if it slapped me in the face.I do like Gnome better than KDE at this point. I can’t really explain why, I just do. (Score – 7)

2)Performance – It seems as fast if not faster than windows, that’s nice.But I have not been able to “tax it since I can hardly get anything to work.I like some of the programs, I am using open office right now for my log. It works nicely.(Score – 8 )

3)Hardware/Software – This part was infuriating. I will explain, patience please. See below in My Criteria(Score – 2)

4)Upgradeability/Security – At this point, I’m not exactly worried about security.I would never get that far with this “distro.Upgrading certain things proved too difficult for me, others were simple.(Score – 3)

5)Documentation – There is plenty of it, many websites out there but most of them are not catering to new users.I gave up on most of them before finding anything I could benefit from.Even though the kind people who visit this blog offered many good suggestions for help sites, it would have probably taken me weeks to find them on my own.(Score – 5)

6)Installation – Was not any more difficult than a Windows install, possibly easier.(Score – 8)

Now we talk about MY criteria:

Continue reading “Experiment: Mandrake 10.1 Community Final Rating”

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