Experiment: Initial Impressions of Mandrake 10.1 Community

This is my first entry in the experiment that I have been volunteered for by my husband. I said I would do this because I like the idea of a free operating system and I’ve always heard my husband talk about how great it would be if we could use linux instead of windows. Here is my chance to find out if this would ever really be an option for us.

I installed Mandrake today with minimal help. I could have done it on my own but I just wanted to get on with things so I asked a few questions. There are a few things about the install that aren’t exactly new user friendly, but if I think back to some windows installs I probably did some guessing then too.

This is my initial impression after a little over an hour of use:

Starting with the criteria, I think the look of the desktop is okay. Nothing fantastic but it’s pretty easy to navigate and that is what is most important to me. I haven’t tried changing anything, I haven’t done much of anything yet. I am very frustrated that I had to ask for help getting the sound to work. This should be really easy to do but for someone who knows nothing about “ALSACONF” it’s a bit of a problem. The very next thing I wanted to do was be able to surf the web and have my own website render properly. This wasn’t going to happen without java. I decided to do a search for java downloads. I found one, downloaded it, easy enough. Opening the file was a different story. I tried everything I could think of but I ended up asking for help. This is a complete turn-off to me. If I was on my own I’d be screwed. I want to give up, however I’ve been informed that I will not be getting out of this so easily. You will be hearing from me in a day or so. Now I get to go feel like an idiot some more. –BTW, the very same keyboard I use in windows is MMMMMMuch more sensitive in linux. I find that odd. Anyway . . .

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  • br3n

    best advice i can give to a newbie is learn about urpmi and this site
    http://www.speculation.org/garrick/faqs.html
    learning the names of the apps used on linux vs what the name was on windows is probably the biggest part of the battle.
    there is a site and unfortunately i no longer have the bookmark for it but it has the windows app and then lists a comparable app in linux.
    that helped a lot to at least know what i was looking for.when you get ready to print i highly suggest cups but if you have a new printer it can make it very hard sometimes.
    i have been running mandrake for over 3 years now and still have to say i get very upset at times but then i remember windows MS and how i always hd to solve things by reformating C and it makes me smile because now i dont always lose everything.
    oh for java i dont know as i didnt want it but there is lots of sites that are specific for your OS/version instruction.learn to use google also.
    ex:java+mdk 10.1 and it should give you specific sites.
    good luck
    br3n

  • hise

    Hi:

    The problem with switching to linux, or any other mostly different operating system, is the learning curve. Which one must ask, “Is it worth it?” and “Even after I learn the basics, will I stay?”.

    I find that a lot (not all) of people who do switch over to linux end up spending a lot of time customizing it. Because you can configure linux to be anything you want it to be, you end up feeling more like it is your computer — your property. You identify with your tricked out computer WAY more than you ever could with windows.

    Good luck!

    hise