Experiment 1.4: Fedora Core 4 Test 1 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…

Editors Note: More screenshots would accompany this review, but problems with software/hardware prevented many things from happening. Read on for more.


1) Look/Feel – as far as the look of this distro goes…everything is very nice and professional. This one is extremely easy on the eyes. I was excited at the chance to get to use the gnome desktop by default. I really like the way the menu bar is at the top instead of the bottom. I don’t like the fact that there are very few choices in the menu’s for anything. But overall, everything seems very nice. (Score – 8 )

2) Performance – Slow! With a capital “S”! During my first login, the desktop took approximately 45 seconds to login then froze. So we restarted and tried it again. It improved to 40 seconds but didn’t freeze this time. When clicking on menu’s it isn’t too bad…but whenever I open a program it takes forever and a year to open it up. This is horrible. (Score – 2)

3) Hardware/Software – This was a big issue for me as well. I don’t like the fact that there is very little choice in the menus. Also the fact that it is extremely difficult for me to download and install things (something I haven’t figured out yet in Linux) and that it doesn’t have many choices for software makes it useless for me. Fedora seemed to install all my hardware correctly though. (Score – 5)

4) Upgradeability/Security – Yet again this subject is lost on me. I have to trust that things are secure. Upgrading is a mystery for me. I’ve gotta be fair to this one so I’ll give it what I give every distro. (Score – 10)

5) Documentation – There is loads of documentation available from the Fedora website. However, none of this actually helps me at all. Being a new user this is like looking at a new language to me. I don’t understand any of it. It might be great for other people but it doesn’t help me out at all. Still, they’ve got great organization in place and a very detailed site, so they will score a bit high on this. (Score – 9)

6) Installation – Everything was very straightforward. They have an excellent graphic installation thing. Very easy to use. This might even be easier than Windows. It wasn’t a long installation either. It would be great if all of the distros installed like this. (Score – 10)

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

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Experiment: Update Fedora Core 4 Test 1

Fedora Core 4 Test 1 went on the test machine 2 days ago.  However, mrs.devnet has done little testing as of yet.  Real life issues have taken over.  For those that don’t know…I’m currently active duty military and am separating from the service this month.  As you probably could guess, this means we’ll be moving soon as well as changing employers.  Mrs.devent has been furiously planning our move whilst I am looking for employment in the Richmond, VA – Washington, DC area.  So there hasn’t been a ton of development on the experiment.  I have spoken to her and she promises action on the last two distributions…FC4 test 1 and Ubuntu-current…within the next week.  Sorry for our readers…but of course, family will come first.  So expect Fedora Core 4 Test 1 to post sometime this next weekend and Ubuntu the following week.  Of course, as promised, we’ll take another look at the top 2 and pit them head-to-head against one another.  Then we’ll crown the winner.  Thus far, PCLinuxOS is in the lead with 10 out of 10 points awarded and SimplyMEPIS is right behind with 8 out of 10.  Stay tuned this weekend for mrs.devnet’s review.

On an positive note for the site, I’ll be going hosted soon.  I host this webpage on my own server at home and we’ve been getting many hits on the site which taxes my whole entire connection (time warner cable).  To combat this, I am purchasing a domain and webhost plan.  Look for those changes to happen in May.  There will be little if any downtime…just enough for the nameservers to change over.  Thanks again for reading!

Experiment Update!

After a lengthy downtime this past weekend due to a server hard disk crash, we’re back up.  I moved the server to a new machine this past week as well so we didn’t get time to install Fedora Core current for review either.  Therefore, the next step in the experiment will happen on Wednesday when we go forward with Fedora Core current.  Mrs.devnet will take a look at FC followed by Ubuntu current next week sometime.  She’ll then pick the top two distros of all those reviewed.  Then we will have <assume Charlton Heston-like booming voice> THE GREAT DISTRO DRAW DOWN!!!</assume>.  Mrs.devent will crown the victor and we’ll have our winner of the “Best New User Linux Distro”

Why is this important?  Mainly because it has never been done before.  Usually, a linux USER with experience  will review a distribution.  In this case, someone who has zero Linux experience is reviewing these distros and they’re doing it according to criteria that a windows user would have and rating it according to what provides the best experience for them out of the box; mainly, thing such as checking email, web surfing, file sharing, and playing music.  A high percentage of people out there only want a computer for that very reason and this experiment is designed to address those people (such as mrs.devnet  😛 ) and encourage them to try out Linux and making the choice for Windows-Like distro easier.

When the winner is crowned I will draw up a nifty award badge that can be displayed as a linkback to the article which will linkback to the developers main site.  I’ll also do a follow up Q&A session with the developer of the winning distro.  I’ll also ask the main developer if they will display the LinuxBlog badge on the main site somewhere.  This way, the distro that wins may get the attention it deserves.  Believe me, whichever distro wins this contest will have EARNED it.  Instead of just being a review of some distro from a fanboi as 90% of the ‘reviews’ are out there,  it will be an actual deserved win for a distro that is the best for someone trying to get out of the windows rut.

Since the experiment is unique, I’ll need your help to make it a success and give it the exposure it deserves.  If your favorite distro is chosen, I’d like to ask you all to help me promote the review.  This means posting link backs to it in every single forum or site you can find.  Remember, this isn’t to drive traffic here (that’s what blogrolling is for) it is to draw attention to the winner!  Linux needs a champion for Windows converts and whichever distro wins this experiment will be the one Linux Blog will stand behind.  After the experiment concludes and you’d like to help out, just post a comment under the article and make sure to fill in the blank provided for your email.  I’ll contact you with information on where I’ve submitted to so that we don’t have double submissions and then we can get started promoting the winner!

If anyone has any questions or comments, please drop them in the comments section of this post.  I’m open to suggestions!  Thanks for reading!

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…

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Experiment 1.3: Update…Where have we been?

Where have we been?!?!  What’s up with the experiment!?!?  Well, let me tell you…Texstar has seemingly won over my wife with this distribution of Linux. As stated previously by her, she expected a glowing review of the distro and currently, she can’t get enough of PCLinuxOS. So, since this is such a great distro and it has interrupted the experiment a bit…mrs.devnet made me promise two things as far as the experiment goes… 1) Leave PCLinuxOS on the computer for about 10 days so I can use Limewire (massively fast speeds) 2) Since we’re spending so long on this one…I don’t want to do 3 more…so cut one distro from the list.

No problems there. I am going to cut Knoppix from the list since it is not primarily a ‘desktop’ distro. So, we’ll have Ubuntu current and Fedora Core 4 (test or full) remaining. After all is said and done, we’ll have a head to head rehash of the top two distributions…we’ll look really detailed into those for the final head to head review…and we’ll declare an overall winner.

On the distant horizon, we’ll be taking a look at Linspire 5.0, Xandros 3.0 Deluxe, and Lycoris.

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.

Mrs.Devnet