Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by flatfish.. » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 04:38:13



After replacing a flaked out IDE cable that was killing my ISO burns,
I finally got clean Mandrake 9.0RC2 CD's.

Fresh install (after I played with the new ATI card, I did a full,
fresh install) went smooth as silk.
Mandrake still hasn't figured out how to recognize a Logitech M-BA47
Wheel Mouse (the curved one) so I have to change to Mouseman, but
that's ok.

Install is blazing fast, in fact I figured something had to have gone
wrong because 15 minutes for a default install with multimedia,console
tools,client tools and every workstation option on the left side of
the screen checked, is incredible.

By contrast, like I had mentioned, I re partitioned and did a fresh XP
install and it took almost 2 hours but I did do a full 40gig FAT-32
format, but even still Mandrake was formatting 10gig and did it in the
blink of an eye from free space.

The install is totally idiot proof and unlike some noise I had heard
about the boot manager screwing up, it worked fine for me with Lilo
gui on /dev/hda.

I chose to not start any particular WM so I was left at the gui log in
and selected kde and the defaults.

Initially the icons are all crammed on top of each other.
Very unprofessional, but a nit I admit.

I have taken sceenshots of all of these things along the way and as
soon as I figure out how to be able to use angel fire to put up links
to the pictures I will post them.

I have the pictures in a directory but I can't figure out how to have
other people be able to view them. The site talks about index.htm but
I'm lost.

This is new to me.

So anyway, back to the review.

Mandrake continues along offering the very latest versions of
software. For example pan .13.0 is there and it is a MAJOR improvement
over previous versions.

Latest version of Gnome is there as well.

Xmms includes all the toys including kjofle (sp?) skins.

I know you are all dying to hear about the fonts, the biggest
complaint about Linux.

Ok here goes...........

Ready?

Out of the box they are pretty damm good.

No MS fonts no tweaking no nothing.

OpenOffice menu's look fine.

Mozilla/Galeon/Konq are a bit small for my taste at 1280x1024 24bit.

Unlike in the past, they seem to scale well. I don't know if I am
using anti-aliasing or not, I've never really liked it under Linux in
the past.

I haven't tweaked anything except making the pan fonts larger.

These are NOTHING like the mess SuSE 8.0 and it's nimrod defaults look
like.

It is all perfectly usable, and I am going to start tweaking and I
suspect that because they look this good out of the box I have a good
starting point and I can make them look as good, or better than MS.

I notice kaim is not listed anymore, good because it doesn't work at
all.

Gaim works fine.

The Mandrake control center has undergone some serious rework and now
offers a split screen where you can see the various commands being
executed and the results of those commands.

They borrowed that one from AIX and SMIT, minus the little man running
though.

The software package manager finally seems to work properly showing
different results for installed vs installable packages.

If you don't have CD1 in the CDROM though it takes a LONG time before
it asks you to insert it.

The automount program seems to work ok but again is a bit slow
querying the floppy and so forth.

When I had both the Sound blaster and Delta audio cards in the system
the configuration tool got totally confused.

SuSE seemed able to deal with it ok.

Alsa mixer is not installed by default so if you use alsa you have to
install it afterwards because I couldn't find an option to install it
at install time.

Tip:the volumes are set at 0 initially.

Problems?

Pan doesn't seem to change preferences. Change the screen layout and
it doesn't change.

Pan also exploded on me 2x and I captured the screen to document it.
While it lost the subscribed groups setting upon a restart,
re-subscribing back to the group put it right back where it was so
nothing was lost.

I am trying so hard to like pan :)

The biggest problem I am having is stuttering and clicks when playing
mp3's with xmms and doing anything graphical, like loading a web page
etc.

It's like the old problem under Windows with video cards hogging the
pci bus causing clicks and pops in audio programs. The solution was a
throttle bus=1 setting for some cards.

My card is an ATI AGP card, but I had the same problems with Nvidia
and Matrox as well.

It is worse under kde and less worse under Windowmaker.

I'm still researching it.

Bottom line?

This one is a killer.

Really it is.

Mandrake is going to get my $$$ because I'm buying into this version.
It is light years ahead of 8.2 IMHO.

Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love
it because it looks decent and works fine.

If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I
use the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will
be a 100 percent success.

I know philcordia uses a Delta card so I am curious as to how it works
for him.

Conclusion?

A lot to like and very little to dislike.

A real winner.

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by Aaron Meye » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:05:32



> Mandrake is going to get my $$$ because I'm buying into this version.
> It is light years ahead of 8.2 IMHO.

Yea!!!!

Quote:> Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love
> it because it looks decent and works fine.

I don't exactly understand... I am a Gentoo desktop user but I always keep
Mandrake handy just in case (I do not know what the case would be though).
Also, gentoo is meant for a different group from Mandrake. The real goal is
to get Linux out.

Quote:> If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I
> use the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will
> be a 100 percent success.

I seem to remember something about buffers and latencies... not sure.

Quote:> I know philcordia uses a Delta card so I am curious as to how it works
> for him.

> Conclusion?

> A lot to like and very little to dislike.

> A real winner.

Congradulations on your wonderful experience with the new Mandrake. I have
decided I will probably upgrade and will shell out some bucks just to help
Mandrake get along.

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by GeneralP » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:11:34



[admittedly killer review snipped]

Thanks for the review, flats.  I've been meaning to try a different distro
on my Thinkpad (P2-300 w/ 96 MB RAM) and I think I'll wait for the final
to come out.

--
General Protection Fault

 10:15pm  up 2 days,  3:35,  1 user,  load average: 0.06, 0.04, 0.01
Linux nitrogen.ertw.com 2.4.9-34 #1 Sat Jun 1 06:32:14 EDT 2002 i586 unknown

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by wjbel » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:44:19




> [admittedly killer review snipped]

> Thanks for the review, flats.  I've been meaning to try a different distro
> on my Thinkpad (P2-300 w/ 96 MB RAM) and I think I'll wait for the final
> to come out.

The final's already out.  It's called win98.  Try it. ;)
 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by flatfish++ » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:47:51




>> Mandrake is going to get my $$$ because I'm buying into this version.
>> It is light years ahead of 8.2 IMHO.

> Yea!!!!

>> Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love
>> it because it looks decent and works fine.

> I don't exactly understand... I am a Gentoo desktop user but I always keep
> Mandrake handy just in case (I do not know what the case would be though).
> Also, gentoo is meant for a different group from Mandrake. The real goal is
> to get Linux out.

Mandrake does just about everything anyone could want with very little
needed from the average user.

Of course you can build custom kernels and so forth, but it is not needed.

For a person looking to just install and use Linux, Mandrake 9.0 is a
great choice.

For a person, like Rappy, looking to have complete control over every
facet of the OS, Mandrake and it's wizards might get in the way.
Not that there aren't ways around this, but it may not be as obvious.

Quote:>> If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I
>> use the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will
>> be a 100 percent success.

> I seem to remember something about buffers and latencies... not sure.

That's where I am looking.

Quote:>> I know philcordia uses a Delta card so I am curious as to how it works
>> for him.

>> Conclusion?

>> A lot to like and very little to dislike.

>> A real winner.

> Congradulations on your wonderful experience with the new Mandrake. I have
> decided I will probably upgrade and will shell out some bucks just to help
> Mandrake get along.

It's good, it really is.
 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by fUlLmEtAlJaCkE » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 06:40:39





> > [admittedly killer review snipped]

> > Thanks for the review, flats.  I've been meaning to try a different distro
> > on my Thinkpad (P2-300 w/ 96 MB RAM) and I think I'll wait for the final
> > to come out.

> The final's already out.  It's called win98.  Try it. ;)

Nooo !!! Not that piece of turd. Win32 base code = yuk/puke !!
 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by Donn Mille » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 08:20:53




>>If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I
>>use the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will
>>be a 100 percent success.

> I seem to remember something about buffers and latencies... not sure.

Hmm.  You don't mean the low-latecy kernel option, do you?  I tried the
"high-performance" kernel patch, which was -rmap-ck7, patched against
the 2.4.19 kernel.  Get more info at

http://kerneltrap.org/node.php?id=403

I prefered the kernel config option where you can turn low-latency
on/off via a sysctl.  I believe that call would be sysctl -w
kernel.lowlatency=1.

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Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by Paul Robso » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 08:26:23



> After replacing a flaked out IDE cable that was killing my ISO burns,
> I finally got clean Mandrake 9.0RC2 CD's.

Well, if you're the real flatty, I apologise for prejudging your review !
 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by GeneralP » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 15:39:47


On Thu, 12 Sep 2002 23:47:51 -0400, flatfish+++ assert()ed:



>>> Mandrake is going to get my $$$ because I'm buying into this version.
>>> It is light years ahead of 8.2 IMHO.

>> Yea!!!!

>>> Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love
>>> it because it looks decent and works fine.

>> I don't exactly understand... I am a Gentoo desktop user but I always keep
>> Mandrake handy just in case (I do not know what the case would be though).
>> Also, gentoo is meant for a different group from Mandrake. The real goal is
>> to get Linux out.

> Mandrake does just about everything anyone could want with very little
> needed from the average user.

> Of course you can build custom kernels and so forth, but it is not needed.

I hear that.  I'm still running 2.4.9 that came with Red Hat 7.2.
Compiling your kernel used to be so easy, now with the modules et. al
it's just not that interesting for me anymore.

--
General Protection Fault

  8:45am  up 2 days, 14:05,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00
Linux nitrogen.ertw.com 2.4.9-34 #1 Sat Jun 1 06:32:14 EDT 2002 i586 unknown

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by kd6o » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 16:28:26



> After replacing a flaked out IDE cable that was killing my ISO burns,
> I finally got clean Mandrake 9.0RC2 CD's.
> Conclusion?

> A lot to like and very little to dislike.

> A real winner.

An impressive review.  One of my favorite apps is tin.  I have used it
forever, it seems, and I am very accustomed to navigating in it.  But
I couldn't compile it in MDK 8.2.  I found I couldn't compile any of
the three programs I tried.  I don't think I missed installing
anything because I chose to install everything (took longer to select
them than it did to install them).  The same sources do compile just
fine using RH 7.1 and 7.3.

Have you tried to compile anything in this release?

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by rapska » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 04:53:25


Error Log for Fri, 13 Sep 2002 02:20:53 +0000: segfault in module "Donn
Miller" - dump details are as follows...



>>>If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I use
>>>the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will be a
>>>100 percent success.

>> I seem to remember something about buffers and latencies... not sure.

> Hmm.  You don't mean the low-latecy kernel option, do you?  I tried the
> "high-performance" kernel patch, which was -rmap-ck7, patched against the
> 2.4.19 kernel.  Get more info at

> http://kerneltrap.org/node.php?id=403

> I prefered the kernel config option where you can turn low-latency on/off
> via a sysctl.  I believe that call would be sysctl -w kernel.lowlatency=1.

Hey, that's what I did when I compiled.  Do you know if it is on by default?

How do you verify that it is active?  I compiled in the high performance and
low latency controlled via sysctl.

--
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85 processes: 80 sleeping, 4 running, 1 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states:  3.6% user,  0.9% system,  0.0% nice,  1.7% idle
drop the hot to mail me

I doubt, therefore I might be.

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by flatfish.. » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 16:52:01






>>>If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I
>>>use the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will
>>>be a 100 percent success.

>> I seem to remember something about buffers and latencies... not sure.

>Hmm.  You don't mean the low-latecy kernel option, do you?  I tried the
>"high-performance" kernel patch, which was -rmap-ck7, patched against
>the 2.4.19 kernel.  Get more info at

>http://kerneltrap.org/node.php?id=403

>I prefered the kernel config option where you can turn low-latency
>on/off via a sysctl.  I believe that call would be sysctl -w
>kernel.lowlatency=1.

It's not latency, it's some kind of interference with the video.

Very much like how the old video PCI cards used to hog the bus and
cause PCI audio cards to click and stutter.

It's an alsa issue with this particular card I'm pretty sure because
the sound blaster works fine.

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by flatfish.. » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 16:53:24



Quote:>An impressive review.  One of my favorite apps is tin.  I have used it
>forever, it seems, and I am very accustomed to navigating in it.  But
>I couldn't compile it in MDK 8.2.  I found I couldn't compile any of
>the three programs I tried.  I don't think I missed installing
>anything because I chose to install everything (took longer to select
>them than it did to install them).  The same sources do compile just
>fine using RH 7.1 and 7.3.

>Have you tried to compile anything in this release?

No I haven't tried that yet.
It looks like all of the stuff I use is up to the minute current.
 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by Marcello Barbon » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 16:38:13



> Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love
> it because it looks decent and works fine.

I'm a Gentoo user, and if it's half as good as you described it (and I have
no reason to doubt it), I am definetly going to like it.
I'm not going to use it (I'm too hooked on Gentoo), but I'll recommend it to
newbies :-)

Good review :-)

Marcello
--
4:36pm up 7 days, 3:03, 0 users, load average: 2.35, 2.69, 3.34

 
 
 

Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review.

Post by rapska » Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:52:03


Error Log for Thu, 12 Sep 2002 22:38:13 +0000: segfault in module
"flatfish++" - dump details are as follows...

<PRE-COMMENTS>

Ok, I've got to tell you that I have some real reservations about this
"review", flatty...

But I've got to be fair and give you the benefit of the doubt...

</PRE-COMMENTS>

> After replacing a flaked out IDE cable that was killing my ISO burns, I
> finally got clean Mandrake 9.0RC2 CD's.

I know the feeling.  Towards the end with my previous mobo w/ the bad IDE
controller, I couldn't even play a DVD.

> Fresh install (after I played with the new ATI card, I did a full, fresh
> install) went smooth as silk.
> Mandrake still hasn't figured out how to recognize a Logitech M-BA47 Wheel
> Mouse (the curved one) so I have to change to Mouseman, but that's ok.

When you say "recognize" what do you mean exactly?  Is that a PS/2 or USB
mouse?  Does it have extra buttons?

Perhaps you meant configure.

> Install is blazing fast, in fact I figured something had to have gone
> wrong because 15 minutes for a default install with multimedia,console
> tools,client tools and every workstation option on the left side of the
> screen checked, is incredible.

15 minutes, damn!  That it pretty fast.

> By contrast, like I had mentioned, I re partitioned and did a fresh XP
> install and it took almost 2 hours but I did do a full 40gig FAT-32
> format, but even still Mandrake was formatting 10gig and did it in the
> blink of an eye from free space.

Partitioning and formatting under LGX is simply a dream, like most things. I
ripped through a 40GB drive w/three partitions in less than 4 minutes.

> The install is totally idiot proof and unlike some noise I had heard about
> the boot manager screwing up, it worked fine for me with Lilo gui on
> /dev/hda.

You sure that it's Lilo?  I know RH and MDK are pretty similar and unless
you explicitly choose Lilo, it will install grub, which looks and performs
better IMHO.

> I chose to not start any particular WM so I was left at the gui log in and
> selected kde and the defaults.

> Initially the icons are all crammed on top of each other. Very
> unprofessional, but a nit I admit.

One of the things that I didn't like about MDK or RH (or even Windows for
that matter) was that it stuck a whole bunch of unnecesary icons on your
desktop.

> I have taken sceenshots of all of these things along the way and as soon
> as I figure out how to be able to use angel fire to put up links to the
> pictures I will post them.

> I have the pictures in a directory but I can't figure out how to have
> other people be able to view them. The site talks about index.htm but I'm
> lost.

> This is new to me.

Those public servers are a PIA.  Doesn't your ISP give you web space?

> So anyway, back to the review.

> Mandrake continues along offering the very latest versions of software.
> For example pan .13.0 is there and it is a MAJOR improvement over previous
> versions.

:-))

> Latest version of Gnome is there as well.

> Xmms includes all the toys including kjofle (sp?) skins.

> I know you are all dying to hear about the fonts, the biggest complaint
> about Linux.

> Ok here goes...........

> Ready?

Alright, lay it on me brutha...

> Out of the box they are pretty damm good.

<THUNK!>   <--- me hitting the floor.

> No MS fonts no tweaking no nothing.

> OpenOffice menu's look fine.

> Mozilla/Galeon/Konq are a bit small for my taste at 1280x1024 24bit.

> Unlike in the past, they seem to scale well. I don't know if I am using
> anti-aliasing or not, I've never really liked it under Linux in the past.

> I haven't tweaked anything except making the pan fonts larger.

> These are NOTHING like the mess SuSE 8.0 and it's nimrod defaults look
> like.

> It is all perfectly usable, and I am going to start tweaking and I suspect
> that because they look this good out of the box I have a good starting
> point and I can make them look as good, or better than MS.

If MDK is anything like RH (and it is), they are probably using Freetype2
and XFS w/anti-aliasing.  When I was running Limbo, this is what was used,
and the fonts were completely awesome.  The anti-aliasing was good and clear
and not fuzzy and bleeding like on Windows.  If you want to tweak it out
even further, turn on font hinting for nice universal consistency with all
fonts.  You will take a hit in performance though.

I still think GTK2 and KDE3 render fonts pretty good even without these, but
it does require a bit of tweaking on the user's part.  It's a hell of alot
faster though :-)

> I notice kaim is not listed anymore, good because it doesn't work at all.

> Gaim works fine.

Told ya.  :-)

- Show quoted text -

> The Mandrake control center has undergone some serious rework and now
> offers a split screen where you can see the various commands being
> executed and the results of those commands.

> They borrowed that one from AIX and SMIT, minus the little man running
> though.

> The software package manager finally seems to work properly showing
> different results for installed vs installable packages.

> If you don't have CD1 in the CDROM though it takes a LONG time before it
> asks you to insert it.

> The automount program seems to work ok but again is a bit slow querying
> the floppy and so forth.

> When I had both the Sound blaster and Delta audio cards in the system the
> configuration tool got totally confused.

> SuSE seemed able to deal with it ok.

> Alsa mixer is not installed by default so if you use alsa you have to
> install it afterwards because I couldn't find an option to install it at
> install time.

I guess at some point I will have to give Alsa a try, but it just seems like
a big old hassle to get working.  Arts seems to be doing just fine for me.

> Tip:the volumes are set at 0 initially.

> Problems?

> Pan doesn't seem to change preferences. Change the screen layout and it
> doesn't change.

Confirmed, good catch flatty!  I never noticed that before since I used
tabbed layout.  Charles will be so proud of you.

Bug 93229 posted

> Pan also exploded on me 2x and I captured the screen to document it. While
> it lost the subscribed groups setting upon a restart, re-subscribing back
> to the group put it right back where it was so nothing was lost.

I've had a couple of occasions where 13.0 mysteriously segfaulted on me, but
with the new recovery implementation, you never lose anything.

So far, it's pretty solid on this system, and I do some pretty heavy stuff
with it.

> I am trying so hard to like pan :)

There's a like to like IMO.  Agent doesn't even comes close.

> The biggest problem I am having is stuttering and clicks when playing
> mp3's with xmms and doing anything graphical, like loading a web page etc.

> It's like the old problem under Windows with video cards hogging the pci
> bus causing clicks and pops in audio programs. The solution was a throttle
> bus=1 setting for some cards.

> My card is an ATI AGP card, but I had the same problems with Nvidia and
> Matrox as well.

I experienced that sometimes under a heavy load with esd or oss.  With arts,
I don't get that at all though.

Give arts a try and see how it works for you.

> It is worse under kde and less worse under Windowmaker.

> I'm still researching it.

> Bottom line?

> This one is a killer.

> Really it is.

> Mandrake is going to get my $$$ because I'm buying into this version. It
> is light years ahead of 8.2 IMHO.

<THUNK!>

> Gentoo users are going to hate it, but desktop users are going to love it
> because it looks decent and works fine.

Once you've experienced the best, everything else is just everything else.

:-))

> If I can fix the sound stuttering problem, which doesn't happen if I use
> the Soundblaster BTW, and if I can get pan under control, it will be a 100
> percent success.

> I know philcordia uses a Delta card so I am curious as to how it works for
> him.

> Conclusion?

> A lot to like and very little to dislike.

> A real winner.

Ok, flatty, what's the catch?  I know there's a hook hiding somewhere in
this juicy worm...

--
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85 processes: 78 sleeping, 6 running, 1 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states:  3.6% user,  0.9% system,  0.0% nice,  1.8% idle
drop the hot to mail me

Lemmings don't grow older, they just die.

 
 
 

1. Mandrake 9.0 rc2 : Review the Second

Well, I've had an install of rc2, yesterday. And I have to say, I disagree
almost 100% with Flatfish's review. The software was unreliable and behaved
in peculiar ways.

I'm a happy Mandrake 8.2 user, so I thought I'd try it. There are some good
things - it's faster, it supports my Mobo and Soundcard natively, detected
straight off, it looks prettier and has newer software. I don't agree with
Flatty that the fonts are better, they look identical to me in fact. The
look upgrade is simply KDE2->KDE3 for the most part.

It's fairly unstable ; the first time I tried it, the side panel in
konqueror always crashed ; the second time, I couldn't change users, and
the third time the panel icons disappeared and were replaced by 8 KDE icons
(!). It's not bad as a beta, but not great as an rc.

Apparently rc3 is more or less due, so I'll skip that and give 9.0 release
1 a go. If they can quash more bugs, it'll be great.

Cynics hat (this is a bit paranoid). Comparing Flatty's review of SuSE 8.0
(he didn't like it) and Mandrake 9.0rc2 (he basically liked it) is a bit
well - strange. SuSE 8.0 works pretty well - it's stable and quite fast. By
no means perfect - but a good distro. Mandrake 9.0rc2 is just that, a work
in progress.

One wonders if he was trying to encourage people to use a rather unstable
version of Linux to put them off ?

2. Linux on Compaq Armada 7730?

3. Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review Completed

4. Redhat 6.0 & ipmasqerade problems

5. Mandrake 9.0 RC2 Review alert!

6. Determining process memory usage in Linux

7. Mandrake 9.0 RC2 is funky :(

8. IMAP support in Web mail?

9. Review of Mandrake 9.0 by The Register

10. SUCCESS: Mandrake 9.1 RC2, Radeon 9000 AGP, ASUS A7M266D [Dual Athlon]!!!

11. Mandrake 9.0 & XP Coexisting

12. Mandrake 9.0: Please help - CD Burner is Detected for Burning, but not for reading

13. d10+ and mandrake 9.0