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
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
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...........
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
A lot to like and very little to dislike.
A real winner.