Well, it's been around a week since I've installed Mandrake 8.1. Just to share with everyone my thoughts:
o Installation was, of course, a breeze (except for one thing, more on this later). I don't know how easy it is for other distros, but hopefully they're as easy as Mandrake's installation.
o Not a big kernel guru, so I am not aware of any special changes. I do know that apps load faster now. Mozilla runs faster, KDE apps don't take a millenium, and my gkrellm is not always busy (a good thing ).This is possibly app specific (new KDE, upgrades), but nonetheless a positive
o Some changes to Control Center makes it a bit more useful (Autoinstall for example), but nothing big. Software manager has also changed, but it's not a total revamp.
That is all i can think of (that is Mandrake specific) rite now. What's really on my mind is the negatives:
o Holy crap, what happened to Iomega USB Zip drives? It seems that Mandrake 8.1 (actually, the new kernel) makes symlinks on the fly now. Now even if I manually try to get my zip drive to work, all efforts are gone at reboot. Well, I didn't even get it to work, so I guess that doesn't matter :-/ If anyone has had success, please post! Thank you
o Beware of HardDrake! I don't know what they did to it, but my computer froze (silly me, i thought it was just slow and let it freeze for half an hour) after using it in Control Center. I was shocked! I mean, i couldn't even kill the process if I wanted to, nor reboot. A cold reboot is what happened..oh the humanity! :P It actually worked fine afterwards, so never found out what was wrong with it.
o As if picking packages individually wasn't hard enough, they had to extend the list even further! For example, expanding the "Other Window Managers" tree reveals packages that is required for all window managers. Basically, double-listing the darn things..sheesh, take goodness for auto-installs..if i ever need to do another install, i'll go crazy picking the packages.
And now Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy:
After fiddling around a bit, I got to thinking: What is it I like about Mandrake that I like so much? I guess because it is my first distro and introduction to the Linux world, I may have an affinity to it. Yet I find myself thinking what is it that other distros have that Mandrake doesn't? If I'm not a newbie anymore (just agree with me on this), then should the logical step be to use another distro? What makes a distro unique in contrast to other distros?
Isn't the most important factor are the applications you use? Then at that point, it is no longer distro specific, but rather application specific. So why all the distros?
I have to admit, I've been considering other distro's (shoud this be in the Distro wars section? haha), but don't see a significant reason to change and have to install all over again.
Hmm..this could be in the Rants section too. Ah well.