I just decided to do a quick review of my latest discovery - Redmond Linux.
Redmond Linux is a total newbies distro, the general idea is a distro with only one tool to do each job in order not to confuse the user - also the desktop is a blatant rip off of Windows 98, to make newly converts feel at home.
RL installs as many other distros from the bootable cd, and a Windows based installer is even available, but I didn't try it out soo I'll make no comments.
As for the install, everything went smoothly, all my hardware was detected and configured properly - The installer even detected that I had my HD on a ATA100 controller, and had no problems installing on this. During the installation the user is asked for very little infomation - amongst the hardest for a newbie was setting up network. As configuration is done at the same time as the packages are tranfered from the cd, if the users finishs up configuration before tranfer is done, one is rewarded for the effort with a game of solitare - mighty fun.
The first boot is painless, and upon start up one is greeted with a pretty KDE logon screen. A grafical boot sequence is used, but that is not very infomative for the total newbie - maybe using a hack such as the LPP should be installed in a future edition.
The first the hit you, is that.... this is bloody Windows - did I select the correct option in the bootloader??
But no, the icons says Your Linux System, Network Browser, Personal Files and Recycle Bin.
With RL you can per default browse local networks in the same manner as in Windows (using Samba). Your Linux System reveals a "My Computer like inteface" with a control panel and access to your CDrom drives and Harddrives, in the same manner as in Windows again.
The next thing that strikes you, is the lack of programs... compared to a normal Linux distro RL has very few programs, but this is good - only one webbrowser, one mediaplayer, etc. Very easy to figure out, it helps that the develops made some clever choices. Although one is confused by them picking Mozilla over Konqueror as a webbrowser - as RL brags about having a 100% antialiased desktop - in the mozilla browser fonts look buttugly.
In the "start" menu everything is arranged for the user in fitting groups and help is available at the click of a mouse button. Only complaint about this is the very ugly icon that was chosen for the the start button...
The RL desktop includes popular technologies like flash and realplayer preconfigured - and soo far there has been no problem with this other than a confusion with the file extention of the popular DiVX codec video files. Once fixed (help avail. via the online community for those who needs it) there is no futher problems.
RL includes an online update service, like most other distros - only difference is that this one actually works as it's suppose to.. JOY !
Redmond Linux is a good product, but only for newbies - serious users like myself will be annoyed by the distro lacking stuff like GCC to compile sourcecode - this is however a good thing, less confusion for the newbie. The firetrial was placing my 18 year old sister, who knows nothing about computer infront of the RL system and observe her in action.
This turned out great, within minuts she was browsing the web, reading email and playing one of the many small game which is included in the setup. Happily I might add.
Redmond Linux is Linux for the desktop, no more, no less.
It deserves 9 of 10 penguins. One point is deducted for not installing the proper nVidia driver for my GeForce card and then not having make, gcc or the kernel source for me to fix the problem with.
* 2.4.12-ac6 kernel, fully anti-aliased KDE 2.2.2 on XFree86 4.1.0
* Mozilla 0.9.6, RealPlayer 8, Flash 5, Adobe Acrobat Reader
* Kapital personal finance manager demo, RLizard graphical installation program