I finally had a chance to update my computer from Mandriva 2005LE to Mandriva 2007 Free. Mandriva and the Penguin Liberation Front were slowing down/discontinuing 2005LE updates so I made the switch. I update every other version of Mandriva, which means I update every 2 years.
The new KDE 3.5 is nice, and the visuals included are very nice. Transparent windows are cool to look at and pretty useful when you are looking at one web page and trying to type commands into a terminal window. Another piece of eye candy is 3ddesk, which allows neat looking desktop switching. Pointless but cool looking. The new XGL engine is stable and runs great on my 5 year old machine. Vista would balk at my “old” Athlon 2200 and 512 mb of ram, with a 64 meg video card. Mandriva Linux had no complaints. Everything works great, and the machine boots very quickly and cleanly. I’ll take some screen shots later so you can see how nice the updated interface is. No crashes yet, not even an X crash yet with the whiz bang visuals. I do have trouble with getting compiz working, but the visuals included in KDE 3.5 are pretty nice and work well.
Edit: I was able to get Compiz-quinn working. It has pretty wild visual effects, as good or better than Vista with Aero Glass. You can see a demo of someone else running it here.
Why can programmers who get paid relatively little or nothing are able to accomplish so much on older hardware when highly paid programmers can’t is beyond me. Vista is 5 years late and has features which only bring it close to other operating systems. The Linux crowd is doing a nice job of keeping ahead of MS by the look of things.
A new feature in Vista is one which prompts users for a password before they install software or change the system. This has always existed in the Unix/Linux world. It’s call root user/regular user dichotomy. Only root can mess up your system, and modern Linux distributions really pound in the fact you should never log in a root, unless you really mean it. The sudo command is all you really need to get things accomplished. Way to go, catching up with a 30 year old concept.
Enough nerd speak. My next post will be about regular life.by