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View Poll Results: If given a choice of how to get my distro, I would rather:
Get everything out of a box - cds, docs and tech support. That's the way to go!
Purchase the CDs only. I can get the docs elsewhere, and learn as I go.
Purchase a membership so I can access what I want and leave the rest.
I can find everything on my own, and will show my support for my distro in another way.
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked, so I was hoping I could get opinions. I'm asking in regards to Mandrake, specifically, but I'm sure this is a question that could be asked of other distributions (if they provide offerings in the same manner).
MandrakeSoft allows you to download Mandrake distros without a fee or membership. I appreciated that. It gave me a chance to try the product, which I love (thanks whoever suggested it! I get the pleasure of a GUI and the opportunity to learn the console without having to rush. Whee!)
Now, I'd like to show my support. They offer various different products as well as the opportunity to get a membership. Which one is best, though? If you don't know the Mandrake offerings, and you'd like to help me out, take a look and then give me your opinion.
They offer a boxed ProSuite Edition, a boxed Power Pack Edition and a boxed Standard Edition. Each comes with a different offering of program, applications, documentation and support.
They also offer CD-only packs. This substantially cuts down on the cost of the programs, but omits the benefit of getting the documentation and the technical support (if it's needed).
Finally, the offer the Mandrake Linux club. This ranges from $5 - $100/month depending on commitment. It allows download access to many documents and applications (but they don't mention if there's a fee for each download. I get the impression that they might be offering *access* only. Not sure.)
Now, here's my questions? (I'm thinking about making a poll out of them if I can figure out how.)
If it were you, would you rather:
1) Purchase a product or a membership?
2) Purchase a set including documentation and support?
3) Purchase CDs only?
I'm interested in knowing, not only about Mandrake, but also in the trend of opinion. Is it better to purchase memberships and get help and documentation on your own? Or just CDs, or what?
I have never needed any form of official support. I learnt by downloading and installing and rtfming. when i got completely stuck, i found this place. If i were to donate money to a distribution then i wouldn't just buy their product, as the money would be part used in shiny booklets etc... more money will go to the delveopers by donating directly and continuing to download.
any money i donate would most probably only ever be to say "thankyou" and not be an attempt to get other help etc...
Hrm.. that brings me to another question. Would you consider something like the "Mandrake Club" to be a way to support directly? If not, does anyone know of a more direct way to support a distro? Or is it "better" to support the linux projects, rather than the distro groups?
If you're really wanting to give them money, I think the membership is a nice route. You get more access to mandrakeusers website, commercial application download availability, and you feel good about giving back to their community.
Distribution: openSuSE 42.1_64+Tumbleweed-KDE, Mint 17.3
I like a good documentation and I have a 56k Modem -- so you know what I prefer.
I use SuSE (6.4 and now 8.1). Their direct installation "support" is rather on the simpler side. Using triple-boot with DOS and WinNT I had problems at both times, which they could not help solving directly (in the end I did something different and guessed a lot and lastly it worked).
Their site with data pertaining to hardware and software problems is quite good, though (eventually also for Mandrake-users). I can do without a huffy "If you think you might have found an error, you may inform us" or something to that effect from them in any case.
Thanks for posting everyone! I'm glad I set this up, it's becoming a very interesting thread (at least to me), and I'm learning a great deal about attitude and environment. (Which is what I'd hoped to achieve.)
Keep posting please! Even if you don't want to post a description, give a vote so I can compile the results thoughtfully. The more people who respond, the more accurate the survey will be, of course.
I'm a Mandrake Club Member ( for supporting them ) and buy their Power Packs boxed ( with 20% Club reduction ) As far as technical support: I don't need that, but it is nice to know that I have two month of free support when I buy the boxed product. I'm a Mandrake FAN and spend as much as I can in Mandrakestore.
Originally posted by onurb I'm a Mandrake Club Member ( for supporting them ) and buy their Power Packs boxed ( with 20% Club reduction ) As far as technical support: I don't need that, but it is nice to know that I have two month of free support when I buy the boxed product. I'm a Mandrake FAN and spend as much as I can in Mandrakestore.
Hrm.. I hadn't thought of doing both. I downloaded the distro. Although having the manual to hold without having to print the whole thing out, would be a great help. Especially with as much as this system is down.
What other benefits are there to membership? Clearly, getting a membership *first* would be the way to go, if I wanted to purchase anything.
Documentation, Commercial Apps, install sources, generally more packages-eg some vital modem ones I needed. It does save time and effort
I brought Mdk9.0PP, but managed to download 9.1 at college and had fun with corrupt cds Less of a learning curve
haven't received my Power Pack yet - but then mandy went and released download versions of 9.1 as a kinda 'rc3' waiting for bugs to be reported before manufacturing the end product.
IMO they should have had a proper rc3 .... a bit less than a month for the brave people out there to test out the release candidates really isn't long enough!
That's come to be the .sig of this distro - buggy, at times positively flakey software (I don't think the broken mandrakeclub urpmi has been fixed yet, and plenty of us don't even want to think about the supermount fiasco) but at the same time it's as bleeding edge as a commercial and supposedly 'newbie friendly' distro can well get...and the installer is, quite simply, a killer. Knowing *nothing* about linux save that I wanted off the M$ bandwagon, I installed 9.0 around last Christmas and I'd have been back on line in linux half an hour later, if a winmodem hadn't sent me scrabbling thro' the attic.
Have scarcely used windoze since...but have to admit one thing, I've no interest in games; if I had any, i'm sure it'd have made a difference.
Specifically: Powerpacks contain lotsa' neat commercial software which can't be included on free downloads for licensing reasons (which might put off purists I guess); also a few apps such as johntheripper which some might thing not entirely respectable There's also a subscription version of the powerpack which gives you three free updates ie. powerpack versions of 9.2, 9.3 (if that's how their numbering works out) without paying out any more cash.
mandrakeclub sounds like a wonderful idea - there's loads of stuff on their dedicated server which club members can download for free, and it's all urpmi-enabled, no rpm hell here - but alas, this bonus remains entirely theoretical due to the urpmi problems I already mentioned.
Mandy is very good for free services, anyone with a mandrake question can check in to MandrakeExpert - you have to provide a user ID and password, but the service is completely free, doesn't care if you've bought a boxed set or not.
personally tho' I didn't have any problems with the install there have been moments over the past few months when a printed manual has seemed like a wonderful idea....but really it's not necessary, googling and forums like this one can provide the answer to almost any newbie question.
and so can rtfm-ing of course...as long as you can *understand* tfm which isn't always quite straightforward for the newb
Well they had released rc1 and rc2 beforehand, and the Cooker is, I believe, availably for people to constantly test the latest thing. But I also hear they used to get to about rc5 before a final release.
I actually might have a problem with supermount and my cd drives now, but apart from that Mdk9.1 rocks!
Originally posted by Proud I actually might have a problem with supermount and my cd drives now, but apart from that Mdk9.1 rocks!
I actually haven't had a problem with Mdk9.1. I really love it. My only issue right now is that I successfully have both linux and windows running, but linux didn't get the bootloader (lilo) successfully installed this time, and I can't tell why.
I had to manually configure the partitions in linux because the only options it gave were to use the windows (ntfs) partition or to erase all partitions. So I went custom and reconfigured the unformatted parititions, leaving the xp one alone and installing Mandrake. But it never gave me the option of where to put the boot loader and it's obviously got it somewhere else now. *grumble*