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Mandrake 9.1 Bamboo
Reviews Views Date of last review
41 171560 06-30-2004
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
88% of reviewers $58.13 8.4



Description: Mandrake 9.1 has a very easy and simple install process. It recognizes much, if not all, of the hardware in the computer. It also have a great feature called Mandrake 9.1 Control Center which allows users to easily changes setting in X, such as resolution, to mounting drives, setting up firewalls, and editing menus without of the use of the command line.
Keywords: Easy, Great hardware recognition, Newbie friendly


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Old 06-09-2003, 11:16 PM   #1
darin3200
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Gentoo!
Posts: 1,153

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: Hardware recognition, very easy to use
Cons: With everything done for you don't earn as much



I Mandrake because I can plug in my camera which is not supported by most camera software and Mandrake creates an new folder in my /mnt directory for the camera. It is very easy to change setting with the Mandrake 9.1 Control Center, and the package management helps a lot with installing software. I also like the fact the right after it was installed I was on the internet and could see everything on my network of a router with DSL. A bad side is that it takes forever to load anything in the /mnt directory. I can go /mnt/cdrom and it will take 15 minutes before anything is displayed. For that I just open konsole and mount in there. Also with newer SIS chipsets like 740 Mandrake does a good job of supported. Overall Mandrake doesn't provide the learning curve of harder distrobutions but makes up for it with a large number of features.
 
Old 06-12-2003, 12:45 PM   #2
Riley
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 Powerpack
Posts: 178

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Easy to setup, update and configure. Great for newbies and still great for experts.
Cons: N/A


I started out using this distribution and it was really easy to get used to. I've tried several other distros and came back to this one in the end. This distro is great because it has tons of great officially supported software, it's tools greatly ease configuration, and it has easy to use software management tools. Something I love about Mandrake is that it is easy without assuming you're stupid such as the redhat distro does.
I was also worried that I'd have to keep windows around to use my digital camera especially since it wasn't supported by the digital camera software packages I've seen, however, I just plugged my camera in and Mandrake mounted it and allowed me to access it.
This newest version (9.1) shows that Mandrake is continuing to make their Linux distro better and better.
Though I downloaded this distribution freely I support it by being a Mandrake Club member.
 
Old 06-12-2003, 04:04 PM   #3
jswmcse
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: Easy to install, user friendly
Cons: kind of slow


I'm a Linux newbie. I took a class to prep for Linux+ a couple of weeks ago after a little bit of playing with Linux in the past. Class was very helpful. So I came home and removed WinXP and tried to install Caldera Open Linux. But I heard about their legal garbarge, so I shelved that distro. Then I tried to install Red Hat 9, but it just wouldn't seem to load on my home computer. When it did, X Windows wouldn't start.

Just before my class I had tested Mandrake 9.1 on a machine at work and it install easily. So I took those CDs home and was able to install it AND get X Windows to run. This machine is mainly used by my wife and kids, so it's very important to get some games and apps running quickly.

With Mandrake, I've got the sound card working (took some effort), gaim is connected to MSN Messenger, and email and Internet worked right away.
Next up is some games for the kids.

Since I'm a newbie, I can't comment of real technical stuff, but Mandrake seems like version that will allow me the freedom to choose something other than MS without having to completely retrain my wife and kids.

Kind of funny to think that my kids will grow up on Linux instead of MS.

Hope this helps,
jswmcse
 
Old 06-12-2003, 05:56 PM   #4
DiBosco
 
Registered: Nov 2001
Distribution: Mandriva, Mandriva, Mandriva. (Three different releases depending on the computer)
Posts: 708

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Ease of use and install.
Cons: Some programs are slow (mainly to load).


Different people seem to cite different reasons for having a go at running Linux, but one common reason for not running it is how difficult it is to use. This is rapidly becoming a spurious reason with the latest offering from Mandrake.

Much of the credit for this can go to KDE for its much improved version 3 desktop and to Open Office for its intuitive Word Processor and Spreadsheet packages. Mandrake have pitched in too with details like printer installation taking a huge leap forward in its ease of use.

I would now be happy to put together a machine for a non techy person and install Linux rather than Windows. Open Office seems to cope reasonably well with Word files; it has a few difficulties with tables, but that's pretty standard when you're translating word processor formats. The spreadsheet package reads Excel files no problem. Microsoft's grip on the world of desktop computing relies heavily on its Office package, so it's encouraging to find a program that can deal with such files.

There will of course still be a number of people who rely on Windows only software, but for a large number of people, all they want a computer for is e-mail, Internet access and word processing. Internet browsing is well catered for by the excellent Mozilla; there are fewer and fewer sites it cannot cope with these days. E-mail packages are abundant and easy to configure. There is some work to be done here though: Evolution is the most rediculous piece of bloatware imaginable and Kmail leaves a little to be desired in terms of presentation and its reliance on the mouse.

Other areas of criticism would be the age it takes for Open Office to boot and how slow it is to save even the smallest of files.

These are minor complaints however. Setup and install is easier and quicker than Windows; Mandrake 9.1 found Internet connections effortlessly (as did 8.1); it's got programs like VNC, Palm Pilot Sync, ICQ etc. It's really closing in on Windows as a mass market desktop operating system. Cutting and pasting between applications is very good now - a Windows user would cope no problem.

Couple this with the fact that Linux is a rock solid operating system at a rock bottom price and you have a very attractive propsition for both individuals and companies. Companies could save tens of thousands of Euros by taking the plunge; it's good to see local authorities and other public funded companies starting to realise this.
 
Old 06-12-2003, 08:00 PM   #5
Jane Delawney
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Mandy 9.1, Knoppix :)
Posts: 146

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: newbie friendly, but a 'real' Linux install for all that
Cons: some bloatware (who needs 6 window managers & 4 browsers?) and the latest version isn't trouble free.


I came to Linux as a totally naive pointy-clicky Windoze refugee and for some reason I still don't really understand I decided to give Mandrake 9.0 a go rather than any other distro.
(Wanted for personal/'ideological' reasons to move away from M$; known for a while I was going to migrate; but choosing mandy was a matter of pure luck, not informed judgement; all I had to go on was stuff from Distrowatch, which for all I knew was only relevant to practiced users...so naive I was then)
Well that was fortunate, then. 9.0 worked right out of the box, and even tho' I've whinged elsewhere about the near disaster of my 9.1 upgrade, now I have it functioning as I want, it's the best OS I've ever used, both in terms of ease of use, and of interest.
Mandrake have done something extraordinary here IMO - while they have made their LInux really suitable for newbs and Windoze migrants, it's also a complete, unexpurgated *nix system, entirely usable and configurable from command line, for those who want such a thing. This sets it aside from certain other desktop-oriented distros (Lindows, Xandros spring to mind) which kinda 'neuter' the linux experience in the interest of making it 'easier'.
Mandrake demonstrates that it's quite possible to provide an end-user-friendly, easily configurable, GUI-oriented OS, without removing those features which true LInux geeks love and cherish. This is 'real' Linux made newbie friendly, and I can't think of a better way of getting people started than that. Begin with a kind-of windows emulation, then gradually start to perceive that there is more, *much* more, to this OS than that.

And also ... I know I may be alone in this, but personally I think that urpmi/rpmdrake is *extremely* cool...though mandy should perhaps make it a little more explicit in their documentation just where you need to go, and what you need to do, to make it work. Once you've set it up, it's just fab, no argument. The only limitation to future updating is my gosh-darn dialup....and I keep thinking of dashed good reasons for not acquiring a permanent IP address...:)

cheers

jd

 
Old 06-16-2003, 02:22 AM   #6
ledus39
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: 9.1
Posts: 4

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: all works
Cons: nothing works


The best was, all interface was in my native language and i could type special characters, for such soft I pay 400$ for MS windows, and here its free. I was little confused because there all was preinstalled, i had nothing to do with os my favorite programs is regedit , in windows i spare most of time to configure my os, I couldnot install auto mount feature- it was almost there, cdrom works fine, besides even my films plays in explorer window. The bad news was I couldnot instal my favorite windows games such as rtcw, bf1942 etc. I couldnot instal wine because mandrake has its own version. And the worst thing i couldnot instal my mouse newest usb wireless optical, but with simple ps2 mouse all works fine. Dream about VisualBasic6 applications is just a dream, isnt it?
 
Old 06-16-2003, 03:04 AM   #7
eselma
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Distribution: Debian 7 (wheezy), SolydK
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Good hardware recognition. Great language support
Cons: Better if it gave you more choices.


I used (time ago) Slackware and RedHat. Problems supporting some h/w with those. I came across Mandrake as a new distro that supported my native language (Catalan, Europe), so I tried. All the hardware were supported easily, and internet connection was made effortless, as the local network, sound and graphic cards. From the version 7.02 I have been using this flawlessly, both in last model PCs or older ones (sorry, only 586 + supported). AMD and Pentiums working fine: at work, home, my wife, etc.

Despite some opinions, I think that Mandrake is a real Linux at last, and behind the "wizard" you can find (and hack) all through CLI. Using the bulky Open Office, sophisticated EMACS or simple JED is your choice.

The new 9.1 version (Bamboo) is even better that last ones. maybe that software is in a cutting edge, (and I was lucky) including the lernel 2.4.21.

Two main criticisms I could gave to MDK:

a/ Being a OS adequate for newbies, the "Quick Installation Guide" is short, but very poor.

b/ For same reason, the "easy and default" install perhaps gave you few choices (specially considering that partition tools are powerful and very stable).

On the other hand, the support is very good, both for free and club members.

Since Mandrake was rid of "expensive executives" the product has been better than before.

Please, before opining on a distro, please give Mandrake an opportunity.
 
Old 06-16-2003, 03:39 PM   #8
liguorir
 
Registered: May 2003
Posts: 256

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $45.00 | Rating: 6

Pros: Rumors of excellent device support!
Cons: Where's the distribution?


So, I ordered Mandrake 9.1 from their website a long time ago, probably over two weeks. I can't say much in the sense of a review, because I still haven't receive my package. However about a week ago, I did get a follow up e-mail acknowledging that it was sent. I leaving this review to see if anyone else has had to wait this long. I suppose penquins have difficulty boxing up the software with their little flippers.
 
Old 06-18-2003, 11:56 PM   #9
Galorin
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: xubuntu, slackware, DSL
Posts: 8

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6

Pros: Polished installation GUI, not too many options to confuse newbie
Cons: not enough options for expert or non-newbie install.


I wasn't able to get beyond the install process on 2 machines. In the first, I have a Promise RAID controller that isn't supported (Not Mandrake's fault, blame lies on me for buying the darned thing, and on Promise Inc. for not releasing specs/drivers)

The second machine failed to load X-Windows because the ancient graphics card, supported in 9.0 was not supported in 9.1. Might have been the xfree version, but I didn't have time to test it. Perhaps a mailbomb to Promise is in order to get them to release specs so their hardware can be integrated into the kernel, or some other solution other than 3rd party drivers.
 
Old 06-19-2003, 08:09 AM   #10
Darrin
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: RedHat 9.0 for today :)
Posts: 27

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $40.00 | Rating: 6

Pros: Easy to install. Great for newbies
Cons: Shipped from france so it took awhile to get it. Some bugs, Manually configure some hardware settigns


I havent had a lot of experience with it yet. But since I have it on a second HD, Its fun to mess with. If I really mess something up, and I did, I just reinstall it. If I can only get streaming video to work it would be very nice. Overal its seems to be a good OS. I bought a book called "Running Linux" which Im going to read to better understand this system. I wish some of the software on 9.1 was a little more updated. Example, I use Opera browser 7.1 0n windows. I beleive 7.1 is available for linux also. Since Im still new and dont know how to install software on mandrake yet, I installed Opera using the mandrake disc. The version is 6.2. Thats soo old. They could of put a newer version on it. Ill eventually figure it out Im sure.
 
Old 06-19-2003, 12:14 PM   #11
jbstew32
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Debian 3.1
Posts: 149

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: Easy install with functional expert mode, recognizes all hardware with little tweaking, "ontrols centers" for newbies but not required for experts, good for all kinds
Cons: Tends to be bloated as a newbie could unknowingly fill up many gigabytes, some programs load slow, as does viewing /mnt (thank Supermount for that)


My Radeon 9500 Pro was automagically setup for me, and although it doesn't use ATI's fire GL i am still happy because with Slack/Debian it just locked my system! Anyway, great install. Choose expert if you are used to linux or even text based for a little nostalgia. Once you are in, it may be a little slow at times, but if you have a lot of ram you should be ok.

top - 13:12:50 up 23 min, 4 users, load average: 0.72, 0.31, 0.21
Tasks: 76 total, 1 running, 75 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 5.6% user, 2.3% system, 0.0% nice, 92.1% idle
Mem: 774636k total, 317760k used, 456876k free, 14876k buffers
Swap: 523112k total, 0k used, 523112k free, 163816k cached

Im running Gnome, nautilus, gaim, Galeon, XMMS, and 2 terminals, from the time that this was shown
 
Old 06-20-2003, 07:54 AM   #12
mike@wales
 
Registered: May 2003
Posts: 23

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: all my hardware works in linux, looks great,downloadable iso's, urpmi, mandrake CC
Cons: difficult to knock this distro - networking side could be better . firewall


For me mandrake 9.1 is a real peach. I have been playing with Linux since suse 7.1. Back then my first impression was one of disappointment. Most of my hardware didn't work - win modem, scanner, and my graphic didn't work properly. After that I would occasionally try Linux to see how it was improving.

Eventually I came across mandrake 9.1. Wow what a gem. With very little knowledge I was able to get my graphics card (geforce 4) setup with the nvidia drivers, my scanner (Packard bell diamond 1200) and my cdwriter working. I have to confess it brought tears to my eyes when i saw tux racer working properly for the first time. However the major advantage of mandrake 9.1 is adsl speedtouch support. This feature means i can put my
home network on Linux.

Other advantages of mandrake include the mandrake control center and urpmi. Having used suse it was nice to have all the system configuration tools integrated (i'm also trying redhat and i really miss this type of setup). Adding software in mandrake is a piece of cake, and the easy urpmi tool (found on the web) lets you add new software repositories. I particularly like the way mandrake resolves the dependencies of new files (resolving dependencies with other distros can really dampen a newbie's enthusiasm).

I'm reluctant to make a fuss about negative aspects of mandrake. After all, i downloaded the iso's for free, and mandrake turns out to be the best Linux distro I've come across. The only complaint i have is the networking and Internet settings. I've noticed that if i configure Internet sharing it alters the services so that adsl at boot is unchecked. This would really confuse a newbie, it had me going for a while. There seems to be a few doubts about the default shorewall configuration, I've noted a number of questions asked in newsgroups. Shorewall.net recommend you remove mandrake's shorewall, and download the rpm direct from them (they provide ample documentation and example files for configuration). Having said that mandrake's configuration at least protects your system and gets you up and running. Try comparing shorewall to xp's bundled “firewall”.

In conclusion mandrake 9.1 is a really great distro. Linux enthusiasts are always arguing how Linux can rival windows, and mandrake 9.1 shows everyone just how powerful and easy to configure Linux is becoming. I was so excited about mandrake that i purchased a mandrake club membership just help mandrake and Linux development out. Its so good it seems shameful to accept all this nice software for free!
 
Old 06-26-2003, 04:43 PM   #13
davecs
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: PCLinuxOS
Posts: 485

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: It "just works"
Cons: 1-Menudrake 2-Usual Linux problem: Software and Driver support


Get the negative out of the way first:

I hate Menudrake!!! Give us a nice "drag and drop" Menu interface, Mandrake! I would like to keep all the Useful programs on shorter menus with the lesser-used ones on Submenus. Thanks to Menudrake, it would probably take several months! Otherwise I would give it 5/5.

The problem with Software and Driver support is an overall Linux problem, and Mandrake cannot be criticised for it.

My experience with Linux started last December when I got hold of a cover-DVD from a magazine and burnt 3 iso images for Mandrake 8.1. It loaded, but... I have a TFT monitor with 1280x1024 pixels, and I could only persuade it to do 800x600! The on-screen fonts were amateurish, and next to Windows 98SE it looked like a child's toy. It did not stay on my computer for long, and that was me and Linux finished. Then I saw a copy of Linux Format in WH Smiths with Mandrake 9.0 on the cover disk. For some reason I thought "why not try the up to date version". So I did.

After a couple of false starts, I got it up and running. I had a lot of fun with it, but it was not without its faults. At the time I had my cable internet connection set up via USB, and the connection frequently got dropped. But the real pains were supermount and urpmi. Supermount because if you did anything that attempted to read from an empty CD or floppy drive, you might as well go and make a cup of coffee and drink it, because that's how long it took to get your computer back. Urpmi seemed to have problems, and attempting to use it to upgrade itself resulted in it not working at all. I ended up doing all my software installations using KPackage.

At one point I downloaded all 7 Debian images (3.0r1) and installed them. It was a complete and unmitigated disaster. I could not get USB to work, despite following the installation instructions correctly, therefore I had no internet and could not sort out any other problems. It seemed that it had set itself up with unsatisfied dependencies and any attempt to run dpackage just resulted in loads of software being deleted! It was frustrating and had I not experienced Mandrake it would have put me right off Linux for good!

I then tried downloading and installing Mandrake 9.1. It was a doddle. Everything just worked. Sadly, my computer developed a Hardware fault and died before I had time to play with it. I panicked and got a new case/mobo/processor/RAM when all I needed was a new and better power supply. My new mobo is nVidia based, and it was indeed fortunate that I still had a Windows dual-boot to download the drivers. I also had a problem with having to manually adjust the upper limit of the Horizontal Sync Rate in XFree86Config-4 and having to reset the bios to ensure my mouse did not cause the system to lock up. Still such problems are par for the course, I've always found in the past, using Windows, that there was always a bit of hardware that needed special attention to get it to load. I would say overall that getting Mandrake 9.1 up and running was no worse then getting Windows 98SE up the way I like it.

In use I have found Mandrake 9.1 to be brilliant! Okay my scanner is poorly supported (UMAX 2100U) and my Digital Camera does not work at all on it (Ricoh i500). These are not Mandrake's fault, other distros would be the same. My printer (HP3822) is excellent. It's stable, solid, with KDE the desktop is much prettier and configurable than Windows. The ethernet connection to my cable modem is 100% reliable. I have added all the extra repositories to urpmi/rpmdrake thanks to Easy Urpmi/Penguin Liberation Front (http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon/) so have loads of media software. My enforced experience with KPackage in 9.0 has meant that I know how to load rpms from other sources without resorting to the command line. The problems with urpmi from 9.0 have gone.

I did not include OpenOffice in my original setup, instead I downloaded the beta1.1 version, and I have nothing but nice things to say about it. You can load an rpm for an OpenOffice "tray" loader program, which (unofficially) does work with the OOo 1.1beta.

Supermount has improved out of all recognition, though I would still recommend that you shove a data CD in the drive you installed Mandrake from before you attempt to do software updates, as this will still save a bit of time. But the ridiculous times you spent waiting for your computer to recover when you clicked on the logo for an empty drive are long gone. I'm sure that Mandrake will lose any sponsorship they may have had from the coffee industry! Still, when I see posts from people using other distros who want to know how to read a CD, and the convoluted "mount" commands in their replies, I have to have a smug chuckle.

I would say that for most mobos, and with compatible hardware, Mandrake 9.1 is an ideal operating system. For some mobos like mine, it takes a little extra work but the problems are not insurmountable. Once up and running it is an excellent system, let down only by Menudrake and the gaps in the availability of software/drivers. If software and hardware manufacturers could be persuaded to port their programs/drivers to linux, then I would quite boldly state that Mandrake 9.1 would be a better operating system than Windows.

Great stuff!

DAVE
 
Old 07-02-2003, 10:07 PM   #14
MTBKR
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
Posts: 4

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: MUCH easier to configure correctly than 8.2/ low up front cost
Cons: Still not quite as user friendly as an uncorrupted installation of Windows


I am an experienced Windows user with a home office and local network consisting of five machines on a peer to peer LAN.

I previously tried to install Suse Linux Professional distro 8.1 and traded it in for Mandrake Linux 8.2 boxed distro when I was simply unable to configure the Suse product. I had to bail on the Mandrake also due to device driver issues.

Last week, I finally installed the Mandrake 9.0 ISO CD's that I burned some time ago after being certain to clone the machine's C drive to the D just in case I needed to restore Windows XP.

After running 9.0 for three business days, I liked it so much better that I burned and installed 9.1 CD's. My only beef in the upgrade to 9.1 is that it wiped out all of my documents during the installation, causing me to re-live the past three days of configuration and file conversion of various Word and Excel files over to Open Office formats.

My insurance business depends heavily upon my systems and software, and for the very first time I am now able to honestly say that with Mandrake 9.x I could realistically run my insurance agency on the Linux platform if necessary.

I am honestly impressed and pleased that Mandrake Linux is finally a reasonably viable alternative to King Bill's proprietary product.

When has Bill sold ANYTHING on a voluntary subscription basis?
 
Old 07-04-2003, 03:59 AM   #15
SYS49152
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
Posts: 12

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $6.00 | Rating: 10

Pros: Well-packaged and organized, easy to get up and running, nice RPM manager
Cons: Sawfish window manager not included (a personal preference).


I am still a newbie to Linux. I had used Red Hat 7.2 for a couple of weeks before realizing that I should really get an up-to-date release. Moving from the Red Hat distro to Mandrake did not throw me any curves. The package seems to be weighted a bit towards KDE rather than Gnome, and I had already found that I like Gnome better (for some ineffable reason). But I've had no trouble using Gnome, and I quickly got everything configured as I wanted.

While Linux tends to be a do-it-yourself kind of OS, Mandrake seems to smooth this aspect a bit. For example, I have found the RPM manager to be helpful when I want to install additional software from the install CD's or things that I download, like the Sawfish window manager (http://ftp.tuwien.ac.at/opsys/linux/RPM/mandrake/9.1/contrib/i586/sawfish-1.2-4mdk.i586.html)

Something that caused me trouble during installation of RH7.2 was not picking the right mouse protocol. The Mandrake 9.1 install lets you verify this during the setup process by clicking the mouse buttons, rolling the wheel and getting visual feedback on-screen. I was surprised that my USB digital camera worked without any special software. My scanner, printer, flat-panel monitor, and video card all worked with little or no configuration (whereas Windows98 needed to have drivers installed). I have a Lucent Winmodem which needs special software to run in Linux. Since Mandrake is popular, it is well supported, so all I had to do was download an RPM.

I didn't hit any snags during installation except that when I first installed it, it would crash during startup and never get to the graphical desktop. I erased the partition and re-installed (easy enough), and everything has been fine since.
 
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