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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9
i686 optimization, fast install, easy learning curve
lacks dev tools
JAMD is basically a very slimmed down Redhat 9 built for those who want to take advantage of the rpm resources RH9 has but loathe the bulk of RH9 itself (as I did).
JAMD installs in roughly about 15-25 minutes, depending on the speed of your computer. There is a partioner built in, I think, but I never used it. I just did a fresh install over my old distro, Lycoris. After it installed it configured my sound card so sound was good to go. Unlike Redhat 9 and how they disabled mp3 playing in XMMS, JAMD is fine with mp3's and plays CD's from the get go also.
The first desktop you get into is, admittingly, not the best, depending on where your personal taste lays. The default theme is a KDE Aqua with the Noia icons. But all it takes is some tinkering around in the control panel and a stop at http://www.kde-look.org to fix it.
JAMD comes with Mozilla, Open Office 1.0.2, K3b, Kopete, Kbear and more. Adding your own programs is as easy as finding an RH 9 rpm for what you want. I traded out Kopete for GAIM, Kbear for Gftp and Mozilla for Firefox and Firebird.
There is a slight tradeoff for such a good distro, mainly in that it lacks dev tools so you really can't build anything from scratch. There is a list on the JAMD forums of what needs to be installed and nearly all can be found with a combo of http://rpmfind.net and Synaptic.
JAMD has also now merged with Blue Linux into a distro called Ares Linux. The release notes on the site indicated a Feb release but now the site estimates probably late March. Nevertheless, I still think that JAMD is a remarkably good distro, and as someone who has had College Linux, Lycoris, RedHat 9 and various others, JAMD has stayed on my computer for 8 months now. Though JAMD, by today's standards, is dated, I would suggest it for anyone looking into a good, stable desktop computer aimed towards the linux newbie or even towards getting the family computer away from Windows.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 4
i686 optimization, fast and easy install, small learning curve
No longer supported, out of date pakages, no dev tools makes it inflexible
At the time it was released, JAMD 0.0.6 was one of the best desktop distros out there. It features a graphical installer with a small number of clearly explained choices. It also does a fairly good job of detecting and setting up your hardware for you. It was and still is just about the easiest Linux installation I've encountered.
JAMD also has a low learning curve for basic use. It boots directly to a KDE desktop without any input (except for the first time) by default. The application menu is simple and well organized by application function, and each application is itself labeled to indicate what it does.
Now comes the bad news. JAMD's last release was over a year ago, and the sole maintainer announced that there would be no new versions of JAMD as it was going to merge with another project. This also means that there are no offical updates for JAMD software packages. So you generally need to make do with software from mid-2003.
This is mititaged somewhat by the fact that you can install rpms for Red Hat 9 on JAMD with a high rate of success, but eventually updated packages will no longer be made into RH9 rpms. And since JAMD lacks the means to compile anything from source, the lifespan of JAMD is clearly limited.
There are other methods one can take to extend the lifespan of the product, but they require knowledge and effort that really negates the idea of JAMD as a newbie distro.