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Thread: Mandriva 2010.2 Powerpack review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    45
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Thumbs up Mandriva 2010.2 Powerpack review

    I recently acquired the new-ish Mandriva Powerpack 2010.2 and chose to install KDE for the first half of this review. I get enough gnome on my Ubuntu desktops that KDE deserves first place on this installation. I broke my Linux cherry on Mandrake 6 and that is the only reason I can come up with for spending $60 USD on a Linux distribution. It is only available in download format, which really peeved me off. I liked buying the box, in the past you would get a book, a plush tux holding the mandrake star, and a very high quality silkscreen blue disk. There is no justification for purchasing this other than nostalgia.


    The first thing I noticed was that it still uses the arcane root system with no sudo. I am unsure whether or not I like this. It supports my resolution 1366x768. Ubuntu 10.10 has never been able to see this and this really makes Ubuntu look ugly. The boot loader is really cool and glitch free even when using proprietary drivers, another thing Ubuntu really lacks. The Welcome screen upon first boot is a nice touch. It uses old KDE 4.4 which is a major turn off to me, 4.5 should have been used as it is more stable, and it shows when applications crash. Installation took way longer than it should have. Ask.com is set to default which is annoying.


    Included applications and features worth noting:
    OpenOffice.org – free office suite, should have went with Koffice for KDE version like they used to
    Firefox – good choice, but again another free application
    Opera – very weird to have more than one browser
    Konquerer – the older version which doesn't work worth crap
    Fluendo DVD player - $27.99
    Software Management - a very nice, but kind of clunky to use, you stub your toes on the random corners, like having to check “install dependencies without asking”
    Java
    Flash
    Moovida Media Center – I would have preferred XBMC
    KDEnlive – by far the best Linux video editor but still free


    Other Thoughts
    A very lackluster iteration for a supposedly KDE centric distribution. Nothing in this would signify that I spent $60 but only make me look like and idiot. A lot of attention to the tiny details make this a distribution worth using if only the free version. I find nothing in the paid for version that I couldn't simply add via other applications. Not having KDE 4.5 isn't a complete deal killer but not worth having. The fact that it is using the dated unfinished KDE 4.4 means it is missing a lot of usability features that simply make KDE what it is.


    Gnome:
    This is where it directly competes with Ubuntu. The Gnome version is a lot more improved over the KDE version as Gnome is more complete. They put what looks like the same amount to to the attention to detail for Gnome that they did KDE for this release. The installed themes are ample enough to tickle your fancy and Gnome always makes me smile with what how much it accomplishes and how far it has come.


    Applications and Features worth noting:
    Chromium – surprisingly enough not the closed source chrome
    Opera
    Firefox
    OpenShot – really not as good as KDEnlive, or even Windows Movie Maker. But it is GTK to stick with the theme of Gnome
    Avidemux – With this installed, I don't understand why OpenShot was even included.
    Kino – when coupled with Avidemux it makes having OpenShot even more moot.
    Fluendo – the complete fluendo pack is again included in gnome
    Moovida Media Center – again I would have preferred XBMC


    Overall Final Thoughts
    I much prefer the Gnome desktop over the KDE desktop as they used a much more complete version of Gnome. More work seems to have gone into this than Ubuntu, it detects what you don't need during installation and doesn't install everything you will never use such as laptop applications on a desktop PC. The fact that it finds and detects all of my hardware properly including my resolution makes this distribution really shine. Go ahead and give the free edition a spin if you are bored with Ubuntu and want to try something new. I suggest sticking with Gnome as you will find it a lot more what you would expect as a “complete desktop” paradigm. Updating to 4.6 is a must if you are going to be using KDE, and doing so is not very hard for those of us who know how, but not very newbie friendly. I find I much prefer Gnome. A few applications were removed after using this for a while but doing so was exquisitely simplistic. Having options where it matters and removing the ones that don't. Much more stable and a lot faster than Ubuntu. Having spit and polish in areas where it really matters. Free or paid for, if you want a decent Linux desktop experience and Ubuntu giving you hassles, give it a whirl.


    UPDATE: XBMC works gorgeously after installing with RPMfusion!
    Last edited by usagiakumu; March 2nd, 2011 at 01:35 PM. Reason: UPDATE

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