Europa is my increasingly ancient Athlon XP 32-bit DIY system with the equally ancient ATI 9700 Pro video card (R300). It currently hosts Windows XP SP2 and openSuse 10.2, with the system's primary boot openSuse. Tonight I got a chance to sample a new Linux distribution that puts both all the other distributions I've sampled to shame.
Not only did Mint boot up the old warhorse, but it was able to do the following without any trouble what-so-ever:
- It enabled hardware acceleration with the ATI 9700 Pro card.
- I was able to enable Compiz effects; transparency, the cube, everything. What was very nice about the effects is that there was none of the damn wobbling and wiggling. It was smooth as glass as it rotated the faces of the cube.
- I was able to go to YouTube and play videos without having to download and install anything.
- I was able to go to Apple's trailer page and play QuickTime movies, including the latest Iron Man trailer without having to download and install anything. *sigh* I WANT THE SUIT...I WANT THE SUIT...
- Because I built europa, it has two DVD players. With the Mint CD in one drive, I was able to play a sample of my DVD collection in the other, again without having to download and install anything. Totem, for the first time ever, came up and played the DVD automatically without any issues. On openSuse I had to replace it with a version that would play DVDs, and on Ubuntu I had to go through gyrations downloading and installing 'forbidden' codecs.
- No problems. No issues. It booted quickly. It ran without any crashes in any applications. It Just Worked, and It Just Worked Flawlessly.
The only complaint I have is the look and feel, and that is minor and easily fixable. The best Gnome look and feel I've seen to date is currently Fedora 8's Nodoka. The icons are the same on Mint Celena as they are on Fedora 8, which was quite nice. Nodoka on Mint, combined with Mint's It Just Works capabilities, would make a really sweet distribution indeed.
Mint shows how Linux can truly soar when it's not hamstrung by the ideological B.S. of the R.M.S. gang.