Skip to main content

Europa boots Mandriva 2008.0

Well, I took the Mandriva "challenge", downloaded the "One" Easy Linux CD ISO, burned it, and booted into the latest release of Mandriva 2008.0. It came up cleaner and faster than just about any other version I've every tried to date.

During boot Mandriva allowed me to select between Compiz and Metisse. Not knowing what Metisse is I selected Compiz. Within a very short time Mandriva booted into its graphical desktop with Compiz up and running. It turns out that this version of Mandriva automatically choose to use the ATI driver that came bundled with it (8.40.4). This is the first major distribution I have booted that provided this feature. The screen shot below shows off the signature Compiz Fusion 3D cube supported by the ATI driver.

Quick and Dirty Itty Bitty Review

I've avoided Mandriva in the past because it simply would not boot on europa. That problem appears to be long gone. There are, however, other issues.
  1. Mandriva uses KDE, and I still like KDE quite a bit. I like the KDE Kickoff menu due to my exposure and use of openSUSE and SLED. When Mandriva boots it's using the older KDE menu system. When I changed to the Kickoff menu (by right-clicking on the K-Menu button and selecting Kickoff), it caused a crash of the windowing system. I was able to quickly fix it by resetting the X windowing system ([Ctrl][Alt][Backspace]), and log back in as guest.
  2. Good news is that the default browser is Firefox. The bad news is that while writing up this entry, the version of Firefox supplied ( insisted on underlining every word in red, signally that every word is misspelled. I know my spelling can be atrocious but not every single word. Fortunately Blogger's spell checker caught the real misspellings.
  3. In Configure Desktop, the Display panel shows the correct display settings. It was broken under openSUSE 10.3. Display settings allow you to set key desktop features such as resolution and refresh rate. Under Mandriva it's locked (on europa's hardware) at 1280 by 1024, which I find a bit peculiar.
  4. When Compiz Fusion is enabled you get all the goofy effects such as wiggly windows. I tried to disable that 'feature' with Mandriva's Control Center, Configurre 3D Desktop effects. The only thing I could do was select betwen no 3D, Metisse, and Compiz Fusion. Under Compiz there was an advanced settings selection that only allowed the selection between native and Xgl.
  5. As usual, because of the version of the ATI driver and Xgl, OpenGL support was problematic. If I were to install this distribution I'd have to go to the problem of installing the latest ATI driver (8.42.3) and disable/remove Xgl in order to see if the Compiz Fusion effects would work with the AIXGL support available in 8.42.3. Or else just turn off Compiz Fusion and disable Xgl to get full OpenGL support.
I won't be installing Mandriva 2008.0 on europa. I've been through more than enough installation woes lately. But I must say it's improved considerably from its last release. It comes with the necessary drivers for hardware graphics acceleration, and many codecs along with Flash 9 are installed and ready to go, making it a solid choice for the beginner and the pro. And my favorite nit to pick, the selection and rendering of screen fonts, is excellent, the best I've seen so far with the current crop of releases.

Mandriva 2008.0, in my limited testing, shows great polish and potential. If I were in the mood to switch distributions (and I still am) then I'd want to wait and evaluate the next release after this one to see if Mandriva can continue to maintain 2008.0's high level of quality while advancing the distribution. If they can, then Mandriva is not only worth installing but worth paying for.


Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…