It's mid-winter and the start of a new year. While the weather is mild here in central Florida it's still been cloudy and rainy, so I've spent a some time downloading ISOs and booting them just to see what's available.
Mint 4 KDE
I've always been impressed by the quality of Mint, even if I've not used it. After reading of the announcement on Distrowatch I downloaded the current KDE beta and booted it on europa. It came up in 1920 by 1440 resolution. It's currently using KDE version 3.5, which is just fine given the overall polish that Mint KDE has applied to the KDE desktop environment. It's probably the best default look-and-feel I've ever seen delivered with any version of KDE on any distribution.
What's nice about Mint 4 KDE is that everything, as usual, just works. As you can see in the screen shot above I was able to view Flash-based audio/video from CNN as well as play a DVD in the second DVD player on europa via Kaffeine. I know I've written well of Mint in the past; it is good to see that it continues its excellent ways.
So far I've downloaded and attempted to boot alpha 1, alpha 2, and beta 1. Alpha 1 was able to fully boot on europa, but both alpha 2 and beta 1 failed to open the graphical desktop. I have never had consistent success with Mandriva. This is the last I'll ever bother with it.
I am very intrigued with the release of KDE 4. I look forward to Open Suse 11 and its incorporation of KDE 4. I have been using Ubuntu 7.10 of late, not out of any strong love for the distribution, but because Open Suse 10.3 was of such poor quality in relation to 10.2 and Ubuntu 7.10. In other words I chose Ubuntu 7.10 because it was, at the time, the lesser of two evils. It won't take much for me to switch back to Open Suse 11.