[TriLUG] Best Linux Desktop and Desktop Apps?
binaryflow at gmail.com
Fri Mar 10 14:05:28 EST 2006
I run Mandriva 2006 on a Compaq Presario 1200 successfully. With the KDE
installation nearly everything you need is installed except OpenOffice.org
2.0. You currently have to be a club member to download it from their urpmi
mirror (or you could install it yourself). I imagine the next version of
Mandriva will include 2.0 as the default. The wireless support is
completely different in 2006 (and actually works!). I run an older netgear
card using ndiswrapper and Mandriva accepts it with no problem. They
also use kat for desktop searching and have an integrated firewall. I
highly recommend it for laptop use. Mandriva does tend to stay a little
behind everyone else on software versions. The idea is to stay below the
bleeding edge to avoid issues. If you are a club member you have access to
a lot of software that you don't get with the default installation. I
haven't had a single problem with the laptop and I use it for word
processing (while in class), e-mail, internet, etc... Your mileage may vary
but I highly recommend it.
On 3/10/06, Tarus Balog <tarus at opennms.org> wrote:
> Okay, this topic is a little long, so let me apologize in advance.
> My 12" Powerbook turned 3 last month, and it's time to think about a
> new laptop. The Intel Powerbooks are too new for me (if I get one of
> those I'll probably wait until this summer or if possible after the
> Developer's Conference in August) although the one we have in the
> office is screaming fast.
> While I love my Powerbook, I am getting a little nervous about the
> direction that Apple is taking with respect to DRM. I used to have an
> Alfa Romeo, and when a saw one in a movie I rented (they still sell
> them in Europe) I want to send the picture to a friend to figure out
> the model. So I placed the DVD in my Mac, paused on the frame with
> car, and tried to take a screenshot.
> A dialog popped up saying that I couldn't do that.
> What? I can understand taking steps to protect against ripping an
> entire DVD, but a picture from it? Get real. I brought up VLC and
> took the picture anyway, but it did tarnish the love affair I was
> having with my laptop (no comments from the peanut gallery, please).
> Next, Mac hardware is just so darn expensive. Even the switch to
> Intel won't do much for that, and it looks like AMD is taking names
> in the speed department in any case. We bought an AMD64 powered
> Shuttle for demoes that is crazy fast.
> Finally, the Linux desktop, quite frankly, has gotten much, much
> better in the last three years. I usually run Debian on my servers
> and have little interaction with a graphical desktop, but I find it
> easier to use CentOS on 64-bit machines, and when I am using KDE on
> those systems I have been pleasantly surprised at how nice it is.
> So - before I buy my next Mac I was thinking about playing with using
> Linux as a desktop again.
> On to the questions:
> 1) What should I look at in terms of a nice, clean, powerful desktop?
> I like KDE. Is there a distro out there that is stable enough to use
> in a mission critical application (i.e. my desktop) that is current
> enough to contain lots of cool, bright, shiny things? I think Debian
> is out since I don't want to run sid. CentOS? Ubuntu? I doubt anyone
> has duplicated the usefulness of Exposé, but one can hope.
> 2) Recommended apps? I believe I will have to have CodeWeavers just
> because my job requires access to Office and I'd like access to
> iTunes, but others:
> Office: OpenOffice, KOffice?
> iTunes: xmms?
> Photoshop: Gimp
> Mail: Thunderbird
> Browser: Firefox
> Widgets: ?
> Calendar: ?
> Address Book: ?
> Adium: ?
> iPhoto: Gallery?
> iMovie: ?
> iDVD: ?
> 3) Connectivity: How is the current support for wireless (I love the
> "Location" feature of OSX) and bluetooth? iSync?
> I make my living with open source software and I truly believe in it.
> I think that the community has done a great job of porting standard
> Linux apps to OSX and creating new open source offerings for the
> platform. But there is something in the back of my mind that keeps
> nagging me that Apple may be turning evil, and now would be a good
> time to figure out if there are some alternatives. I may have grown
> too comfortable with my Mac "just working" but it is worth a shot.
> Thanks for any suggestions.
> Tarus Balog
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