posted by Xeta Prime on Thu 29th Jan 2004 07:13 UTC
IconBefore I add 'my' two cents worth upon the current heap of Xandros reviews, let me introduce myself... rather my Linux self. I am a noobie. Perhaps not such a newbie as a newbie could be since I have been playing with and learning Linux since 'Corel Linux' (1999-2000?). Before Corel I'd purchased a copy of a 1998 Turbo Linux in a discount store and was beyond elated to find something to mess with.

Note: This article was written by a simple user who decided to have a journey in the Linux land, not an experienced writer, so please excuse the "themes" used in this article.

Editorial Notice: All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of

However at that time, I knew absolutely nothing. I was a pre-noobie and I could never get that sucker installed. Partition what? What's all this dialog? Swap what? Ah! Feeling defeated, I flew the surrender flag and went back to Windows. That is until I met Corel Linux. Then things began to happen. I guess you could say she really turned me on. She installed so easily! That jubilation lasted for just a short while after realizing I still knew nothing. But that was my monolithic Linux moment. I could install it. I was IN!

Xandros - Click for a larger view Shortly after and by the Grace of the internet Gods, I discovered high speed cable connection and at the very same time a friend gave me Red Hat 6. An updated Corel was no where to be found.... My new Network connection and my Linux leanings lead me to a Linux nirvana, otherwise known as the magical land of 'Distrowatch'. In those days :), in the before time, Distrowatch had on the top of its page by default what seemed like a million little Linux distro icons yelling and screaming "Pick me!" and "Try me!" and "Download me a lot!" and "I am the prettiest most handsomest looking icon-thingy so I must be the best, me me me me! Phew! I almost had a heart attack. And I sought many, tried many and made many coasters along the way (if your a noobie a "coaster" is a failure to burn an iso or anything properly to cd, resulting in nada, zilch no boot-a-rama! A Coaster for the drink you make after). And not to yap about any distro for too long here are a few with sound-bites impressions. And please don't write me about the ones I've left out, I'm writing this on the fly. I promise to get to Xandros eventually.

Okay, not necessarily in cronological order...

Red Hat: Was one of my first real Linux experiences. Meaning I got it installed :) Somehow through all the versions from 6 to 9 that I've tried have left me wanting. I think 8 was my favorite. After losing Grub which always gave my system agida, and getting 8 setup, it was damn stable and I would find myself getting bored(which isn't Red Hat's fault I know). And my noobiness never helped because I still don't know what half of the package lists really are/do?, I'm just pretty good now at recognizing what I should have installed for this application to work.

ELX: was exciting for me because it was full of stuff! And I didn't have to install anything. It was the "Candy Store" of Linux distros. I loved the ELX Launch Pad. Yet ELX was also a bit broken, slow and I had more crashes in ELX than any Distro I think. The truth is many Distros just a couple of years ago were crashing all over the place. I practically never see that bomb exploding image any more. Saw it in Xandros though and I'm sure I deserved it. ELX also appeared abandoned, so as with any good noobie adventurer I left that cute Dolphin and...

Libranet: was, fun. Frustrating because I couldn't get the current then/now release without paying for it. The older "free" download version worked well enough and many reviews attest to Libranets wonder to this day. But because I have not been willing to lay the cash down and because I knew whichever version I had was not the "newest" one I couldn't take it I tell ya! I just couldn't...and I'm not sure I like the name Libranet. Sticks on my palate...I did very much like their administrative controls though...

Beehive: heard great things but never got it to install.

Debian: The Debian with all the cds I also could never get it installed back when I was more of a noobie then now. So I gave up. Also there was no KDE for what seemed like forever and I got to know KDE. I was getting to know my way around KDE. Gave up on Debian until "Knoppix" changed my world.

Icepack: always wanted latest version but there was never an iso for the latest one. Left me wanting so I left, I couldn't take it!

TurboLinux 8: It was okay. Installer looked cool. Different menu layout... other than that, not for me. Not sure why.

Mandrake 8.2-current: Can't exactly say why but I have never felt comfortable with Mandrake. Installs okay, but always had trouble messing with fstab and other stuff. And I do like to mess with things. If I can't mess with things, I can't take it!!!! I like to mess with things! One of the main reasons for leaving WinXP was control and what I had to tweak to get it back. And you'd think after all this Linux time, Mandrake could get a handle on their menu layout. Am I wrong or is it just me??? I like Mandrake, but not enough to stick around.

Now I digress. You see it isn't just about stability. It's about color, wallpapers, little tweaks, fast installs, cutting edge wonder and'm rambling, but we all noobies and beyond know there is a "thang" happening with Linux. It's like a revolution and an evolution. Unlike Windows, we are a part of the evolution process and with a little knowledge 'we' can change its course or simply sit back and enjoy the ride. It's a marvel to behold! It's also a terrible thing because I never seem to settle down to actually use my computer. I'm always installing a new distro or trying to tweak it to the point of breaking it. And then there's a new release and another and with improvements...I'm such an addict...

Gentoo: I'm too newbie to get it installed. Pisses me off big time! I've tried and failed on several occasions. Maybe one day.

Yoper: Fun for a day.

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