What do I think overall of Mandrake 10 ? Hmmm, let me think... I have installed every version of Mandrake released, and none has stayed on the PC for more than a few days. I never liked the system at all. I would always go back to Debian. Version 10 is different though. It will stay on this computer, and some day when I move all my user files from the Windows partition, it will be the only system there.
One thing that newbies often do when installing a new distro is to fromat the /home partition. If you have your preferred window manager set up the way you like things, then do not format /home. If you have used the standard themes and decorations to set the look, and have your desktop icons and menus set the way you like them, then they will carry over onto any upgrades you make, if you reistall the system.
The software that is included can sometimes be pretty much amazing, for example, Kstars, it is an astronomy program, however, it uses Linux localisations to set the town you are in. Any program on astronomy that I had tried in Windows, always wanted you to enter geographical location in azi and alt. Kstars worked it out for you. I am planning a camping trip in the next few weeks, so I typed in the town I was going to, the days I was going to be there, and printed out a map of the sky over 360 degrees. it had major and minor constellations, any planets that would be visible, and also deep space object.. Lovely!
K3B is also a wonderful program. It is even easier to use than Nero is in Windows. I have heard a few people who said that they would never stop using Windows because it has simple to use apps that are full of wizards, like Nero. I showed the K3B in action and their jaws hit the floor. One asked if he could try it out, so I left him at the PC for a minute, and he said K3B was far easier to use than Nero. My sentiments exactly. I went out for food and he stayed on the PC having a look around the system, when I returned he was playing with Screem and Quanta plus. These are both website designers, he thought they were the best designers he had used on any system, I could not argue or agree as I don't use them that much, and have never tried them in Linux. He now dual boot between Windows and Linux.
For someone moving over from Windows, Mandrake 10 would be an ideal system out of the box. There are a few distros aimed specifically at these people, Linspire being the best of these with its "Click N Run" facility. However, it is a pretty limited distro once the initial learning curve has been passed. It is a bit too awkward to expect someone who just got used to CNR to move to apt-get. Mandrake solves this with its Package Management menu, it has gui driven programs for finding, installing and removing software. Simple in execution, but very powerful in use.
Konqueror has carried on the "point and click" attitude, and double clicking on any files will open up the associated program. This is pretty weird on a Linux system, as the UNIX legacy declares that filenames do not have to have an extension. For Example, I could have an MP3 song called mysong and if I opened XMMS and loaded mysong, it would play. If I double clicked, it would not play. Putting .mp3 on the end enables the song to play by double clicking in Konqueror. It is a NOT the way it has always been done, but it is a simple improvement to make things easier for the people who will be migrating from Windows.
A strange thing also is that if you associate mp3 files with XMMS and use GTK-Gnutella to download an MP3. When the download is complete, GTK-Gnuttella amends .OK on to the end of the filename. If you then double click the file, it will not open in XMMS, but instead of throwing out an error, the way Windows does, it plays the file in Mplayer instead. Cool. I will of course be testing this with other file types.
Mandrake has never been taken seriously by the business world before, they prefer RedHat or Suse. I do not know if this is because it includes loads of games, or loads of multimedia programs, but Mandrake 10 is rock solid and of course includes all the stuff that RedHat has, and more.