Skip to main content

Mageia 4 Linux - First Impressions

I am very much an OS "whore", I flit around like a mad thing pledging my allegiance between various flavors of Windows and Linux; not sure why, exactly. In the past year, my trusty laptop has seen Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux Mint 14 and 15, Ubuntu (12, I think), and Zorin OS 7. Maybe I am looking for the "perfect" OS. In any case, I just downloaded the 64-bit versions of the newly released Zorin OS 8 and Mageia 4, and installed Mageia 4 to try it. 


Mageia (based upon Mandriva Linux) installed quickly and effortlessly - as do most modern Linux distributions - and also successfully detected my laptop hardware, including my touch pad and wireless card. The graphical installer was easy to use, and the installation process was pretty obvious. The Grub boot menu is graphical also, which would be more friendly to ex-Windows users.


So far, that is much like my previous experiences with Zorin OS 7 and Mint. Now, I think my main problem with Mageia 4 may be that I chose to install the KDE desktop; for some reason I have never really liked KDE and I was hoping that time may have improved KDE or adjusted my attitude towards it. In the past KDE somehow struck me as a bit busy and sort of cheesy-looking. It's just a personal thing of course, as many others out there use and enjoy KDE.

When I used Mint, I used both the Cinnamon and Mate desktops (both based upon different versions of the Gnome desktop), and Zorin OS 7 also has a (different) modified Gnome desktop. This current version of KDE (4.11) is not as bad as I remembered it, although the taskbar area still seems a bit "busy" to me, and most Windows XP or Windows 7 users would likely find it quite intuitive to use.

The software package manager (RPMDrake) was confusing to me at first, as it told me I needed to select some additional packages to satisfy dependencies when trying to install the OpenShot video editor; I did not immediately see how to do that, or what packages I needed. I seem to recall Mint and Zorin being a bit more obvious in that respect, however that is probably just my unfamiliarity with a different environment. OpenShot was installed correctly after a wee bit of scowling and head-scratching. 

However, one other thing has put a burr under my saddle: the fonts. I hear people complaining about Linux default fonts quite a bit, and I always thought they were just being picky, as I never had any real issues - up until now. I don't know whether it has to do with the default fonts themselves, or the antialiasing settings, or what - but the text is noticeably, well, ugly.

I am disinclined to fiddle around with the fonts and so will proceed to use it for at least a few more days to see what's what with Mageia otherwise. I realize any version of Linux is very customizable, so I am really just talking about the "out of the box" experience here. Even so, I will probably end up installing Zorin OS 8, as I very much enjoyed using Zorin OS 7.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VPN Use Is Up, Up, Up

Since the repeal of the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, VPN use and traffic is rather predictably spiking, according to many VPN providers. VPNs are not the b-all and end-all of privacy though, and indeed the usual cretins have stepped in to provide shady VPN services that may actually sell on user data.

Also remember:
ISPs still track your location data and DNS records, even if you're using a VPN. Similarly, a VPN doesn't stop a company from using on-device snoopware to track you (remember Carrier IQ?). Neither will it stop ISPs from charging you a premium for privacy (something both AT&T and Comcast have already experimented with). Nor will a VPN stop a company from using your credit score to provide worse customer service (something CableONE has crowed about). DSL Reports

Microsoft's Mild Mea Culpa Over Windows 10 Obscure Upgrade "Choice"

In a cleansing act before the turn of the year, a Microsoft bigwig has admitted that they may have gotten a little carried away in their zeal to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10.
Specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela referred to the upgrade notification that appeared to be deliberately deceptive in the way it handled a users response. If a user clicked the red "X" at the top right of the notice, that closed the dialog box but went ahead and installed the upgrade anyway.
To actually not accept the upgrade, you had to click a link in the notification window itself. Not a few users would come back later and find their system upgraded to Windows 10, or in the process of doing so, when they thought they had expressed their wish not to do so. "Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that …

pCloud Cloud Storage On Linux

As a cheapskate user of the Dropbox free plan, I was looking to see if there was another provider that offered a little more free storage than the 2GB from Dropbox (I actually have 2.5GB, due to a couple of bonus offers).
After a bit of research, I came up with Swiss-based pCloud: it has a client for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The free tier offers 10GB of Cloud storage with no file size limits, which is fantastic for my (pretty basic) needs. You can set up your account first from the pCloud website, or during the client install process.