As I tried to make clear in the last Distro write-up, these are just quick and dirty notes from a quick hands-on experimentation using a standard platform.
So here goes. Once again, this was installed to an external (ESATA) hard drive. A 160GB variant from Hitachi. Installation was easy enough, though it is quite apparent this is not a Debian or Ubuntu base. Installation requires a bit more understanding than Debian variants. For example, there will be questions regarding boot loader configuration. This is a theme played out quite often.
While a bit more knowledge is needed than the most basic of basics, this really isn't a huge deterrent. The default Window manager is XFCE, which has a few modifications making it extremely pleasant to use. Namely that it uses a very similar layout to OS-X. The main menu bar is at the top, covering about 50% of the top screen. There is another application doc at the bottom of the screen that OS-X users would feel quite at home with. The system is overall quite snappy, and free-flowing. The application choices are a bit unusual. Development packages are included - such as Glade, Geany, and Qt4. The only included game is PySol. Geeqi, Inkscape, Dia, and GIMP are also included. Rather than include Chrome, FireFox and Opera were both included - a very nice change. Now on the interesting note - Exaile, and Xine are both included for music and movies respectively. Mplayer is here of course, but no sign of VLC.
Updates don't appear to be automatic. However, the application does work quickly and easily. It also updated without requiring I babysit it.
In the end, it works out like this:
Clean interface, plenty of decent applications included by default.
Manual and tutorial are on the desktop.
Some of the applications are very unusual choices, as such they are going to take time to adjust to.
Settings can be confusing for the uninitiated. For example, Wifi setup is considerably more involved.
Some portions of the install are still text based.
As of right now - only the pricing scheme. Standard is free. SOHO Deluxe, and Standard Deluxe are both $23. Basically, you have to pay to get KDE 4.2, Open Office, GNUCahse and KMyMoney - ALL Open Source software. This disgusts me. If they want to charge for custom software, then I understand. Not for Open Source software.
EDIT: Sorry guys, I forgot to mention, hardware support is top notch as expected. With Nvidia Optimus still absent.
This post has been edited by waldojim: 17 October 2012 - 11:21 PM