Archive for December, 2010

Linux Mint 10 Review

Posted: December 22, 2010 in OS Reviews
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First off, my apologies for such a late showing of this review.  I always take notes as I test a new distro and I was going to write this review using my handy-dandy Android app, so I took my little paper and stuck it in a pocket..somewhere.  I finally located it today, which is the reason for my tardiness.  Now that my groveling is complete, awayyyy we go!

I booted a Live CD of Linux Mint 10, nicely named Julia, and waited for the boot.  The booting didn’t take much longer than average but longer than I would have liked.  The throbber ‘dots’ from the previous Isadora are again present.  The boot finally ends in a gray desktop with very little green to be had (:O) but it was a nice ‘metal’ theme that had a simple yet elegant LM 10.  The new icon theme, which is apparently made from sets “Faenza” and “Elementary” and of course, mintified, is VERY nice to look at.  It was a little wow moment.

One of the big changes for Linux Mint this go around (and there’s always at least one to wow you with) is the Mint Menu.  That’s right, the amazing Mint Menu that makes other distros wish they were green, has gotten even better.  The menu is now themeable, and more customiseable than ever, with the nice new icons incorporated and menu entries have been revised to make categorizing better as well.  Additionally, one can use search engines from the menu now, as well as the search and install packages right from the menu.  I did forget to check the CPU usage for this so I am uncertain whether or not these menu improvements will be detrimental to memory.

The other big big change for Mint is that now, upon deciding to do a hard drive install, one is now presented with the option of upgrading to the DVD edition of Mint.  This includes all the goodies that have to be missing from the Mint editions that get distributed in the USA and Japan due to patents and copyrights etc.  So now no one has to miss out on the full issue of Linux Mint.  This is something I can take advantage of myself.

Other nice improvements include changes to the Update Manager, which now comes with an ‘ignore list’ and now tells the size of individual updates.  The upload manager, which also remained untested by me as I have no use for it, went through some minor changes as well, including the ability to run in the background and it’s looks now mirror the download box in Firefox.  Additionally, the Software Manager is faster, which was nice..although not as noticeable as the speed increase was on Isadora lol.

As for aesthetics, I liked the look of Linux Mint (I always do) but as far as the artwork is concerned, I have to say none of the hired artists have done work to surpass that of some of the long time community members.  In future releases I would like to see artwork by Linux Minters again.   The brushed metal look is good though.   Everything I tested worked just fine, as expected from the Mint team.  Wireless and DSL connections fine, as well as all the apps were all in perfect working condition.  As usual, I give high marks to Linux Mint, an A- for performance and an A- for looks.  Great job to the Mint team!

Peppermint Linux gaining popularity

Posted: December 7, 2010 in OS Reviews
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Recently I did a review of Peppermint Linux, a new distro that caught my attention by its name.  Then it commanded my respect, due to its subtle yet excellent performance.  Now I see that Peppermint is in the top 20 this week on Distrowatch and the number of downloads tops 400..pretty decent for a distro that hasn’t got a new release out this week, like for instance openSuse.  Due to my review of Peppermint, a friend did a hard drive install and is currently using it on 2 machines.  Good job to the Peppermint team and I look forward to reviewing future editions.