About 2 weeks ago, my wife discovered that her computer, running Ubuntu 8.04, would no longer read her digital cameras. As she was running the 64 bit version, and I was running the 32 on mine, I tried the cameras on my computer. No luck. What a disappointment! We had both happily been using Ubuntu for almost 2 years!
I looked around on the forum and tried a few things, no luck. Well that did it for me. I just find my time is too valuable to spend tinkering with the OS in order to get it to do what I consider basic functions (things like printing, internet access, sound, and cameras).
So I went to distrowatch.com and did some research. Here's the list of distro's I tried, along with a few notes.
- PC Linux OS Gnome Edition 2008- had a good bit of trouble getting it installed.
- OpenSUSE 10.3 - It was ok, just didn't wow me.
- Mandriva 2008.1 - Pretty promising, I put it on my short list. Wasn't happy about it's history though. Some releases were reportedly awe full.
- Debian Etch - I've never, ever had a distro boot up so quick! Pretty smooth install too. Required a bit of tinkering though, and the packages were so old.
- PCLinuxOS 2007 - My current choice. Read on for further review.
PCLinuxOS 2007 almost didn't make it though. The install was not perfect, and I was putting a high value on perfect installation performance. Still, I got through the install ok. Tweaked the desktop... I like a simple one, similar to windows. One small bar on the bottom with a 'start button', task section, notification section, clock. Simple.
I got a real kick when I fired up firefox and noticed the built in PCLinux Home Page was titled: "PCLinuxOS | the distro-hopper-stopper" I had to laugh out loud, as that is precisely what happened to me... I was hopping, now I stopped. I also thought that showed an amusing level of confidence on their part. Was it boasting? Will I stay with PCLinuxOS? I hope so, it seems to offer so much.
Right away, I was able to watch flash online. Many things just worked. I do think they should've included webcore-fonts in the install. It's in their repository though, so not that big a deal.
Very important as well is that my cameras worked! WooHoo!
And THEN I find out that PCLinuxOS is a 'rolling release' style distro. This means that you don't have to worry about major version upgrades, just keep doing the updates and you will always have the latest 'version'. I like this a lot.
I need to find the time to put this distro on my wife's computer. I'm curious how she'll react to a KDE desktop. She does NOT like change when it comes to her computer. We are both so used to GNOME. I think she'll value a properly working OS though over a broken one. I'm also curious to see if the install goes better on hers than on mine.
Maybe I can get to it this coming 3-day weekend.