Mandriva 2009 - Quite all right, but could be better
Mandriva is another friendly, popular distro that you should take into consideration when thinking about using or trying Linux. Like its counterparts, it aims to deliver a complete experience to the user, from being stable and fast via visually pleasing to fully packages with all the goodies, including lots of the Windows stuff that people need and use.
I've tried Mandriva about a year and a half ago and found it to be an adequate solution for desktop users. It has its ups and downs compared to the competition, but that's the whole beauty of it. Choice. And the freedom to choose.
Now that version 2009 is out, I decided to test it, sporting the polished KDE 4.1 desktop manager. It definitely feels and looks promising.
I will be trying out Mandriva on three machines: a virtual one running on an AMD Athlon 3800 dual-core with 512MB RAM and 8GB hard disk space, and two laptops, a T42 with 1.5GB RAM and an ATI graphic card and a T61 with 2GB RAM and an Nvidia graphic card.
The test will include the usual stuff: Wireless, Compiz, Web camera, multimedia codecs, NTFS support, installation, updates, the choice of applications, unique features, issues, and more.