Mandrake... the 5 CD Linux distro that came with that latest edition of a computer magazine... oh how it stood there in that kiosk's display, how it lured me into wanting even more to expand the possibilities of my beloved PC. I could hesitate no more! I had to get it! And I did.
Now, a million years later, I am writing this article on a fresh install of Mandriva KDE 2010.1 – or the Spring Edition -, enjoying a modern-looking desktop, boasting amazing visual effects right out of the box, communicating with multi-network friends, watching YouTube, checking the weather forecast through a widget and so on.
Mandriva 2010.1 comes in two editions: “One”, which fits on a single Live CD and includes proprietary drivers/codecs and the “Free” edition that is filled with open source-only software, requiring a DVD to fit onto. As I am not what you can call a free software purist, I grabbed the “One” ISO using the torrent option and off I went. Booting the Live environment did take a bit longer than expected, but one should take into consideration the fact that the video drivers are being brought up right from the beginning.
One of the coolest features of Mandriva's Live CD is that, if you decide to install the system, all the files you have created and all the settings you've tweaked during the Live session will be remembered and you will find them right there where you left them. Very, very helpful.
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Also: Mandriva Linux Spring 2010