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aRTee

Mandriva 2008 review

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Thanks for your kind words John, glad you found it worth the read.

 

I agree on the whole uncertainty about libdvdcss, it's not legal but perhaps not illegal....

 

So no commercial enterprise will include libdvdcss, because it would make them vulnerable to attack, as neddie said.

 

Considering the kind of money the MPAA lobbyists have, they get to have the best laws that money can buy.

 

It seems that in the US legal system, anything remains shady until it has been tested in court, because all laws are just words on paper until a judge has spoken out about it.

 

These are the grounds on which detractors keep saying that the GPL has not been tested in a US court, and then try to FUD against it.

 

So the point is: would a judge consider the use of libdvdcss for viewing dvds on Linux legal or not, or in other words, would the judge consider that the DMCA should be interpreted to really limit the use of purchased items in the way that it's doing today, the way it's worded?

This is not clear.

 

So it is perhaps a bit far fetched to say that Mandriva Powerpack is the only solution (of the big distributions, I think Linspire also has something) for worldwide legal dvd playback, but it is at least the only unquestionable solution.

 

What really sucks in this whole thing is the US legal system, where such things are not clear until tested in court (meaning: the party with the deepest pockets can usually have their way, since they can attack and drag out as they wish), instead of a system with common sense, where they'd just say: look, that person bought that disc, they should be able to get to the content.

 

BTW Ubuntu has an interesting way of dealing with libdvdcss; there's a script that will download the source and compile it for you. The source is protected in the US under freedom of speech, so it can be published on a server without fear of repercussions.

 

Oh, and another interesting page is this: http://en.opensuse.org/XINE

Unfortunately there is, to our knowledge, no legal DVD player for Linux currently sold by anyone.

Well, that's true, but only because you have to buy Mandriva Powerpack, you can't just buy Lindvd. I'm sure Novell could just as Mandriva did though...

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Considering the kind of money the MPAA lobbyists have, they get to have the best laws that money can buy.

 

It seems that in the US legal system, anything remains shady until it has been tested in court, because all laws are just words on paper until a judge has spoken out about it.

 

These are the grounds on which detractors keep saying that the GPL has not been tested in a US court, and then try to FUD against it.

 

So the point is: would a judge consider the use of libdvdcss for viewing dvds on Linux legal or not, or in other words, would the judge consider that the DMCA should be interpreted to really limit the use of purchased items in the way that it's doing today, the way it's worded?

This is not clear.

 

I guess I agree that, under the current unfortunate state of the law, it may be unwise for a distro to include it. On the other hand, I don't think the MPAA would be silly enough to sue a user for using it to watch a purchased DVD. If they did, they would provide an excellent case for amending or abolishing the DMCA as it currently stands. And they are not about to give us that chance.

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rm42, I agree that they wouldn't likely (mpaa isn't as mad as riaa yet) sue end users. Distributions including libdvdcss however...

 

RVDowning,

:D

 

The problem I see is that most people, even in tech circles and such, are not aware enough.

 

I realise that Joe Average will never pay attention unless getting the advice, and he won't come to my site to fetch it,...

 

But Joe Average asks Geoff Guru about his purchasing recommendations.

 

I know around me people ask me about what to buy, or at least ask my opinion about hardware (computer hardware, but also other stuff, like digital cameras and such), and the people at my place of work are almost all electronics engineers...

I am sure Geoff Gurus everywhere make out a tiny percentage of the population, but they have much more influence.

 

My point: most Geoff Gurus don't yet realise the value of hardware with open source drivers...

 

Which explains why I put so much into one article: every section has its own link, so from now on I can just point to that section...

 

On the off chance you really want to know how I feel about open source drivers: Great! They are the ones that work!

;)

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Guest Rithvik
I've just uploaded my Mandriva 2008.0 review, first review I do in 2 years...

 

Give it a read here: Mandriva 2008.0 review.

 

One question: it got a bit long (not in the tooth I hope), should I split it over 2 or even more pages? Total page download with screenshots is over 3MB... (All full size screenies together: 38MB)

 

Any comments, corrections, flames or praise, please leave them in this topic.

 

I hope you'll enjoy the read,

aRTee

 

It's a great review and its nuice that you have cleared many of my doubts (I had bought Mandrake 10 boxed pack once before and things are more open now. Still keep the keychain that came with it), and its a wonderful distrbution. I just tried it, but I would give the distribution -10 (with a BIG minus). Here's why:

 

The List of countries you can choose has countries like

Afghanistan, Antarctica, and places I've never heard of (I'm talking of LocaleDrake here), but No India ? In installation, I had to dig through More Countries to find the entry. In LocaleDrake, it is completely missing.

Is the seventh largest country in the World with the Second Largest Population in the World (not to mention a healthy population of francophones in places like Pondicherry and Mahe ) so insignificant? (more than Antarctica in fact? I didn't know flesh-n-blood penguins also use linux).

 

How the hell do I recommend this distro to my friends here?

I hope someone notices this utter STUPIDITY on the part of Mandriva. This is INSULTING to people who want to use a top-quality distro in India, and definitely gives an idea of political bias. Please tell me where to complain about this. I'm putting this here assuming that this site is a subsidiary of Mandriva itself. I could post the screenshot too, if that is needed. I'm updating the system at the moment, after installation, and an update in this is what I'm looking forward to see. I've tried other distros, and India is pretty prominent there, as it should be.

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The List of countries you can choose has countries like

Afghanistan, Antarctica, and places I've never heard of (I'm talking of LocaleDrake here), but No India ? In installation, I had to dig through More Countries to find the entry. In LocaleDrake, it is completely missing.

Is the seventh largest country in the World with the Second Largest Population in the World (not to mention a healthy population of francophones in places like Pondicherry and Mahe ) so insignificant? (more than Antarctica in fact? I didn't know flesh-n-blood penguins also use linux).

 

How the hell do I recommend this distro to my friends here?

I hope someone notices this utter STUPIDITY on the part of Mandriva. This is INSULTING to people who want to use a top-quality distro in India, and definitely gives an idea of political bias. Please tell me where to complain about this. I'm putting this here assuming that this site is a subsidiary of Mandriva itself. I could post the screenshot too, if that is needed. I'm updating the system at the moment, after installation, and an update in this is what I'm looking forward to see. I've tried other distros, and India is pretty prominent there, as it should be.

I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions about the placement of India in Locale's. Perhaps there is a reason behind it, and perhaps it is logical. Have you bothered to ask? It seems you are more interested in just bashing Mandriva...

 

that's just MHO. I couldn't care less what your opinion of Mandriva is, no offense, as this board is not affiliated with them. As far as I'm concerned, as long as you're using Linux, it's a good thing. What distro you use is your choice - find one that you like and stick with it. If it's not Mandriva, oh well.

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Guest Rithvik
I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions about the placement of India in Locale's. Perhaps there is a reason behind it, and perhaps it is logical. Have you bothered to ask? It seems you are more interested in just bashing Mandriva...

 

Have you bothered to check? Every other country/region is there (I'd never heard of "Heard and McDonald Islands" before, wherever it is). Whatever the reason may be, it isn't justified to skip India (even if the option may do nothing under the hood. It simply means the distro cares to know you exist). And I certainly cannot justify it for newbies, who already think Linux is an 'elitist OS'.

 

that's just MHO. I couldn't care less what your opinion of Mandriva is, no offense, as this board is not affiliated with them. As far as I'm concerned, as long as you're using Linux, it's a good thing. What distro you use is your choice - find one that you like and stick with it. If it's not Mandriva, oh well.

 

And you shouldn't care what distro I use. I've used Arch Linux, like it and use it for personal use, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or my workplace. I've used PCLinuxOS and recommended it to my friends, that's whom I care about. I liked PCLinuxOS, but lately its updates caused trouble for many of my friends. I'm not bashing Mandriva, it may be an oversight. I've used PCL which is a cousin/fork of Mandriva and liked it -- It uses draketools and wizards and I love them. This oversight can cause my friends and others in my country to skip an very usable distro (for the stupidest reasons, in YHM, but not theirs). For the moment I tell them to use any country they wish (like US, generally). Then they can fix the currency format, number groupings etc. themselves (which are very different and unique). I wouldn't mention the 25 or so languages in India anyway as people are quite comfy with English here.

 

If your country was skipped in an international distribution with raving reviews, you and your minions would have spewed more vitriol, I'm sure, especially if you LIKE the distro (used it somewhere else or read recommendations). It is usually sensitive only to those it affects. And India is no drop in the ocean. Gone are the days when India was just a 3rd world country which could be ignored. If Mandriva still thinks so, it speaks of an elitist attitude of arrogance. None of the other distros I've used do this, even the smaller ones (try Yoper for instance). Even if they did, some of us can forgive them.

 

Indians generally use fedora, and know Gnome. I wanted to recommend a good KDE-based distro with wizards for everything. Fedora's KDE is much improved now, but still has some rough edges (such as updates causing trouble, key apps missing etc.), I don't like its system tool guis (pirut, yuck!) and and I don't wish to disappoint my friends.

 

OK. I got the point that this forum is not the place to discuss this. I'm outta here.

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Have you bothered to check?
Hey, you're the one who cares, why don't you check? :P - Like I said, ask them. Maybe it was a mistake that they missed it. Maybe they have a logical reason for it. Until you know for sure, you really have little basis to criticize.

 

 

If your country was skipped in an international distribution with raving reviews, you and your minions would have spewed more vitriol, I'm sure, especially if you LIKE the distro (used it somewhere else or read recommendations).
First, I'm not sure who my "minions" are...I mean, I do have plans to take over the world (what geek doesn't?), but I haven't gotten to the stage of acquiring my minions just yet - I'm still working on the placement of my secret lair. Second, maybe I wouldn't be too happy, but I would first contact the distro and ask them what's up, why it's like that, etc. before getting on their case about it. If they did it purposely, you have every right to complain, but you don't know if they did because you haven't bothered to ask them ;) (or, if you have, you certainly haven't mentioned their response).

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OK. I got the point that this forum is not the place to discuss this. I'm outta here.
I'm not sure where you really got that point...I'm sorry if something I said came off as offensive or insulting. I'm simply trying to discuss the idea with you...and give some suggestions as to how to resolve it (contact Mandriva). Isn't that what you were looking for? :unsure:

 

(Don't confuse my criticizing as some sort of use of my authority as an admin. I'm stating my opinions, not trying to tell you that you can't discuss the issues you have - that would be wrong of me.)

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