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Initial Redhat 8 Report

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I am a newbie, so this report is written from a newbies point of view. IMHO RH's greatest advantage over ML9 is its new desktop.

 

The Bluecurve desktop is very appealling. I am not talking about the theme, but the default RH desktop in general. The "Start Menu" is simple. It does not give you too many options and idnetifies things in a generic easy to understand manner --- "Web browser"; "Email"; "Instant Messenger"...etc.

 

RH opted to pick what they felt was the best program available and only provide a link to that application. SO while Konqueror is part of the KDE desktop and can be used to surf the net, it is not in the "Internet" submenu.

 

I prefer the simplicity. I can always add the other stuff later.

 

The next most noticeable thing is the fonts. I have installed the freetype fonts in ML9, but RH8's fonts are much better. This carries over to the applications as well. My ML9 fonts still look a bit jaggy. RH*'s fonts are smooth.

 

ML9's greatest edge is the control center. One I really miss when using Redhat are the Mandrake Tools. I think that RH is probably as configurable as ML9, but that ML9 is has more tool to configure from behind a GUI. Us newbies need those GUI's.

 

In my early days with Mandrake 8.2, I wanted to configure LILO to boot with Windows as the default. I was able to o this simply by clicking buttons on the KDE desktop until I found it. I also changed the amount of time allowed to make a selection (these days it boots to ML9 and not windows anymore as I only use the latter for games).

 

In RH8, I can't seem to find a similar tool, and had to surf the internet to figure out how to configure the bootloader. Actually, after having read some instructions, I am still trying to figure out how to do it, but I am pretty much sure I have to edit manually.

 

So my initial impression is that RH has the prettier face, with ML giving more substance.

 

I am more inclined to recommend my Windows using friends to use RH. The good looking fonts being the main reason. Jaggy fon't make a program look "less competent".

When I first showed ML8.2 around and OpenOffice, the latter looked like a secomd rate program because the screen fonts looked so poor. I did not convince anyone to switch to ML. I have been showing RH8 to some of my friends and one actually started using it yesterday with another saying he would give it a try.

 

So I think ML9 is the suprerior distro, but RH8 looks like the better one. I think the MandrakeSoft should try a Redhat if it wants to be a Windows beater at the desktop.

 

I know this sounds shallow, but it is actually important. A few months ago, I installed Mozilla in 7 Win95 PC's in a Internet Cafe. I showed it to them and had them try it out for free, but no one used it after that. They said they liked IE better. Two weeks ago, I intalled Mozilla 1.1 with an IE skin and a IE like icon in 3 Win95 machines. Clients used Mozilla w/o relaizing it. The same clients after switching to Win95/98/2k/XP machines with IE5.5/6 started complaining about how come some PC;'s blocked add's while others did not. Suffice it to say, they now like Mozilla better.

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Well.. that's the first step of converting people to linux, start small.. start with something something doable. then move them slowly.

 

Anyway, the menu system is another thing I hate about RH 8, it's just too plain simple. Besides.. Mandrake has a choice like that.. Check menudrake and there is an option in Action -> Modify menu style. You can see the simplified menu system there.. Me, I prefer the full menu with simplified menu system embedded (seems to be the default mandrake install). I like to pick what kind of apps I want to use for certain things. Unfortunately, RH tries to simplify too much and end up using one type of apps for one task. It alienates the more knowledgable users in order to make things simple for newbies.

 

I agree that RH seems to have prettier face.. but Mandrake seems more intuitive in the end. I can change most of the configurations in my computer through gui, barely touching the command line at all. This is why I think mandrake really make my knowledge about linux go down.

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"but Mandrake seems more intuitive in the end."

 

This I can attest too. Just check my other post in this forum where I am asking for confirmation of my understanding on how to change the boot order in the grub bootloader. :)

 

I am tempted to just deploy ML in the PC's. But somehow I get the feeling the RH's look will be more appealing to Windows users. My GF is apprehensive about deploying it at all :roll:

 

Anyway, the plan is to deploy ML as the OS for the P.O.S. (if I can ever figure out how to get Zeiberdude intalled) and eventually to install it also in the dedicated file sharing server (we dont have one yet, buy hoping to have one in a few months than we can offer th clients permanet folders).

 

As for Redhat, well it will go first in one client use PC. Hoping to have 1/3rd of the machines running on RH8. Actually, I hope that ML9.1 will include better fonts. Never like fonts in ML, and assumed in was a problem with the display drivers or something. But RH's fonts are better even than WIndows font's I think.

 

I like ML9 better though I dont yet understand why I have 6-7 text editors, 4-5 different consoles...etc.

 

I am sure each of them has their uses and one day I will (hopefully) come to appreciate them. At my current level in Linux, having all these options is awfully initmidating.

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Thanks for the tip on menudrake ---> actions. I did not like the simplified menu much, but I did make one change. I removed the "What to do" menu, which always seemed kind of redundant to me.

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