Tina Gasperson’s review of Mandrake 9.0 is interesting for the lack of technical detail. Are we becoming so inured to the challenges of installation, or is it that changing distributions has become as easy as changing desktop backgrounds? It’s wonderful to see that many distributions (RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake) are easy to install and use. But the breadth and richness of the desktop has to be matched with depth as well. In several cases, I’ve been greeted with the equivalent of “I’m sorry, I can’t do that, Dave” when trying to configure a NIC or Samba or users, and when the GUI tool stops, there isn’t a lot of help available. The Answers Are Out There, and I’m not hesitant to Google an error message or RTFM the HOWTOs and FAQs, but I like to think my resourcefulness is beyond that of the “average” user. We still have a way to go to integrate the ease of the GUI with the depths of control Linux offers.
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