almigi's welcome


Well, it looks like I'm gonna be staying awhile, so I figured I'd post the obligatory hello message to introduce myself. My real name is Alan, and I hail from Fairview Park, Ohio (which is just outside of Cleveland). My first attempt at Linux was years ago, and I focused mainly on commercial distros/distros that came with books about Linux. Back then, I thought that would be the easiest route to go (and with a dial up connection, it probably was). Of all the distros I tried back then, the one that really worked on the laptop I was using at the time was Mandrake (which of course, is now Mandriva). My venture into Linux didn't last that long, and after a week or so, I went back to Windows (and it's not like I went back to a decent version of Windows like XP, I went back to Millennium Edition, glutton for punishment that I am).

However, a few months ago, I became interested in Linux again. I decided to try Ubuntu because it was the most popular. My rationale was that if it is the most popular, it would be the easiest distro to find help if I had any problems, as googling "Ubuntu <problem>" would probably yield the most hits. I downloaded and installed 8.10 and I was very impressed. Everything just worked.

Over the course of the past few months, I've tried a few distros out, and learned a fair amount about Linux. I also discovered that when it comes to applications and desktop environments, any distro can become any other distro with the right selection of packages (for the most part). What really sets distros apart (in my opinion) are:

  1. Community. The community has to be friendly and genuinely enthusiastic about the distro, as well as active. If I'm curious about a new distro and I notice the forums are full of mostly spam or haven't had any activity in months, that's a red flag.
  2. Repositories. A good distro has a good repository (or repositories). I don't mind manually installing the occasional .deb or .rpm, but with modern package management, it makes sense to use repositories whenever possible. If the repositories (official and community) have a decent selection of software (that's updated on a reasonable basis), that's a definite plus.
  3. Good philosophy. I prefer distros designed with the end user in mind. Distros that focus on ease of use (even though I've become more competent with Linux over the past few months, I still prefer "automagic" detection and configuration of my hardware... more out of own laziness then anything else cheesy ) and stability. There was a time when "latest and greatest" was more of my style, but now I prefer "modern and stable." I prefer new versions of software to take advantage of new features, but not at the expense of system breakage.
  4. Active development. I want a distro that I know is going to be around for awhile.

I believe that PCLinuxOS right now meets all my criteria for a good distro. I've lurked in the forums for awhile and I think the community is great. From what I can see looking in Synaptic, (and reading in the forums) there seems to be a healthy selection of programs in the PCLOS repos. I also like the PCLOS focus on stability, and the "it will be ready when it's ready" method of development. It's better to wait for a working program then to get software delivered on a deadline that doesn't work. I also like that everything just worked out of the box. Granted, I prefer KDE4, but based on what I'm reading it shouldn't be too long until it's available for PCLOS. Besides, there's some cool themes at for KDE3.5, so I'll manage, and last, but not least, I'm pretty confident that PCLOS will be around for awhile.

I've also decided to try to put an end to my distro-hopping for awhile. No matter how tempted I am to try another distro out, I will only do so as a live CD. I will not install another distro on my HD for at least the next year. So, I will be a loyal PCLOS user until at least June 2010.


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