switching from Mandriva to Fedora

Well... all good things must come to an end, and so -- very regretfully, I should add -- I parted ways with Mandriva. I'd been a Mandrake user since '99 or so, and a die hard fan and evangelist since not long after.

Today I switched my work(horse) desktop from MDV to Fedora. The upgrade went amazingly smoothly, partly because ever since I started using git, almost everything I have except "documents" is in git; all I really did was restore my repos, my mail, and a "workdata" directory that contained all the ODT/ODP/ODS junk. A few commands here and there and it's all set. Pidgin, FF, TB, all setup exactly as they were before.

So.... why?

Well, it's not just that Fedora is using gitolite, it's also that Linux itself has come far enough in the usability department (much more thanks to Fedora than people realise due to Ubuntu's machinations of the press) that a "developer's" distro can probably be used by the neophyte now.

My focus has always been to help completely non-techie users switch to Linux, and Mandriva was just perfect. For a looooong time. But some issues linger...

(1) Every time I install MDV, I have to go to urpmi.zarb.org and setup the repos for plf to get libdvdcss and other goodies. With Fedora and livecd-creator, I just create a custom spin that already contains all of that and I carry that around. Done.

(2) MDV's repos for India suck. Actually, I take that back -- something that doesn't exist can't suck :-) And I hate the bloody Chinese mirror that MDV always ends up picking from geolocation.

[And I'd hate it even if the Chinese weren't trying to hack everyone on the planet. Fedora people: please give us a choice to exclude certain locations if we wish to. Or make gpg-signature checking mandatory if the packages are coming from certain locations. (And yes, I know "locations" is hard to pin down easily)]

(3) Curiously, 2 of my "non-technical" users have the Tata Photon or equivalent USB modem. And MDV's network control center just does *not* like that card. wvdial works fine, so it wouldn't be so bad if MDV supplied wvdial on the liveCD, but they don't. Catch-22, in the worst case.

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