|Main Screen + GnoMenu|
After getting past the boot menu, I was greeted by the typical Pinguy OS boot splash. That took a reasonable amount of time to give way to the MDM login screen. I noticed ahead of time that for some reason automatically logging in doesn't work in the live system, so I would need to type "guest" for the username and nothing at all for the password. But when I got to the login screen, it looked weird; the text showing the date and time looked scrambled until the minute value changed, and there were some other weird graphical artifacts in the login screen. I had to move the mouse across the screen several times before I saw the cursor change to the pointed finger indicating that I should click somewhere, and that revealed the word "Login". Clicking on that finally gave the text box to enter the username, followed by the password. That finally gave way to the desktop.
The desktop is mostly the same as before, so I won't dwell on that for too much. The Axe Menu, which essentially brought the Linux Mint Menu to GNOME 3/Shell, is sadly gone, replaced by the slightly less nice GnoMenu. There is a Conky system monitor sitting on the top-right of the desktop background that also displays the date and time. Docky gives a dock on the bottom that has been expanded to full width, but for some reason it shows an opaque background until the desktop background changes (after which point the Docky background becomes fully transparent). On the whole, the desktop works decently well.
|Mozilla Firefox + LibreOffice Writer|
The other applications are by and large the same. In particular, LibreOffice is of course the default productivity suite.
Nemo, with Nemo-Preview, is now the default file browser, though oddly the GNOME Files application name seems to be a link to Nemo now. It worked OK, though it seemed a little unstable. In particular, when I tried to open the "About" window to ensure that it really was Nemo rather than a fork of Nautilus/GNOME Files, Nemo froze and crashed, though thankfully the rest of the system was unaffected. (I was able to verify the identity of this file manager through another status bar saying "Nemo" in the file manager window itself.)
Skype and Google Talk are both installed out-of-the-box. The latter worked fine, whereas the former gave some minor audio issues as is apparently typical of that version of Skype (which has been fixed with the latest update).
Both Mupen64Plus and Redshift worked to the best of their abilities after installing them from the Synaptic Package Manager. On that note, I found it interesting that although the Ubuntu Software Center is present (with the Ubuntu branding), Docky contains a shortcut to the Synaptic Package Manager rather than the Ubuntu Software Center, which is weird if Pinguy OS wants to cater to newbies (though it's always nice for me). Looking back at my earlier reviews, this has apparently been done in past versions of this distribution, so I guess this is just a quirk of this distribution.
|Nemo + Nemo-Preview|
That's where my time with Pinguy OS 13.10 Beta 3 ended. Just in terms of applications and how the desktop is set up, I would be fine with recommending this to newbies. The reason why I can't quite do that with this version boils down to the stability issues. With version 11.10 Beta, I felt the "beta" label was overly cautious; with this version, I think that label is quite a bit more justified, and more work will need to be done before releasing version 14.04 LTS (which I would be curious to try out after it comes out).
You can get it here.