Review: KaOS 2014.04

It's been a while since my last review. Now I'm a bit more free because the semester ended over a week ago. At the moment I'd really like to get my hands on the official release of Linux Mint, but that isn't out yet. In the mean time, though, I'm going to check out KaOS.

Main Screen + KDE Homerun Kicker Menu
This distribution caught my eye from a DistroWatch review. That review concludes that it isn't clear exactly what the goal of this distribution is. Looking at the website more, I can't say that it's any clearer to me either. All I can glean is that this distribution aims to please more experienced users with a rolling-release model, maintain a small base of packages so that those will be polished before use, and target newer computers by using KDE and only 64-bit releases. I'll have to try this distribution out to see if there is any more information regarding the target audience of this distribution. I tried KaOS on a live USB made with MultiSystem. Follow the jump to see what it's like.


Done with 8th Semester!

I'm done with my eighth and final semester of my MIT undergraduate semester! (Actually, I was done on Sunday, May 18 around 3pm upon completion of my last problem set, but I didn't get around to writing this until today.) It was extremely satisfying to see a bit about nanoparticle scattering of infrared light in a new UROP project and write about that in my thesis, along with getting excellent results for my ongoing photonic crystal UROP project and writing about that too. My thesis gave my the most trouble in the two weeks leading up to its submission on May 9, though I started writing during spring break itself. In terms of classes, I had the most trouble in 8.334 — Statistical Mechanics II (Statistical Field Theory), as the problem sets and exams alike were quite challenging, and the final project was an 18-hour marathon on Friday, May 16. Also annoying was 14.15 — Networks; it wasn't taught or organized very well, and the final project gave me and my group partners a fair amount of stress too. More manageable was 8.962 — General Relativity, which only had problem sets, and most of those were quite reasonable and straightforward. Anyway, I don't have any final exams this semester (by design), so I'm really done, and all I need to worry about now is commencement! (I will have a longer post reflecting on my time at MIT in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.) After commencement, I plan to spend most of my summer time relaxing and picking up small projects at home; I may also travel for a bit too.


Featured Comments: Week of 2014 May 4

This past week, there was one post that got a few comments, so I'll repost all of those.

Review: OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0

An anonymous reader suggested, "Thanks for the review! One thing I question, is why you use unetbootin to make live usb, when dd works fine and gives you the menu OM wants you to see... Even couldn't be simpler to do: https://wiki.openmandriva.org/en/2014.0/Release_Notes#via_dd Just make sure to wait 5-10 minutes for the iso to actually be fully transferred to the usb-key."
Another anonymous commenter had this hope: "Good review, thanks. Of special interest is the memory usage, as I have machines with 2GB of RAM. Rather than the usual mudslinging seen in Libreoffice/Openoffice, I wish for some fraternal cooperation between OpenMandriva and Mageia, if not for advancement then for greater savings, at least."
Reader Mechatotoro said, "First of all, Prashant, good luck with your thesis and exams.
It is good to read another one of your useful reviews again, thank you! I installed OpenMandriva Lx 2014 and found some interesting points related to Home Run, which I will soon write about. Again, good luck!"

Thanks to all those readers for commenting on that post. This coming week is the last week of class for me. I will have at least one post about the end of the semester, but that's all I can guarantee because it's a busy week. After that, though, I'm hoping to start doing more reviews than just one every month. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0

It has been a while since I've done a review, and I apologize for that. This week isn't actually getting any less busy for me; last night I finished my undergraduate thesis and submitted it to my thesis advisor, and hopefully there aren't too many major revisions that I would need to make. Beyond that, though, I still have problem sets, a midterm exam, and final projects to finish. I'm just doing this review now because finishing the thesis was exhausting, and I need a short break before I can get back to work. In that time, I'm reviewing OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0.

KDE Homerun Menu
As the name might suggest, OpenMandriva is related to the old distribution Mandriva, which went out of business. The first fork of Mandriva was Mageia, which preserved the traditional KDE 4 interface. After that, Mandriva changed its GUI from standard KDE to the ROSA customization of KDE, which I reviewed a little under 3 years ago here. Following that, ROSA forked as a distribution from Mandriva to showcase its customization of KDE; I reviewed that almost exactly 2 years ago here. Since then, another fork has arisen from ROSA, and that fork is OpenMandriva.
I tried this distribution as a live USB system made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it's like.