*** Please stop by the new home page for new and updated content. ***
Wow! I don't even know where to start. There are so many options and ways to configure your system. It is really incredible! I'll just cover the basics here. This is where you are going to have to learn a thing or two. For you Windows users, Linux doesn't do things like Windows does (Although the way Mandrake Linux acts often makes it seem like it does. That's a good thing!). I won't go into specifics but the manuals and the forums I have linked to at the end of this article are your friends.
The Mandrake Control Center and the KDE Control Center are in most respects like the Control Panel in Windows with a few advanced options thrown in. Most of what a newbie like myself needs to configure can be done from here.
Mandrake Control Center and Mandrake 9.0 desktop
KDE Control Center
Harddrake in Mandrake 9 is similar to Device Manager in Windows. Userdrake is similar to Windows Users and Groups or User Accounts.
If you desire a file browser that is more like Windows Explorer, you can try Nautilus.
As I said before, there are countless other ways to configure Mandrake 9. As a noob I can only tell you that they are there. I am not qualified to opine further on this matter.
I choose KDE as my desktop. The default browser is Konqueor. Windows users will be at home here. Other than the fact that the icons on the toolbar look different you won't notice you aren't using Windows Explorer. If you look in the menu bar you will find some advanced options, but as yet I haven't used them.
I run an all Windows XP network here at home. As stated above I use ICS to get out to the web. Now you would think that an installation that could find its way out to the web through my network could easily find its way to my Windows shares right? No. In fact here is where you are gonna find I biggest gripe with Mandrake 9. Networking is FAR TO COMPLICATED for the average user. In fact I threw a bit of a temper tantrum over this. In my search for answers I kept coming back to SAMBA which I already knew about. But I kept thinking it HAS to be easier. I have got to be missing something. It can't possibly be as complicated as the post's in so many forums suggest. Surely by now they have taken command line out of the equation? Heck, some forum posts suggest you need to hack your Windows XP registry to be able to work with Samba. Absolutely not! With all do respect to the folks at Samba, Mandrake and much of the rest of the Linux community. Your guides are not written for noobs or for Windows users( not just networking guides either).
If you want Linux to be a success you are going to have to approach it from that viewpoint. I will equate it like this: "John" is the smartest computer guy I know. In fact I would equate him as near genius. However, he completely lacks any ability to come down to the average persons level. He isn't even able to show people how to do the simplest thing on a computer and it frustrates both him and the person he is trying to explain it to. As a consequence he no longer even tries to explain things and no one comes to him for answers. Oh sure, he is able to do his job better than anyone I know. But those around him do not benefit from his knowledge nor he from their interaction. Everyone loses. (Now go back and substitute the word "linux" for the words "John, he him") I know there are those in the Linux community trying, but more has got to be done.
Anyway, I managed to get my network up and running. It was simple, but it was not the way any guide said to do it, or from any advice anyone gave me, or from any forum post about the issue. But as a network guy I have a bit of an advantage over the average user. Put a "network neighborhood" in and make it as easy as Windows.
*note (posted 11-21-02)
Many have written in suggesting I try Komba2 and LinNeighborhood and a few other options. I will do so within the next week. I will post the results on my front page and add them here. Thank You!
TweakHound - Optimize Your Computing Experience!