Sigh...no upgrade for me

I was hoping to get that new system put together today, but no joy. I got all the hardware yesterday except for one key item - the case. That was shipped separately and it arrived today. The only problem was, it was broken. And by "broken," I mean the front panel was smashed and one side had a big dent in it. In other words, it was completely unusable. This is the first problem I've ever had with Newegg, so I was a little taken aback. I filled out an online return request and I'll FedEx the box back tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes.

I guess it's just as well, since I wouldn't have had much time to set up the new system anyway. I was playing around with Xandros 3.0 OCE a little this week while I was in the office (because at work I have a fast PC and a copy of VMware), and while it looks nice, it's going to need a little work before I let Sarah use it.

First, the good parts. The Xandros File Manager (abgreviated XFM, not to be confused with the venerable X File and application Manager, also abbreviated XFM) seems pretty nice. I didn't try out any of the network functionality, as we won't really be needing it, but for a mixed Windows/UNIX environment, I imagine it would be pretty handy. The desktop is a rebranded KDE 3.3.0 and has a very polished, professional look to it. The kicker panel is slim, with a Window XP kind of look to it. There are the familiar quick launch buttons for things like Firefox and Thunderbird, with a small two-desktop pager and the lock and logout buttons. The applications menu is very spare compared to a stock KDE installation. It's not even half the size of mine and also has a very Windows look to it.

I don't know if the paid editions are any different, but Xandros doesn't ship an awful lot of software with the OCE. I can't really argue with what they do ship, though. It comes with Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird and KMail for e-mail, OpenOffice, Kontact, XMMS and Xine for media, and other good things. Not the variety I'm used to, but the smaller number of choices is definitely a lot easier for new users. I'm sure Sarah will find it less confusing to, say, play a video with just Xine than on my system, which has about six different video players to choose from.

On the down side, I'll definitely have to install some missing things. For one thing, the new system will be getting the same brand of wireless NIC that I use, so I may have to build the drivers for it (unless it get autodetected and configured with ndiswrapper). This means I'll have to install GCC, which isn't installed by default. I may also need to install the kernel soures with that. In addition, I'm going to want to give Sarah the 2.0 beta of OpenOffice, as well as K3B. Of course, K3B isn't shipped because part of the "demo" nature of Xandros OCE is that the integrated CD/DVD burning only supports speeds of up to 4x. I'll also want to add MP3 support, which I've heard isn't included by default. Add in a few more games (I managed to get Sarah hooked on LBreakOut2 some time last year) and possibly KOffice (she really doesn't like OpenOffice 1.1 on her current machine, so another choice is good), and you've probably got at least a good afternoon's worth of work once you include configuration and file migration.

I guess I'll we'll find out how it goes some time next week. Sigh....

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