Author Topic: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man  (Read 192 times)

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Offline buster

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The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« on: April 22, 2021, 02:03:02 pm »
Jason, Clint and Buster, back when the Linux world was young, worked together to produce an article which I rashly submitted to Distrowatch. Jason produced the graphics and set up the page. (I could do none of this.) Clint supplied me with the technical vocabulary and helped with presentation advice. And when you start to read the article, at least the only part that has survived the passage of time, I hope you will recognize that I wrote the article.

The article ended up on the front page of Distrowatch, but everyone around the world was actually clicking the link which took them to the article on our server. As you might guess, the server was under a wee bit of pressure, but held up. Maybe people were being turned away. But it held up and didn't explode or catch fire or simply die.

I found the picture with a search on the web, but unfortunately I've never seen a copy of the original for years. However, for a few glorious days, people from all over the world were eagerly visiting Plugintolinux, in the city of Peterborough, Ontario.

A word of warning, the screenshot might not show in New Posts. You might have to go to where I put it in Articles, Tutorials and Tips
" Life has a very simple plot: first you're here and then you're not. " Eric Idle

Offline ssfc72

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 03:03:45 pm »
Wow, very good, Buster. Thanks for posting.
I don't recall that happening but must just be my poor memory, because I was a PLUG member at the time Clint was involved.
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Offline fox

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 03:23:21 pm »
OMG; a young, budding star in our midst!  ;)
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 05:10:15 pm »
Unfortunately, the images are gone but the article is recorded in the WayBackMachine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050116095151/http://plugintolinux.ca/newslettermay3.html

What's funny is that, while I remember the article, I didn't remember it on Distrowatch. I do, however, recall them covering your review of SimplyMEPIS which you can find in the April newsletter on this archived website.

I also have the webpage saved in my own archive of PLUG stuff but again, no graphics. And for Buster, the screenshots are usually the best part! :)
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline buster

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 05:44:18 pm »
" the article is recorded in the WayBackMachine"

Wow. I just read it for the first time in a decade and a half! And yes the images did make a difference. And it did appear on the front page of Distrowatch! When I sent in the Mepis review few years later, I was politely told that they no longer put reviews on the front page.
" Life has a very simple plot: first you're here and then you're not. " Eric Idle

Offline gmiller1977

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 09:10:46 pm »
Great story!  Love the graphics LOL

I remember buying Mandrake 9.1 at EB Games at Scarborough Town Centre.  I was into Linux then - just landed my first real job (building PCs) and was really interested in Red Hat at the time.  Mandrake was a fork of Red Hat.

The PC/hardware distributor I worked at, they used to bring in CDROM "bundles".  I remember the very first one I bought, it included RedHat 5.1 (not RHEL, Red Hat - image attached).

I remember downloading and compiling KDE .97 source; and finding Star Office.

Great times - almost as good as my Amiga LOL




Offline Jason

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 10:37:57 pm »
The PC/hardware distributor I worked at, they used to bring in CDROM "bundles".  I remember the very first one I bought, it included RedHat 5.1 (not RHEL, Red Hat - image attached).

I remember downloading and compiling KDE .97 source; and finding Star Office.

I started my Linux journey with Red Hat, either 5.1 or 5.0. I had to download KDE but not compile it. Back then there wasn't a proper package manager so it didn't install dependencies when you needed them for a package. It just told you that you were missing one. Then you'd go and install that, and find out there was a dependency for that. Very annoying. So I had to figure out the order in which to install KDE packages since some depended on others. The default window manager was Fluxwm if I remember correctly.

I wasn't using it for more than 6 months or so before Mandrake came out and I used that starting with their first version which aligned with Red Hat so it was 5.2, I believe. I still have a Mandrake version box that I bought in a store, too! I think it was version 7 or 8 at the time. And it came with StarOffice and a nice friendly manual. I think it was $30. Mandrake was nice in that it came with KDE as an option in the install and had an actual graphical installer, too! Very easy to use. Those were the days when men were men and compiled their own kernels.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline gmiller1977

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2021, 10:23:43 am »
I remember the dependency nightmare LOL.  Looking at the file/revision number in the name of the .rpm file LOL.  Drove me nuts.

I don't remember why, but I stopped using Mandrake around version 9.  I seem to remember there were some stability issues.  I was all about trying new versions anyway.  I ended up moving to Caldera for the LONGEST time.  I would compile my own kernel, and I modified Caldera to the point that it wasn't really Caldera anymore lol.  It was great back then.

Offline buster

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 06:07:04 pm »
"review of SimplyMEPIS which you can find in the April newsletter on this archived website."

I can't find the article. Could you link it for me please Jason? Marilyn used Mepis until it faded away after some years, and was resurrected a few years ago as MXLinux, which I know Bill uses.
" Life has a very simple plot: first you're here and then you're not. " Eric Idle

Offline Jason

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2021, 03:27:02 am »
"review of SimplyMEPIS which you can find in the April newsletter on this archived website."

I can't find the article. Could you link it for me please Jason? Marilyn used Mepis until it faded away after some years, and was resurrected a few years ago as MXLinux, which I know Bill uses.

Oh, I screwed up. I gave you a link to an earlier snapshot of the website. This one is more recent with direct links to articles (not necessarily in the newsletter - there were only two issues) and here's your SimplyMEPIS article. Those were the days. It seems like 16 years ago! Btw, I know that nobody will believe it but in the article, Buster suggests using a few terminal commands. Sure, it's to get a graphical package manager (wuss), but still, it's proof that Buster was once cool. ;) Again, no images. Buster, I'm surprised you didn't keep these images and articles somewhere?
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2021, 07:49:43 am »
Very well-written article, Buster! I enjoyed going back 17 years; this was before I was a Linux user myself. The article was convincing, too, about how easy it was to use SimplyMepis, except that the partitioning would have thrown a real beginner. I can't agree more with the positive comments on Synaptic. I still use it as my go-to app finder, over Gnome Software or variants of it. Synaptic works better for me to find and install software.
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Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline buster

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2021, 09:36:59 am »
You set up a nice looking site back then Jason, and it was filled with things. And thanks for the kind comment on the Mepis review Fox. ( https://web.archive.org/web/20050309025319/http://plugintolinux.ca/simplymepis_review.html ).

Only as I read it again after all these years does it start to come back, though the Mandrake review remained fairly clear. The opening line I still believe is true of the Mandrake / Mepis era: "These are the golden years of linux desktop systems." If fact there are 3 distinct periods in my mind still:

Late 90's  The exciting years
Early 00's The golden years
Since 05   The tinkering and improving years

And the first two were definitely the most dramatic.
" Life has a very simple plot: first you're here and then you're not. " Eric Idle

Offline fox

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2021, 10:52:47 am »
.... If fact there are 3 distinct periods in my mind still:

Late 90's  The exciting years
Early 00's The golden years
Since 05   The tinkering and improving years

And the first two were definitely the most dramatic.
Nevertheless, I'm happy to be in the tinkering and improving years. Tinkering can be taken in two ways: tinkering by the devs to continually improve the product and tinkering by the user to get the most out of their computing experience. In the latter sense, some users don't want to tinker at all, but that isn't me. Tinkering is what makes Linux fun!
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: The year 2003: Mandrake the Music Man
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2021, 08:06:40 pm »
And you know, Buster. THIS will be the year of the Linux desktop! :) If had a dime for every time someone said that. I still think it's the best OS around. Lots of customizing you can do or, as Fox put it, tinkering.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata