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Hands on with Mint 7

Jul 11, 2009, 03:02 (23 Talkback[s])

"While Mint, like many other distros, follows a six-month development and release cycle, the developers pride themselves on the community aspect. The net result is that a feature suggested on a forum today could find its way into the codebase in a matter of weeks rather than months, so it feels as if the OS is more organic than most, with updates appearing frequently.

"Thanks to its Debian heritage, software installation is usually pretty simple, especially when using the standard Synaptic package manager. Mint sensibly places the task bar at the bottom of the screen, and calls the equivalent to the Start button the Menu button. As an added touch, this menu is laid out in a very Windows-esque way, making life much easier for refugees from Microsoft Windows.

"Although originally intended as Ubuntu with built-in media codecs, Mint has mutated into a rather different beast. Those media codecs are still part of the overall package, but the main focus is now on making the OS as user-friendly as possible. This means that most of your hardware, including Wi-Fi adaptors, should work out of the box. Our install did choke when presented with a video capture card, but considering its exotic nature, that's hardly a surprise."

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