I tried a few Open Source distros before the days of the LiveCD.
Back then it was a pretty steep learning curve and I never stuck with any of them. BeOS, Mandrake ... and a few others I don't remember.
Then along came Knoppix ... I was totally floored by the fact that an operating system could fit on, let alone actually run from a LiveCD.
Tried DSL and it was more a novelty then than anything else ... but it was cool.
Even Knoppix faded away until quite some time later when I finally had had enough of M$ and the annual purchases of anti-virus, registry tools, office suites, financial software ... etc. I just hated the way all of these software were just geared to feed off of my wallet like parasites, that was the corporate mentality and a strategy that actually had a grasp on me ... as well as a few million others.
Then I found Ubuntu and was driven to learn as much as I could about it, constantly configuring and getting the basics down so I could do them in my sleep.
The more I learned, the more I respected Debian and finally found Mint.
Now Mint is cool! It's just what I needed and I think I like it so much because I know a little of what it takes to customize a system to get it running smooth. easy to use and keep it up to date. Mint has done this already so I can just use it and enjoy what a well oiled machine it is.
I went with Mint 8 Main (Gnome) since gnome is what I was use to.
Well, yesterday I installed Xfce 7 CE and wasn't too sure about it. I was really enjoying the Mint Menu and was a little disappointed that I couldn't add it to Xfce.
What I really like about Xfce is how fast and responsive it is. I have a mid range, slightly older laptop with 2Gb ram so Xfce really screams on it and heavier OS's like Ubuntu and Mint Main are fine but not as snappy as Xfce.
After using Xfce all day today, customizing it a little to get the look I wanted and learning some of what it has to offer in respect to customization ... I'm impressed! The menu no longer is an issue, I'm finding ways to quickly access what I need and it just flys along in the process ... it's really growing on me.
I also downloaded and installed Sidux Xfce today. I like it a lot too, but had a few issues (pretty much all due to the fact that I installed it as a VirtualBox guest).
I couldn't get my resolution set right and GuestAdditions wouldn't seem to load so I gave it a rest for now.
I really think that after I customize Xfce 7 CE or better yet get a look at Xfce 8 CE, I'll settle down with it and be one happy camper.
I've had no issues what-so-ever with Xfce 7 ... none, zilch. That says a lot about it right there. It's a great time to discover Xfce with 8 just around the corner.
A special thanks to merlwiz79 and team for all the long hours and hard work involved in this build ... it's the best I've found ... it's a keeper!
Samsung R580 laptop
Geforce 310M w/ nvidia-glx driver
8 gig RAM
LMDE Cinnamon - Kernel 3.2.0-4-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit) Distro LinuxMint 1 debian