I finally got my Linux distribution upgraded. After mulling over the options, I opted to install Mageia 3. It has been a good experience so far. KDE 4.10.2 continues to work for me as have past iterations of this graphical environment. Libreoffice 4.0.3 works without a hiccup. Amarok Music Player actually works properly now (it never did in the Mandriva 2011.0 distro I used previously) and I can use the special function keys on my IBM Thinkpad R60 to control the player which is a nice bonus.
I have a few options for development environments but have decided to use Kate for now as it give me most of the features I’m looking for in an editor with the least amount of hassle. Unfortunately, Eric 4 is not starting up and I haven’t been bothered enough by this fact yet to figure out what the problem is (It’s apparently a known issue and the “Mageia Bug Squad” are on it.). Kompozer works which is a good thing as I have used this application for web development before.
Updates and installing new software uses a “control centre” similar to what I was using in Mandriva. It has worked for the most part without a hitch (except for Eric 4 as I’ve already mentioned).
Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t come as a package option but it is very easy to install from their website via RPM. That, really, was the only piece of software I needed to go “into the wild” to find.
I give Mageia 3 a “thumbs up”! I will likely kick a few dollars their way in thanks since everything was free to download. The quality is as good or better than the “PowerPack” version for Mandriva 2011.0 which cost me about CAD $60 to purchase.