Mandriva /in fact Mandrake 9/ was my first distro. It was so nice & easy to install without any serious knowledge.
But not at all to manage! Also, good thing was easy installing on PC with Win 98SE /It must be installed first, after that Mandrake/.
It runs dual boot a couple of months, then messed up /Lilo/. I used it about 1 year, and it crashed /kernel panic/. Maybe, that was my fault, `cause I was curious computer newbee...
It was pretty buggy. It is RPM distro, so that means problems with dependency hell... And it`s not completely free...
After I tried Slackware /one guy from local LUG installed me/, I was amazed! It`s so stable, so good, that I don`t want another OS! I did everything, many things completely wrong, but it never crushed /more than a year, almost two/.
Who says that it`s not user-friendly distro? Maybe for installing, but there are live cd Slackware based distros like
Slack and Zenwalk.
My PC is pure of Windblows now. I`m using Wine for some small win games, only to try it...Don`t need either Word, nor Paint - there are Openoffice & Abiword, Kpaint & Gimp.
I use precompiled packages in tgz format from www.linuxpackages.net and install it easy from console
su /enter/ then:
/root password/ /hit enter/ then:
installpkg firefox...../or openoffice or another package/ - and it`s all done!
Sometimes I compile tar.gz packages. It`s harder. Some programs work, some not. I learn more, faster than earlier...