Saturday, June 11, 2011

Peppermint Ice Two - first impressions

I am now using the newly installed Peppermint OS Two (2), which uses a 2.6.38 Linux kernel, the LXDE (desktop environment) and the Chromium 11 Web browser. This is a lightweight hybrid desktop, intended for a significant amount of online computing and social networking, but not a "Cloud-only" experience; it has many traditional type of applications, but it tends to use lighter applications than commonly seen on most "full featured" desktop systems.

This software has just passed a year of service, so Version 2 comes out just slightly after a year of experience, and it is maturing nicely. I would consider this a very stable and useful, fairly flexible, moderately light system, and it's good enough to install and retain this second (major) release.

Not only is this a hybrid in terms of combining traditional and "Cloud-based" services, it is also a hybrid in terms of including some of the best features from Peppermint OS One and Peppermint Ice. Mozilla Prism is gone in this one, so the browser used is the one found in Ice, but the theme is somewhere in between One and Ice, fairly conservative, a dark background with just enough color to make it interesting, but nothing that shouts at you; it is middle of the road, and pretty decent. It may not draw huge accolades, but it shouldn't be blasted either. Fans of Peppermint are likely to like it.

Functionally, the release is maturing and filling an undercrowded niche that fits somewhere in between a traditional desktop and a completely network-based Cloud computing solution. This one makes overtures to network-based computing, but does not exclusively rely upon it, so this is a good bridge release between the current status quo and the emerging future of network computing as it evolves.

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