I had PCLinuxOS on the number one hard drive, and it was almost perfect . . . almost. But then Mepis released their Beta 5 and I put the 64 bit version on hard drive number two. The beta is almost as good as PCL, almost, but there was a lot of tweaking to get it almost right. But hey, it's a beta. Then SuSE released 10.3 and I wanted a look at the KDE4 stuff so I put it where PCL had been. I'm either a slow learner, or have a short memory span, or both. My latest SuSE experience was as bad as the experience with 10.2 - or maybe worse. It was disgusting. Back in the 7.0 SuSE days it ran well on my old machine. We all yearn for the good old days don't we?
So I replaced SuSE with Debian Etch and couldn't get Beryl to work at all. Would Compiz-Fusion give me a greater migraine than Beryl? I suspect it would.
I was left working with an unstable beta for day to day usage. It isn't a good work plan. I was about to reinstall PCL when I saw the new Granular release on Distrowatch. It is now on my number one drive.
In KDE Granular seems to be very stable. Even the minor problems I had with PCL have yet to make an appearance. I played with XFCE a little and it seems equally solid, but I'm a KDE guy and that's where I spend nearly all my time.
I did have some problems with resolution (Nvidia 7600 gs) and vsync but got them resolved handily after installing the Nvidia driver. Beryl works like the beautiful thing that it is. One of these days I'm going to get some more Emerald themes and see if I can make the desktop even sweeter to look at. I suppose Compiz-Fusion will soon offer even fancier eye candy and we will all bid a fond farewell to Beryl.
I would like to have played with that new Sun window manager, but it doesn't seem to be an option after a hard disk install.
Couldn't do anything with it from the live CD. No driver for the Nvidia? I can't get into E17 after the install either, but I'm guessing it's because I have the 3d acceleration turned on. No big deal. E17 is interesting, but in my opinion it's still not ready for prime time. (I do keep an elive disk handy because it works. I just find it a bit awkward to use.)
To sum up, Granular is a keeper. Congratulations Granular Team on a fine piece of work. In the days ahead I am sure we will see Granular surging to the top of the rating scales. Now, if I could only get my hands on an AMD64 version. . . .