This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
This question is probably better suited to the Linux forum. I'll move it there. Incidentally, for the record, I also use Mandrake 8.0 because it was easy to install as a second OS on my home box. I prefer KDE to Gnome because I think KDE has superior tools.