Sunday, September 17, 2006

Windows 3, Ubuntu 0 -- However, Freespire Wins the Day

My adventures with the Linux flavor Ubuntu continued this week. The tagline for this abomination is "linux for human beings." I love the self-deprecating lowercase "L" on "linux" at the beginning of that. It says to me, "Hey man, we don't take ourselves seriously!" And they surely don't.

Ubuntu may be for human beings, and I have a few ideas that Ubuntu is free to use in any promotional materials:

"Ubuntu: Linux for people who don't mind getting kicked in the nuts"

Ubuntu: Not enough anger in your life?"

"Ubuntu: Remember what the angry mob did to Mussolini? That's what our operating system will do to your mind"

And on and on.

Jokes aside, I truly believe that Dell computers are somehow Linux-impervious. My first attempt at Ubuntu was on my desktop PC. This week I attempted installing it on my laptop -- both are Dells.

So, angst-ridden and gnashing my teeth, I flung myself into an Internet search. Exotic porn might have been the best choice, but I found myself investigating other flavors of Linux. I'd heard of Red Hat and Kubuntu. Surely there must be others. And there were.

You know how it is with Internet searches -- fives seconds after landing on a kickass, enlightening page, I had no idea how I got there. This page listed at least two dozen flavors of Linux. I scanned the list and saw something called Freespire. It's a sort of spin-off or inspired-by Linspire, which is... well, I didn't know.

Viewing the copious Freespire screenshots won me over to almost believing in a Christian god once again. There were screenshots, even, of the install process. The install screens looked like they were designed for human beings.

So, I downloaded Freespire and installed it on my laptop. And the goddamned fucking cocksucker actually installed. I was dumbfounded. And I've been working with it since about Wednesday. I'm on the Web right now on my laptop, blogging away like a free man. I've configured my printer to work on this, and have even edited and FTP'd my Web site with Linux tools.

I had heard even from adherents of Ubuntu that installing software on Linux machines is not the simple "click-click-click" process we enjoy on PCs. The Linux programmer-moles still try to make code-munchers out of us all. But Freespire has this great feature called CNR, which stands for "Click N Run." It's like a free online store where you can search for software, and the CNR interface actually installs it on your machine for you.

I did, however, try my hand at some old school software installation. I went to the Command Line and installed Flash Player 7. And it worked.

So, while I still condemn Linux hardcores for their arrogance and detachment from other keyboarding mammals, I applaud the good folks at Freespire Who Got It Right! I'm thrilled with this operating system. I can honestly say that anyone who seeks a genuine workable alternative to Apple and Microsoft products, Freespire is worth trying. It may not be for everyone, but I am unequivocal in my endorsement of this OS. I've been having a blast using ever since I installed it.

Recommended software:

* OpenOffice Word Processor (check it out -- there's even a Windows version -- at
* BlueFish Editor (HTML editor)
* gFTP


rick said...

Linux is great. It's fascinating how each one of us has favorite distributions based on the amount of success we have with them. Glad you conuered it matt. I didn't have much luck with ubuntu either. Just goes to show that priorities of some distros are whacked -- the *untu's have great marketing and press and all that but what good is all that hype without a functional linux box aye?

Jeff said...

It's worth checking out Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux, 2 "LiveDistros"-- they are very small distros that you download as ISOs and can burn straight to a CD without much hassle. You can then set your bios to boot off CD and go right into Linux. Both of these distros include a decent amount of software, such as Firefox, etc.