posted by Wyatt Preul on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 18:21 UTC
IconAs a result of a disfavor I have for Microsoft, switching to the last week's free copy of LindowsOS was a viable choice for me (while in the past I have used Slackware, Mandrake, FreeBSD etc). Therefore I downloaded and burned LindowsOS 4.5 Developer Edition to CD.

The Install:
I will keep this section short, because the install itself was short. Lindows has made an install that is so easy and straightforward that a penguin could probably pull it off. Only a couple of questions were required, such as where you would like Lindows installed and what do you want your password to be. After that it was voila time and in less than 10 minutes I had a brand new operating system.

The Naming:
While some will say that they dislike the naming practices used by Lindows, I strongly enjoyed them. It is practical to anyone coming from the dull naming found in windows, therefore it will not be an uncomfortable experience. Also, the fine folks at Lindows still gave credit where credit was due and that is what makes them even more respectable in my book. I am a religious studies major, the ethics of a company concern me. Therefore whenever a large company takes credit for a smaller company or individuals work I am disgusted. Lindows is a very respectable company that I am hoping more people will start using based on them being more ethically sound than certain competitors.

The CNR:
At first I was a little put off by the idea that I could not download some of the basic software that I wanted from the CNR Warehouse. However, after some thought I realized that it was a vital and actually innovative approach to handling software installations. This is another feature that puts Lindows ahead of its competitors. I cannot afford to pay for a trial membership, but I was fortunate enough to see it install RealPlayer and a couple of other applications that Lindows provides free of charge. It was literally a one click install process, this is pretty remarkable for any company to conceive of. I even found this to be easier to use than the windows update site, remarkably impressive for any Linux distribution.

Unfortunates:
I was a little put off by some of the lack of software found in Lindows, but I had to remind myself that this was the developers version. One example was mplayer and openoffice. I wish that these would have been included, fortunately I am proficient enough that it was no trouble whatsoever to install them. But, for a windows user some of these basic tasks might become somewhat frustrating to perform. Another thing that I found unfortunate was the lack of wine and a graphical package handler. I understand that Lindows is expecting everyone who uses their product to use the CNR, but for poor college students installing this basic software it can become quite tedious. Therefore, it would be beneficial to Lindows and its users to include another application installer.

Suggestions:
One of the first things that I would like to see included with the developers edition of Lindows would be Java and possibly NetBeans. While it is no trouble to go download this yourself, it would have been convenient to see J2SE pre-installed on the system. Another suggestion that I have would be to include The Gimp or some other similar graphics tool. I understand that Lindows is using KDE, but more in the way of graphics manipulation should be included. Detection of one of my NTFS drives failed on the automount feature, therefore I now browse the ancient windows drive somewhat by hand. Better detection of previous drives would be nice to include as well. My other suggestion is that Lindows never give up, much of the world will eventually realize that this is possibly the best Linux distribution as well as operating system on the planet. I know I am a huge Panther fan, but this actually convinced me not to sell my computer in order to switch to mac (sorry apple).

Excitement:
The CNR is exciting, I only hope that the fine people at Lindows will be gracious enough to provide me with free use of it (afterall I am praising your company). The naming practices are very reasonable especially for a wintel user. The flash tutorial on how to actually use Linux was wonderful, even though I did not look at it too much. Anyone new to computers should find that information extremely helpful and cut down on technical calls to your office. Lindows detected my FX5600 card with no problem and I am now able to run it in dualview mode with a second monitor. Even though Linux lacks iTunes, it is not enough to detour me away from using Lindows. This is a difficult for any company to overcome, congratulations Lindows, you did it. Everything was detected that was really critical of detection, I did not have to download any drivers and this is an exciting feat for any company. I am just exciting to be back into the comfortable Linux platform and am looking forw! ard to version 5 of Lindows.

Conclusions:
Lindows is an intuitive operating system that just makes so much sense everyone should give it a try, seriously, everyone. I am using Lindows now as my primary operating system and am developing software with it. Lindows also does not coerce or tell you what to do, you are finally in control of your own computer. So what are you waiting for, goto lindows.com and check out the exciting changes that are going on; buy Lindows.

About the Author:
I am a medium build brown haired 20 year old Computer Science and Religious Studies double major. I currently attend Monmouth College, which is a private liberal arts school. Being one of those liberal arts kids I can safely say that I am not afraid to experiment with different operating environments. I am currently looking for a job, so please feel free to email me at either wpreul@monm.edu and I will provide you with my resume.

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