posted by Richard White on Mon 28th Feb 2005 21:02 UTC

"Xandros, Page 2/3"
click for a larger view OpenOffice is included for office duty though not in its KDE optimized version, which makes it look rather out-of-place. But it's the full suite for word processing, spreadsheet and presentation authoring, plus relevant tools. Start-up is a tad slow on this older machine and lacks any launch feedback before the splash screen. But when it's up and running, it works fine and is indeed a bargain.

click for a larger view Acrobat reader is there. But version 5.0 looks awful and features rudimentary navigation. Adobe really ought to be ashamed — this archaic app only cheapens the experience. I would have let KGhostview or the new KPDF handle this task even though rendering may not be 100%.

Crossover Office 4.1 is offered on a 30 day trial, obviously a teaser for you to upgrade. Fair enough. It worked perfectly and allowed me to easily install MS Office 2002 and a surprising amount of Win 9x based apps. This may be the crutch many are looking for to make the switch.

click for a larger view

A slew of MS apps running under Xandros.

click for a larger view One outstanding program under the graphics banner is DigiKam, aka Digital Camera. It magically found the pictures I dumped in the home folder and previewed them as thumbnails allowing me to print or do quick edits such as resizing, cropping, colour correction, etc. It also supports a bunch of cameras and plug-ins. It's just so easy and well thought out, it's brilliant — a shining example of usability for the entire OS to follow.

Missing from the party is the GIMP should one wish to go futher in graphics. Saving grace is it's available from Xandros networks for free albeit only at version 2.0.

Rounding out the graphics capabilities are Kolour Paint for doodling. Kooka for scanners, and Xandros' amazing wizard for handling CUPS printing set-up — I merely plugged in my USB printer and followed the instructions that appeared. Quite impressive.

Under the internet banner, there is an easy connection wizard for ADSL and dial-up users. DHCP works right from the get-go and I was pleased to see my SMB network and Debian server assessable from the Xandros File Manager. Sharing folders is also an easy task. This is a very network friendly distro.

Kopete is the default chat program and, while functional, clearly lacks the glamour of MSN Messenger. I wish Mozilla would make a chat client as spiffy as Firefox.

Frankly, I was surprised to see Skype, an increasingly popular VOIP client. Third-party apps in Linux are sometimes difficult for beginners to set up and it's nice to see its inclusion.

Bittorrent isn't neglected either. A quick install from Xandros Networks and I had Bittornado working perfectly. However, the wxpython UI would make anyone wince, and saving files by default leaves you to navigate the root file system. This may be too traumatic for a new-to-Linux user.

True to its nature, the VPN client has been stripped from OCE. But I don't think many home users would miss it. It is but another reason for business users to upgrade.

Table of contents
  1. "Xandros, Page 1/3"
  2. "Xandros, Page 2/3"
  3. "Xandros, Page 3/3"
e p (0)    28 Comment(s)

Technology White Papers

See More