Linux – SimplyMEPIS
Had to say something about the new SimplyMEPIS Linux installed by Dan Renner on one of our machines.
First, the thing is just gorgeous; this snippet of the desktop doesn't nearly do it justice. (So much for photographing computers in a room with the usual lighting; nothing like a little photography to alert you to the fact that all light is not equal: the usual lightbulbs emanate a yellowish glow, though I've Photoshopped it a bit to rectify that.) At any rate, kudos to the developers for going the extra mile(s) to make MEPIS a thing of beauty. After all, if you're going to develop a great product, why leave the visuals half done?
Secondly, SimplyMEPIS comes with more software than one would possibly believe. While I'm a firm Macromedia/Adobe fan, when one of our guys needed a text editor, I found no less than three *and* a HomeSite-like HTML text editor. Similarly for other stuff … along with the mahjong game that I'd discovered back when I first got on the Web (or one like it). That was a long time ago, but what the heck. :-)
The rest of the system — at least, as much as I was able to check out before I got ushered away from what is not, technically, "my" machine — is great. Easy to use, well thought out. Very GUI/point and click.
All that said, I have to admit that I'm more than a little ambivalent (i.e., uncomfortable) about free software, or at least free software that is so much like another non-free program that it's hard to tell the difference. Here, I'm speaking of Photoshop-like programs, HomeSite-like programs. While I would assume that the developers have their own philosophy about such things, I personally would hate to spend zillions of dollars and hours developing something, only to find near duplicates out there for free. But that's just me. I'm the kind of person who buys movies that I can easily tape on television — for the simple reason that I'd like to pay the creators for what I get. Clean hands; happy life, and all that. ;-)
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