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Switching over to Freespire 1.0

By on Sep 25, 2006 in Reviews | 4 comments

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Name: Freespire 1.0
Made by Linspire
Price: Free
Versions: 1. With proprietary software support 2. OSS edition
Best for: Newbies

Freespire 1.0, by the Linspire group (earlier known as Lindows), officially became my new OS today, after about four months of being on Fedora Core 5 (by the Redhat group). I simply can’t praise it enough. I’d written a whole review on it, but a stupid bug in Google Toolbar made me lose all of it. So I’m just typing a condensed version now. Never shall I ever trust Google Toolbar again. BOOOOOOOO.

The installation took a breezy eight minutes, and didn’t ask for much technical info. What ROCKS though is the interface, which is really cool. I like the Freespire of philosophy of bundling proprietary codecs, drivers etc too, which gives it out-of-the-box capability to handle various media formats and hardware, unlike other Linux distros.

Another much touted thing is its software updater, called CNR (Click n’ Run). Unlike others, it uses a web interface – you even have to sign in. Definitely more choices than Fedora, and almost matches up with Ubuntu‘s Synaptic. Newbies though, may find the reviews and ratings feature helpful for them.

Freespire has also customized versions of many software like Firefox and Thunderbird, and come with new features. Its music management software, Lsongs, too is better than many offerings dished out by others.

What anyone would seriously enjoy about Freespire is its graphics. It’s a KDE-based system, but it has been subtly tweaked by the Freespire designers to mimic Windows more. If they keep going at the same rate, one day they may seriously challenge Mac for its design crown. Makes you forget all about Vista Aero Glass, really.

In all, Freespire is the perfect Linux distro for the new user, while at the same time it comes with the versatility that experienced users demand (its Debian-based), stability (never really had a software hang in Linux; in fact Ctrl+Alt+Del really doesn’t exist in Linux, speaking in MS terms) and security (ever heard on viruses on Linux?). I’d say this is really worth a try, even if you have to buy the CD. Do check out the Freespire website. It performs exceedingly well as the first version of any OS. It remains to be seen though if it ever reaches the cult status of Ubuntu or Fedora.

Experienced users may find it too easy to use though, after years of other distros, but that doesn’t mean Freespire lacks anything.


  1. Great Quizzard

    September 26, 2006

    Post a Reply

    Another really cool feature is its global spell checker. Checks for spellings in every text field. And unlike other distros, it actually WORKS. Also, the checker doesn’t limit itself to US English, and goes beyond that too, recognising some Indian words too!

  2. Abhishek

    September 26, 2006

    Post a Reply

    I’m shocked that you dont know XGL is for desktop animations.

    Man! You were supposed to be a Linux man and the other day you talked about XGL being a gaming platform when I was away(and had left Google Talk on).

    Beat Mac OS, you must be joking. Since you told me, I tried this cool piece of shit. It’s like Vista, and since it resembles Windows it ain’t going to work. It’s going to be just-another-OS which becomes boring after a month of usage(or 24-hours for people like me).

    Anyway, I believe Mac OS 10.5 is going to have a new Finder which is going to redefine desktop computing for those who do like change, which of course is inevitable(**not applicable for Microsoft**).

  3. Great Quizzard

    September 26, 2006

    Post a Reply

    I read on Fedora Forums and read that FC6 is going to use a modified version of XGL to provide overall graphics acceleration, that’s why I said that the other day. Maybe it’s wrong, I can only comment after FC6 comes out on October 11.

    And I second your motion on the fact that Microsoft doesn’t like change.

  4. Great Quizzard

    September 29, 2006

    Post a Reply

    It’s just that, Mac’s interface looks nice, but, somehow, it seems pretty girlish to me. Not…something…boys would play with. Dunno why. But it does.

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