Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Linspire user

I've tried using Linspire for a week without booting into Windows at home, even though my work requires me otherwise. Anyway, it's been a habit of mine to bring home some work, and I saw an opportunity to see how Linspire would help me be productive.

Everytime I power up my PC, the first application I always look for is the File Manager, in this case... Konqueror. Konqueror is an all-in-one file manager, browser, etc. And the good thing about this is that I don't have to place a shortcut or link to a start-up folder, since it doesn't have a start-up folder in the first place. I just leave it open when I shut down my PC and when I boot back up, it automatically launches it to the last folder/directory I opened, that goes for other applications.

And if I wanted to switch profile or views, I just select Settings > Load View Profile> and the profile I wanted.

I mostly use spreadsheets and OpenOffice.Org has lived to it's expectations. Those of you who thinks that OO is hard to use, then think again. It's like using MS Excel for the first time, you just need a couple of hours for the learning curve to set in. But once you get used to it, it beats using Excel, which is by the way, full of security holes.

Regarding my Metric Card, it's a way for us to track our performace, and I've never had any problems with formulas and even charts in OO Calc. I tried re-creating my AMC and added a lot more formulas. As you can see from the screenshot below, everthing went well. MS advocates criticize OO Calc since it doesn't have the same advanced features as Excel 2003 does. Well, I'll give in to that, since I don't want to spend $300.00 + for additional functionalities. I'm very satisfied with OO, it gets the job done and my wallet won't hurt.

My job also requires me to create presentations, and OO Impress does the job right. I won't waste my energy comparing MS Powerpoint and OO Impress since both of them has the features that I wanted. Anyway, both are very easy to use, but I created my presentation using Impress and I've never regretted it.

OO Writer has satisfied my word processing needs. Even if I've used MS Word eversince, Writer has never presented any problem to me.

I'm more productive if there's loud music making my ears bleed. And 3 applications has met my mp3 requirements. I tried listening to John Cena's Bad Bad Man, and it played on LSongs....

It also played on Real Player...

And KPlayer...

It really doesn't matter what player I use, but KPlayer has caught my fancy. If ever I want to use other players, I just right-click on the file, move to Open With, then choose.

Movies and Video Clips are also a necessity, especially if I wanted to relax and pass time. Unfortunately, Linspire won't play FLV file formats. Hayyy! Another disappointment.

MPG's and AVI's plays in KPlayer without problems though.

I don't really use Cellphones, and only check on my emails every four hours, and my job requires me to be always available. One way to increase my visibility would be to use Instant Messengers. And Gaim has been very convenient and handy. I have GMail, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and IRC setup on my gaim. One messenger to rule them all!

For my emails, I tried using Mozilla Mail. I created an account and tried sending and receiving emails. Even though the Incoming port is 995, SSL enabled, I could receive emails in both Windows XP, 2000, Mandriva, and Ubuntu but failed to receive in Linspire. I verified the settings again and again but I still can't receive my emails. Firewall? I don't think so.

I also tried sending a test email to myself, but I keep on getting the error shown below. I know, I know, My ISP (Smart Bro, formerly Smart Wifi) has Port 25 filtering. But take note that it says Port 25 not Port 465 which is GMails' SMTP settings. You can only send emails on Port 25 if you're authenticated via your ISP. But since it's using another port, I should be able to send mails.

Guess what, even with the errors show above, it seems that Mozilla has successfully sent my test email. I checked on my GMail, and was surprised to see it there. I tried again and again and I still can't disable the error, even though it was sending emails perfectly. Troubleshoot? Nah! No time!

And if I wanted to browse the Internet, I have Mozilla with me. This is the way to go, I have my emails, newsgroups, HTML WYSIWYG Editor, and internet browser all packaged in one application.

One good thing I love about browsers on Linux would be surfing into porn and cracker sites without having to worry about viruses and spywares. I love it!

I haven't had the chance to use the Calendar though since I already have Google Calendar managing my schedules. I wanted to try it, or even import my events, but since I'm pilot-testing Linspire, I wouldn't want to risk it.

Same thing with my Address Book. Although I think it'll help me out be more productive, I just don't want to risk wasting my time, especially since I can't send and receive emails (properly) in Linspire.

Locking my computer was easy. I don't have to set passwords since Linspire accepts computer password, unlike Windows where you have to remember another set of (Screensaver) passwords.

I guess that's it. Time for my to log out completely. It's been fun using Linspire, but I keep on getting unsatisfied results that I believe would hinder me from doing what I want.

Goodbye Linspire

A week with Linspire has thought me a lot. Some of you would say that I wasted another week just trying out another Distro, but I did find what I was looking for. Knowledge, I learned something new. To me, that's what matters.

Here's a list of what I don't like about Linspire:

  • Pain in the ass to make it boot using other Boot Managers aside from the pre-installed LiLo.
  • Makes you pay for software that's freely available.
  • Hangs up on sites full of Scripts, like
  • Too commercialized. It seems that it's trying to sell you something every time you launch an application.
  • The whole operating system is a Memory Hog. I know, I only have Pentium 3, but other distros are 5secs faster than Linspire.
  • Boots really slow compare to Mandriva, Ubuntu 5.10, and even Windows XP
  • The errors in Mozilla Mail disappointed me. It may not be Linspires fault and that I shoud've updated it using apt-get, but still....
Here's what impressed me:
  • CNR, just click and run. It automatically downloads and installs applications that you selected. Just don't mention the additional charges.
  • Virus Safe and Surf Safe, both of them would be really good especially if you have children.
  • The tutorials, although not that comprehensive, allows Windows Migrants to be productive the soonest possible time.
The Future

Linspire would be ressurecting Freespire, I just hope that it's as good as what the company claims it to be.

But for now, the space Linspire took on my Hard Disk would be used by Ubuntu.