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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Today's Linux: PCLinuxOS

Ok. I've already discussed the Ubuntu Linux distribution (see blog archive if you wish to read it) and now I'll discuss the PCLinuxOS distribution. Ubuntu uses a window environment called GNOME (I have no idea what that stands for, except that ME stands for "Management Environment") while PCLinuxOS uses K.D.E., the K Desktop Environment (whose mascot is a cute dragon named Konqi).

Both Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS vie to be known as the easiest and least geekiest Linux distro out there, and I have to say that they are at a tie, and so does the Linux community. According to Seopher.com, Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS are both tied at 25% as of prefferred Linux distros. Surprisingly, Mandriva and OpenSuSE are down low. Anyway, on to discussing PCLinuxOS.

PCLOS's tagline is "Radically Simple", and I think that's entirely right. With the customizability of KDE, you can change the look of it so that it's "radically simple" to use. Say you have a grandmother with an old Windows 98 machine. You want her to have a more modern, quicker system, but not so buggy as Windows. You can switch the theme to look just like Windows 98, with the windows, buttons, and even the taskbar buttons look the same (the "Start" button is replaced by "PC" in a circle). Or does she have a 233 MHz iMac with Mac OS 9 installed on it? No problem! Set KDE to the Platinum theme, move the panel (taskbar) to the top of the screen, and voila! Even the window closing button is moved to the left. It's amazing! The same applies for the Windows XP "Luna" theme.

How about web browsing? Web browsing is a big issue these days. PCLOS comes built-in with FireFox (why do open-source people AlWays put capitals in the middLe of NaMES?), one of the best web browsers out there. And the office suite? Say goodbye to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (there goest the capitals in the names thing again, except PowerPoint is closed-source) and say hello to OpenOffice.Org (there's the capital thing again.... I'll stop with that now)! Ooo is a great office suite, and you can save and read documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats. If you're familiar with Sun Microsystems' "Star Office," you can also read those files with Ooo.

That basically covers the main features of PCLinuxOS. Visit http://www.pclinuxos.com for more information, features, screenshots, and downloads!