I've been waiting for months for the release of Freespire 2.0.
Over the past two years I've downloaded and tried many distros but
had been saving the "best for last." I'd heard so much about
Freespire and Linspire; especially the new CNR program
installer/remover. On my hard drive was a downloaded Freespire 1.0
ISO, but I just never burned the CD. Then it became a matter of
version 2.0 coming really soon anyway, so I'd just wait for it.
I learned a lot when it finally came. With Freespire you get
what you pay for. Freespire has a long way to go before being
competitive with the really serious Linux distros. While Freespire
may be the base and testing ground for its parent company, one
would have to cautiously question some of the logic it uses for the
attraction of potential clients.
Being a born idealist, I've learned when to put realism at the
proper end of the cart. I'll go only so far, accept and forgive
only so many errors, before unhitching from a runaway. Freespire is
still a runaway distro, having failed to fall in line with
established protocol, and learn from the very recent mistakes of
Freespire problem #1 (failure to follow established
protocol): The download ISO is for a Live CD and/or
install. Every other distro offering a Live CD with the option to
install boots the Live CD. Not so with Freespire, it wants to
Install first. To boot to the Live CD is the 2nd option on the boot
menu. Don't turn your head or you'll be answering questions you
think are for the purpose of booting the Live CD, when you're
actually going headfirst into an actual install to your hard drive.
This freakish twist on initial boot options must be a real customer
grabber, NOT. Just another communications hole in the road which
OpenSuse and Fedora solved years ago, along with every other distro
offering a Live CD with an install option.
Freespire problem #2 (introduction of unfamiliar
drive/partition diagnostics): Okay, so I got caught with
the boot upside-down thingy. I decided to go ahead and install the
OS to the hard drive anyway. The out-front distros, openSUSE and
Fedora, seem to have a good knack for letting you know what is
going to happen "before" you select an option(s). Not so with
I'm running the Novell NLD 9, Novell SLED 10, and Fedora 7
distros on my system. I have 25 gigs of free space to try other
distros. With Freespire, therefore, I don't want the first install
option of wiping out my complete hard disk to "try" Freespire
installed (a test drive goes faster with an installed version than
the Live CD). The second(*) "Advanced" option gives me a graphical
table of my hard drive partitions but no real identification of the
physical parts or numbers. Had I not known what size each partition
was, I would not know which was which. Luckily, very luckily
"assumptions" didn't bite me and I was able to achieve an install,
apparently with no damage to my other Linux systems.
Freespire problem #3 (PCLinusOS only a couple of months
ago came out with their latest version with this same
problem): This is a biggie. The bootloader didn't grab my
NLD 9 or SLED 10. Well, I'm afraid that's a fatal sin with me. When
I can install many of the other distros and have their bootloader
see and add my other Linux systems, why should I go any further
with Freespire? Here we have a distro feeding a base system to
Linspire which in itself is trying to win customers over with a no
hassle, easy to install, easy to use GUI interfaced Linux. Can you
imagine the newbie who may have multiple OS's finding he can no
longer boot anything but Freespire?
I didn't go any further, didn't check out the programs or play
with any of Freespire's features. I'd seen enough problems from
this distro. Three so far and three too many for seriousness!
It just doesn't make sense. Maybe I should go back and search
for the Linux user polls from the past few years. But I'm pretty
darn sure that a very large majority of those who would want to
test drive an installed copy of Freespire are also booting multiple
OSs on their systems.
Yes, you can argue that a true Linux Guru should have no problem
fine tuning the bootloader and having their system in custom
condition in short order. I have to ask, then where is the no
hassle, easy to install, easy-to-use GUI-interfaced Linux for the
computer illiterate potential-convert Windows user?
Some distros need to sit down and figure out where they want to
go and how they want to get there, and Freespire is one of them.
BTW, this is something that should have been decided at least 5
years ago. In my opinion, Freespire has had the time and the
opportunity to be ultra successful and they have failed
I think I'll stick with the pros: Novell SUSE and Red Hat
10:57 PM--Freespire off, because it can't be seriously
* The disk partition anaylizer at this step in the
"Advanced" install is several huge steps backwards. It is a most
unfamiliar partition description. Why on earth would anyone throw
in a heretofore undocumented utility such as this? Its optional use
is very minimized and it follows no known Linux partition
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