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Linux for Dummies

Apr 10, 2009, 17:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Conlon)

"The installation painlessly takes care of everything: my monitor functions, the sound works and I'm connected to the Internet. And once I'm in, it's easy to figure out where to go next. The taskbar -- docked to the left by default -- gives me four giant icons to choose from. They're so big, they remind me of the old person phone my Grandma has with the comically oversized number buttons. The icons are for Firefox, IM, Skype, File Manager and the Application Store (more on that soon). At the bottom the taskbar, there are some slightly smaller icons for turning the computer off, controlling the volume, seeing all of the programs I have open, adjusting my screen resolution and informing me of my network status. Basic stuff. Visiting my favorite web sites, checking e-mail and IMing with friends is a cinch. OpenOffice is also installed by default for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents (as well as non-Microsoft Office docs, of course).

"But what if I want to do more? I pop into the Application Store and simply download new programs ala the iPhone. Within minutes of installing Presto, I'm streaming my music collection from Last.fm and drawing mustaches on friends in the Gimp photo manipulation program (think Photoshop, except 100-percent free). The app store is loaded with tons of games, utilities and productivity software, most of which is free. Otherwise, I can download a free trial."

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