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Re: Cheap PC distro's

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 10:24:23AM -0600, Mike Shaw wrote:

> I'm thinking of  buying one of these as a  Christmas gift for my
> little munchkin:
> Since this hardware  is a known quanity, it'd  be interesting to
> cobble together a consumer grade BSD distro with all the goodies
> enabled (provided it  will run on this toaster).  Do  any of you
> folks that routinely  set up OpenBSD desktops  for average users
> have raw material of this nature?

There  are a  few  stumbling blocks. The  biggest,  right now,  is
OpenOffice. The situation with Mozilla  is less than ideal (though
I've been  using it  with neither  crash nor  complaint for  a few
weeks, now), too.

Those  are just  a couple  symptoms of  a bigger  problem, though.
There's  a  heck  of  a  lot  of  consumer  software  written  for
Windows--and  yes,  I,  the   anti-consumer,  do  mean  ``consumer
software.'' There's comparatively very little written for Linux. A
subset  of  that runs  on  OpenBSD. You  could easily  teach  your
grandmother to  install a package (or  write a GUI program  to let
her do it herself), but she's not going to be able to look through
Tucows for her favorite bridge game and just install it.

And, there's the whole question of system management. I shudder at
the  thought  of  managing  anything other  than  OpenBSD,  but  I
wouldn't even dream of trying to  get Grandma to, for example, set
up a PPP  connection. The popular Linux distributions  have done a
great job at creating GUIs that work reasonably well for that kind
of thing.

Personally, I think OpenBSD would  make a wonderful foundation for
a consumer-oriented system, but you'd have an awful lot of work to
get it right.



Ben Goren

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