MISS, or kiss it goodbye

A couple nights ago I installed Mandrake Linux 7.0 inside VMWare 2.0. I rely on the apps I use in Windows too much to be able to properly use Linux "on its own", but I still want to be able to run and learn new Linux-based technologies, so VMWare is a great solution for me. The performance is just excellent.

Yesterday I picked up a copy of Mandrake Linux 7.2, because I wanted to be running the "latest and greatest". I heard XFree86 4 was so much better, and 7.2 had the latest KDE/GNOME versions. Unfortunately, the X server wouldn't run after I installed it in VMWare (I assume it would have worked outside of VMWare). So, I deleted that virtual disk and here I am, writing this in Netscape 4.7x in a not-up-to-date version of Linux.

Looking through the "K" menu, there is just SO much stuff I don't need. It's either an obscure utility like a chemical formula calculator, or fifteen different text editors and paging programs.

What Linux needs is for someone to take all these hundreds of unprofessional (sorry), non-polished utilities, and put some focus and polish on them. In the end, the "utilities" menu should look something like the Accessories menu in Windows. They should have understandable names, not weird names like Kmp3te, klyx, and vigmeup.

I sure hope that's what the Eazel people are aiming for. If they're just doing a fancy file browser, they're way off target. Thank goodness the Netscape icon is on the desktop because it would have taken forever to find in the massive selection of icons in the massive K menu.

Okay, so I did a custom install and said install everything. But did I really need that much?

I got the feeling from the Mandrake 7.2 installer that they went for more simplicity. I wish I could have seen what 7.2's K menu looked like.

Mark Hurst, on goodexperience.com: It's Time to Simplify the PC

I can't help but notice how much more focus and polish there is to the app selection in the Mac OS X Public Beta. The cynic will tell you that's because that's actually all the OS X software they had at the time ;-). Either way, I don't care.

Mac OS X is beautiful, it is simple, and I can't wait until my dad gets to install it on his PowerBook G3. He hasn't even seen it, and I really haven't talked about it with him, but he already told me he wants to install it. He's probably seen pictures of it somewhere.

I know my dad will be more productive with the Dock than with the Apple menu and dozens of icons on his desktop. I won't, but that's a 3rd-party opportunity, right? :-)

Written on December 14, 2000