[sf-lug] $199 Linspire Desktop at Sears

Charles N Wyble charles at thewybles.com
Thu Jan 31 07:46:08 PST 2008

(Hey, it's Charles Wyble!  He heads one of the LA Linux groups, and is
an well-known system engineer in the southland.  Hi, Charles!)

 [Charles N Wyble] 

Thanks for the props :) Evidently my reputation precedes me :) 

Quoting charles at thewybles.com (charles at thewybles.com):

> Check out freespire.

Yeah, sure, there _is_ Freespire (in two editions, one with some
proprietary stuff, mostly A/V codecs, and the other allegedly all open
source).  The major attraction seems to be either inclusion or easy
post-installation fetching of MP3 support, DVD support, Windows Media 9
codec, some QuickTime, Sun Java, Macromedia Flash, RealPlayer 10, ATI
drivers, Nvidia drivers, sundry winmodem and WiFi drivers, Bitstream
fonts, etc.

 [Charles N Wyble] 

Well Ubuntu makes all that stuff easy to right? First time you 
play media Ubuntu goes and grabs all the necessary codecs (or
a lot of them anyway). I find that the codec grabbing and installing
vlc seems to handle all my media playback needs. 

Flash is easy enough to install when surfing to a site with FF.

Java has been a pain for me and has required manual setup. Perhaps
I am doing something wrong. 

Also Nvidia and Broadcom drivers are easily fetched as well. 

Dunno about fonts or modem drivers. Last modem I needed to support
was USB and worked out of the box. 

So at the moment Freespire and Ubuntu Gutsy appear to be somewhat
evenly matched. 

Last I heard, Freespire actually includes a really nasty
proprietary-software EULA that, among other things, makes clear that you
are specifically banned from even redistributing the CD contents!  Maybe
even the allegedly all open source edition -- not sure.

 [Charles N Wyble] 

I am not aware of any evil EULA in the free edition. 

Otherwise, Freespire is to Linspire approximately what Fedora is to RHEL.

 [Charles N Wyble] 

I have to disagree with you there. Freespire is a very mature and stable
product whereas Fedora is a platform for continuous integration and testing
and is in a constant state of flux. It has very recent apps with the
bugs and features. :) 

Whereas FreeSpire is Linspire without the proprietary stuff included. Also I
It's based on Ubuntu. I don't know why Canonical and Linspire don't merge.
If they did
it would give Canonical a US presence and sales force/distribution channel. 

I have played with FreeSpire and its pretty nice. I primarily use
Ubuntu and am typing this e-mail on a Vista laptop in Outlook. So... :) 

More information about the sf-lug mailing list