As much as I despise MS-Windows, I live in a world that requires at least a working knowledge of the Worst OS In The Universe (tm). From my earliest experiences with MS-Windows 3.0, I looked for ways to make my life bearable: from the Workplace Shell demonstrations to the registry hacks of today, I try to make MS-Windows very unlike MS-Windows.
We make many sacrifices in the name of employment. Giving up our soul to MS-Windows should not be among them. It should bow to our will, not the other way ’round.
I gave up on MS-Windows a long, long time ago. After I discovered GNU/Linux, and OS/2, and other operating systems (VMS, for instance), I learned what an operating system should be: strong and pliable, adaptable and reliable. MS-Windows was none of these things. In fact, after exposure to other operating systems, MS-Windows was downright insufferable. This wasn’t helped by the release of MS-Windows 95, nor MS-Windows 2000 or XP. In fact, every release lead down the same boring, stultifying path: do things the MS-Windows way, or don’t do them at all. The latest release of MS-Windows Vista indicates the future is just as terrible as the past.
So I appreciate every little thing that makes MS-Windows more palatable. Particularly, if that means anything that makes it a little less restrictive, a little more free.
And that brings me to TheOpenCD, a collection of superb free software. all on a single CD, with an easy-to-use installation program, thirty-three packages of free software goodness. Here’s the list:
- GNU Image Manipulation Program (the GIMP)
- Tux Paint
- Battle for Wesnoth
- Sokoban YASC
- Gaim (now Pidgin IM)
- Really Slick Screensavers
This is quite an impressive list of software, representing the creme de la creme of free software available for MS-Windows. It is certainly an indispensable CD, and worthy of handing out to family, if not strangers on the street. No, it doesn’t make MS-Windows a decent operating system, by any stretch of the imagination. But it does make MS-Windows more bearable.
And that is an accomplishment worth celebrating.