About 6 weeks ago I made the big change, out with Windows and in with Linux. Linspire is a commercial Linux distribution and was billed as the easiest to use and most user friendly. Guess what? It is the easiest, what amazed me was that the distribution, a mere one CD contained not just the operating system, but just about every useful application you would need. Open Office may not be as feature rich as Microsoft Office, but lets face it how many people actually use all the features?

About the only gripe I had, and this is true of every flavor of Linux I have ever dabbled in was the process of installing new software. An endless stream of grepping, gunzipping, making, installing, etc, all while in the cold world of the terminal emulator window. Wandering aimlessly in the maze that is the Linux file system, and if you zigged where you should have zagged, you are hooped!

It was with some interest that I read a press release from Linspire about their new CNR product. CNR is billed as being a central repository for software that offers one click install. Obviously I had to try this feature out. I did have a little trouble getting started, although I suspect that was my problem, clicking on the wrong link! A quick email to the always helpful customer service folks resolved the issue. The resolution was elegant in it’s simplicity, essentially the email said ‘click here’. I did, and magically CNR was installed. Another large software manufacturer, who I won’t name, could learn a thing or two about customer care from this small company.

CNR works seamlessly, you just pick the software that you want, and it is all nicely cataloged, Games, Graphics, Multimedia, etc, a single click and you are good to go. This is a feature long overdue in the Linux world. CNR has been developed by Linspire primarily for Linspire, but being good corporate citizens have made it available to work with other distributions of Linux. CNR is a completely free service, and free is my favorite price.

“CNR.com is the culmination of over five years of hard work and real-time user experience delivering software to desktop Linux with one click of the mouse” said Larry Kettler, President and CEO. “CNR.com is free, requires no registration to use and is available to anyone interested in discovering what the world of desktop Linux software has to offer.”

I am very impressed with CNR, it makes Linux available to the non technical world. I am hooked, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Keep up the great work! If you are looking for a low cost alternative to Windows give Linspire a try

Simon Barrett


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