The developers behind LibreOffice, the free and open source productivity suite forked from OpenOffice, have sweated and bled to advance the toolkit over the past couple of years. The effort has paid off: It’s a no-brainer to recommend LibreOffice over OpenOffice, thanks to Libre’s consistent release schedule and the increasingly polished quality of the product.
Now for the bigger question: Can you recommend LibreOffice in the same breath as Microsoft Office? The short answer: Maybe. To its credit, LibreOffice 4.4 handles old- and new-school Microsoft Office documents better than ever before -- no small feat considering how prohibitively complex such documents can be. If you plan on using LibreOffice as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office, know that document compatibility is still a roll of the dice -- but with each revision LibreOffice is improving the odds.
Sabayon offers four editions of the distribution -- GNOME, KDE, Xfce and Minimal. Each edition is available for 64-bit x86 machines exclusively. I opted to download the KDE image which is 2.2GB in size. Booting from the live media brings up a boot menu where we can choose to launch a live desktop environment, run the system installer, install a media centre edition of the distribution or install Steam Big Picture. We can also choose to launch a console only mode, handy for trouble-shooting problems. I will come back to the media centre and Steam interfaces a little later.
The Korora distribution is available in four editions -- Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE and Xfce. There was previously a MATE edition, but at the time of writing that flavour of Korora appears to have been discontinued. Each edition of Korora is available for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines. Since I tried the default GNOME edition of Fedora a few months ago I decided to get some variety by installing Korora's KDE edition. The download for Korora's KDE flavour is 2.5GB in size.
Chromebooks are cheap. They work best that way. It’s rare to find one north of $400, and the sweet spot is between $200 and $300. While they've got shortcomings, the cost is reasonable for what you get. In some cases, the limitations are even desirable.
Only one Chromebook has truly gone against that grain—the Chromebook Pixel. It was the polar opposite of every other device bearing the name. The Pixel was high-quality hardware where others are low-rent, but even though it cost five times what you could pay for a regular Chromebook it didn't really do much more. It's a laptop as nice as it is niche.
This initial release leaves much to be added. If the developer remains true to the simplistic design shown so far, the menus and application windows will offer a clean and light look that reminds me of earlier versions of Android. The question at hand is whether a later release will 'evolve' enough to include a fully functional desktop interface that is easy to use.
After two years of development, the stable version of the latest and greatest version of Bodhi Linux, 3.0.0, was released last month. There’s little doubt that loyal users breathed a sigh of relief with the release, as there had been some question about whether the distro would continue after project founder Jeff Hoogland briefly resigned in September, saying he no longer had the time required by his duties to the project. The good news was that he continued to work with the development team, and in January returned in his old role as lead developer. The long awaited new Bodhi was released less than a month later.