I’ve taken over a hundred flights in my short lifetime. Some experiences have been great (JetBlue), and others have been wildly less-than-mediocre. No matter what, I always appreciate the infusion of technology / entertainment options with mass transit. Boeing is sadly killing their Connexion service, and that probably means we won’t ever see wireless Internet access in airplanes. Delta put us on a newer plane last week, en route to Florida (to start our honeymoon). While there wasn’t WiFi, I had a personal digital concierge placed at my fingertips – literally. A touch screen system with plenty of options had been infused into the back of everyone’s seat. I watched a movie, flipped through some live TV channels, then decided to play some Galaga. Without warning, the unit locked up – and I tried everything to restart the buttonless, pinholeless PC. I couldn’t believe what I saw next:
Everybody went ga-ga over the video I linked to the other day – showing XGL running on KDE in some random flavor of Linux. Some of you suffered from motion sickness after watching the entire thing, but I don’t think typical usage would require or necessitate that much desktop movement in such a small amount of time.
No matter, I went on a quest to find a live CD distro with XGL pre-infused – just to see how well it would work. Because of GPL violations, most XGL-enabled live CDs have been taken offline. I tried installing XGL on my own, following “simple” instructions I found for various distros online – and wound up remembering why I dislike Linux so much in the first place: it’s not easy, no matter what anybody leads you to believe.
GNOME makes Linux easier to navigate, which is why I think so many people have fallen in love with Ubuntu. If Linux is ever going to win over the hearts and minds of the status quo, the GUI must continue to improve. I think XGL gives power users enough eye candy to give Linux another stab – but I couldn’t come close to recommending Linux over OS X for reasons other than economics at this point.
I scoured the BitTorrent directories for XGL-enabled live CD ISOs. Wow, that was probably the geekiest sentence I think I’ve ever written. Anyway, I discovered an XGL-enabled distribution called Kororaa. You can download, burn, reboot, and run Linux without installing it on your hard drive. Grab the torrent for Kororaa Linux Xgl LiveCD 0.2 before it disappears.
Go ahead, try XGL on your own PC – you’ll be amazed. I ran it on Ponzi’s laptop, which has a lame-ass Intel video card. Every one of the XGL effects I tried ran smoother than I ever would have anticipated.
And yes, I believe GNOME looks and works infinitely better than Vista (especially with XGL enabled) for common, everyday tasks.