It’s not just the bestest, most wonderfulest, and awesomeful Linux distro in the history of ever, it’s even more! It’s free e-mail, free image hosting, chat, the best Linux-related monthly magazine (viewable on the web or downloadable as a PDF). The community is very active, and not just in the forums, but elsewhere contributing to the whole project in a thousand ways. This is truly a community-driven distro – with wonderful perks no other distro offers that I know of.
It’s also, apparently, some kinda well-guarded secret or something. I’m absolutely amaaaaazed that this distro hasn’t been Number One for all this time. But I suspect that a lot of users of other distros who would flee from systemd, commercialism, and corporate disregard for the community, will find there way to PCLinuxOS as I have.
I have enjoyed a three-year love affair with Seamonkey and it was awesome. Mozilla took the old and wonderful Netscape Internet Suite (browser, email client, etc all in one) and resurrected it as Seamonkey. It seemed a low-priority project compared to Firefox and Thunderbird, but it was much lighter and faster for the first two of the three years I enjoyed it. Having far fewer lines of code than it’s siblings, it was small, sleek, and powerful.
Then one day someone at Mozilla dared to express a politically-incorrect personal opinion and Mozilla responded by firing him.
I’ve been loooking for a good FOSS alternative to Seamonkey ever since. Even if I disagreed with the opinion expressed, I would do no less than this, to protest in my little quiet way, the censorship Mozilla imposed on a good man, and the fear they’ve inflicted on others who work there, which stifles their freedom of expression as well.
It took some time to find anything as close to awesome as Seamonkey that wasn’t either buggy or patent-encumbered. The Xfce project’s wonderful little Midori browser finally quit crashing on me at random, and the latest version of Geary seems to finally be behaving itself now. It too crashed at random, especially while composing e-mail. K-Mail is far more limited, and Claws Mail needs an external editor to send anything but plain text.
But it looks like the very latest versions of Geary (rumors of it’s demise are false by the way) and Midori have rid themselves of those annoying crashes.
At last I have my replacement for Mozilla’s Seamonkey. It’s sad to even have to look elsewhere, but just on principle, for whatever it’s worth, my little protest.
Y’know those wicked cool themes that make Firefox look so cool? Well guess what! They work on Seamonkey now too! One of the reasons I like Seamonkey better than Mozilla’s more popular separate browser (Firefox) and e-mail client (Thunderbird) is because it’s so nimble and quick to load even on my modest hardware. Much quicker than either Firefox or Thunderbird, but this is both in a beautifully integrated package. And it has real actual buttons that you just click on instead of menus to muddle through and then click on. It’s “old school” simplicity.
Some of you old timers might remember the awesome Internet suite called Netscape. Well this is Netscape, only better! The old Netscape suite is a Mozilla project, free and open-source! And for people with older, modest hardware it’s ideal. It’s also ideal for us “old school” folks who like nice simple clickable buttons instead of weird-looking menus that make you search through a bunch of options. It also is fully compatible with most Firefox add-ons! And now, the latest version can be better-looking than ever now that many Firefox themes run in Seamonkey without slowing it down.
Recently I switched my e-mail provider because my former one – and I don’t mind naming them: GMX.com – is being blocked by a growing number of ISPs as a major source of SPAM. It’s easy to believe that too, judging by the number of spam e-mails that polluted my inbox there. It’s as if someone turned off their spam filter or something. At least a dozen a day for the past couple of weeks, and it isn’t the first time that has happened.
I was already looking for a new service (not ready for my own domain yet) when I came across this article about e-mail privacy. It describes new rules that make everything in your inbox that is more than 6 months old “fair game” for examination by any government agency without a warrant! If you’re an IMAP user like I was, you enjoy the advantages of being able to access your old and new e-mail from any internet-connected device. My new service does not offer IMAP support, only the old POP3 protocol. But guess what? My e-mail program (Seamonkey or Thunderbird) gives me the choice of leaving the e-mail on the server or not, and I set it up to delete all mail from the server once I have downloaded it. Sorry, NSA, nothing to see here. Move along.
Privacy is one of the reasons I dumped Google’s gmail long ago. It’s one of the major reasons for getting myself off of Facebook, too. So why would I leave e-mail on an IMAP server where it can accumulate, forgotten but available on someone else’ server for government inspection? Maybe POP3 isn’t so bad after all, since it can be set up to delete incoming mail automatically as soon as it’s downloaded. Now all I need to remember to do, is delete sent messages regularly and empty the trash.
Stay tuned… I’ll be testing the latest version of an old favorite – Linux Mint Xfce (Rebecca) – in the coming weeks and posting about it here.