Did Blue Pup jump the shark with its Windows 8 Metro interface?

In today's open source roundup: The Blue Pup distro offers a Windows-like Metro interface. Plus: The open source Novena laptop, and a review of VortexBox 2.3

When Windows 8 was first released many people were shocked and even horrified by the garish Metro interface. Some even left Windows for Linux or shifted back to Windows 7. Now you can experience some of the...er...magic of the Metro interface in the Blue Pup distro (a Puppy Linux spin), according to LinuxInsider.

According to LinuxInsider:

It had to happen sooner or later. It turned out to be sooner. It is here. The Blue Pup Linux distro brings the Metro view to the Linux desktop.

This arrangement is not a true Metro interface the likes of the much criticized Windows 8. Instead, it is a Puppy Linux derivative distro, or Pupplet, built around the Chromium Web browser with a Chrome extension.

Its user interface lets you switch between a traditional Linux desktop and the partial Metro functionality mode. The Metro tab that overtakes the desktop gives fast access to a complete inventory of Google's Chrome Web Store. The tiles either launch Google apps through browser extensions or act as bookmarks that load the embedded website.

More at LinuxInsider
Blue Pup Linux Distro Metro Interface
Image credit: LinuxInsider

I must admit to being surprised and rather disgusted when I saw the screenshot of Blue Pup's Metro interface. Nauseating memories of the time I first saw Windows 8 flooded back into my mind and one word kept popping into my head: Why? For the love of the gods WHY would anyone want this on their Linux computer?

Then I remembered that Linux is all about choices. While I would never use Blue Pup's Metro interface, there might be some folks out there who would like and enjoy it. And good for them if they do. It's yet another option available in Linux, even if the thought of using it turns my stomach.

The open source Novena laptop

TechRepublic reports on Andrew Huang's effort to build an open source computer.

According to TechRepublic:

Today Huang, who goes by the nickname 'bunnie', has just drummed up more than $700,000 through the website Crowd Supply for his project to build an open source computer called Novena.

Huang is setting out to create a machine whose inner workings are as transparent as the computer that three decades ago sparked his lifelong interest in creating hardware.

Why make an open laptop? He cites a desire to pass on the pleasure he got from realising it was within his power to modify the machine whose workings had once seemed mysterious.

More at TechRepublic

Huang sounds quite passionate about the Novena, and I like the idea. I hope it works out for him. You can get more information about the Novena laptop or you can order it on its Crowd Supply page. It looks like he's met his fundraising goal and then some, so that bodes well for the Novena project.

VortexBox 2.3 review

DistroWatch has a review of VortexBox 2.3, a distro that works as a jukebox and media server.

According to DistroWatch:

What my time with VortexBox generally consisted of was a series of finding features which sounded great on paper, but finding they tended not to work well in practice. This combined with a number of features which did not, to my mind at least, make sense in theory.

Couple the above setup issues with the need to manually enter hardware addresses to get sound working, the inability of the disc extractor to rip any of the DVDs I presented to it and the awkward web-based music player and I found VortexBox to be generally awkward to use. I would normally expect a project that is designed for media servers to be more user-friendly. That being said, I do think the VortexBox developers are aiming at user friendliness.

More at DistroWatch
VortexBox 2.3 Review
Image credit: DistroWatch

Based on the review, it sounds like the VortexBox developers have some work to do to fix some of its problems. Still, it's an interesting idea that could be of use to some Linux users. I hope the developers are able to improve it in a future release.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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