As you no doubt have already read on thousands of other blog sites, Windows Vista (Microsoft's latest attempt to hack together a true operating system) was released worldwide today. Apparently given the timezone difference people in New Zealand and Australia were the first to get their hands on the shrink wrapped boxes, all ready to enjoy the gaping security holes, unreliable operation and DRM that actually makes using your media harder than XP and is in violation of your free use rights and common decency. No "wow" from me here, just "yawn".
Seriously if you still need to run Windows for any reason, do yourself and your sanity a favour, go on eBay and buy a secondhand copy of Windows 2000 Professional.
Around the same time as this trainwreck though there's something else that has been released which will no doubt be getting less press coverage: the latest version of the lightweight, user friendly Xfce Desktop Environment for *NIX machines! If you run FreeBSD it is also now also available in Ports.
Amonst some of the changes is the addition of the new file manager Thunar which bears a striking resemblence to the Mac OS X Finder with it's addition of a favourites bar on the side of the window, which I am a real fan of.
I really like KDE, but at the same time I've always been a fan of the clean design of Xfce and this is the first version I've seen that actually is making me seriously considering moving over. I'll probably run both on my FreeBSD partition for now and see. I'm just absolutely blown away by the speed; on my MacBook Pro it's a matter of seconds when I type
startx to when it's fully loaded, it really is something.
It's good to know that while companies in our world like Microsoft are going out of their way to make things more complicated for people, there are still people out there actually working on making lives easier.
Stay posted for my infamous screenshots ;).