So, after a really bad launch, we have (hopefully) fixed all the issues with Simplicity Linux Early Access. For some reason downloads were cutting off early, giving people bad downloads. We now have a new storage provider (ADrive), we’ve checked the MD5Sums (they match) and everything should be okay. Refunds and new links have been supplied to those who already donated, and if there is anything else we can do, please get in touch.
We are working on a fix to the problem with Subdivision not downloading properly. We are really sorry about this and everything should be resolved by tomorrow morning. Anyone who wants a refund, let us know and we’ll give you a refund and a new download link.
Update: Please see our newer post on Early Access for the donation links.
So, yesterday we promised Early Access to Simplicity 14.7 and we’re pleased to announce that it is now formally open! At the moment there is a small but crucial problem with our Simplicity Desktop 14.7 image which we are currently working on, but Subdivision 14.7 and Obsidian 14.7 are available for download now!
Obsidian 14.7 (cutdown, minimal JWM Window Manager based Edition)
Subdivision 14.7 (designed for those moving from Windows to Linux. Big and full featured)
Plus, we have created a donors page which will list who donated and when and if we’re lucky enough to get multiple downloads from a single – how often that person downloaded! And in the future, depending on how successful the Early Access program is, we may run giveaways for those who donate – because we think giving back to those who support us is really important.
Despite what some may think, the truth is we make hardly anything from Simplicity Linux. In fact, we sometimes don’t make enough to cover our hosting. So we pay for it ourselves because we think that putting out free software is more important than maybe buying a fancy coffee.
But we know that people don’t always have money to give. That’s why we have Flattr icons on every post and page and never mention it, because we don’t want to force the issue. A company sells CDs with Simplicity on it and we get 40% of that revenue, yet we never mention it other than a little blurb on the side. But during a party to celebrate our beta, someone said something interesting: a day before we made the links public, 90 people already downloaded Simplicity from SourceForge, and based on our around 1000 downloads a week, if 25% of people downloading Simplicity gave $1, we could spend a lot more time working on Simplicity.
Which is why we are trying something out. As of tomorrow Obsidian, Desktop and Subdivision will all be available to download for a $1 donation. Now just to clarify: Obsidian, Netbook, Desktop, X and Subdivision will all be available to download for free on 30th and they will always be available for free – so if you want to get early access and help us out at the same time you can. But if you can’t or don’t want to, no hard feelings, you can download them for free on the 30th.
We’d love to know what you think about this, because we get so much good feedback, so many good ideas, and at the end of the day – if you’re not happy with what we’re doing, there isn’t much point in us doing what we do.
Now, we know some people don’t like screenshots, but we thought this was a good time to show off Obsidian 14.7. It is based on Precise Puppy 5.7.1, keeping the JWM Window Manager and ROX pinboard but has a lot of stuff removed from it. Hence the bare desktop. The idea is that it has nothing more than needed. So it features Seamonkey for those who aren’t fussy about current privacy issues, TOR Browser for those who are, Setup, Networking, ROX file manger, a handful of other apps, and that’s it. If you just browse the web and do most things online, it’s perfect for you.
As with the rest of the Simplicity Linux Editions, it will be available on 30th July. Although watch this space as we may be announcing early access to the final versions soon!
So, we haven’t done a lot with Subdivision of late for various reasons. However, this release cycle we saw a poster in a computer repair shop window which spurred us to take action. They claimed if you were still using XP, you had three choices: Do nothing, Upgrade to Windows Vista/7/8 or buy a new computer. And after a discussion with my mother, who is in her 60s and who uses Ubuntu disguised as XP, she explained that Linux is scary to older Windows users who are probably not confident computer users anyway.
Which led us to develop this:
Subdivision 14.7 which will be out on 30th July along with the rest of the Simplicity Linux family. It has Firefox, Dropbox, Skype, VLC, and LibreOffice as you would expect with Simplicity Desktop. But it also has Java, slightly renamed icons, and access to the firewall on the desktop. We also removed wbar and installed the Start button from XP. In addition, all the window decorations are in an XP style and it has the familiar XP wallpaper.
The eagle eyed may have noticed the “Minecraft Installer”. After reading the review of Simplicity 14.1 on Everyday Linux something kept coming back to us – if you have Java, Minecraft should work. And since Minecraft is popular, we figured why not write a couple of lines of code (a wget command and a java -jar command) to let Windows users have something familiar.
We still have some testing to do on it (i.e.:giving it to Windows junkies to play with) but personally, we think it’s pretty good.
I’m going to make this brief. Simplicity Linux is based in the UK, and we are against the new powers given to the government to snoop and store on your data.
There is no decent argument for watching all the data all the time. The best analogy I have heard is that it’s like banning all locks on doors because the police might need to get in to see if you’re up to no good. The argument that “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about” is bull – what about innocent until proven guilty?
This is why all the editions of Simplicity 14.7 will ship with TOR. We know it’s not perfect, or even enough to stop serious snooping, but it’s something.
So, work is continuing on Simplicity 14.7′s release ISOs so that they will be ready for 30th July. In the meantime, here is a screenshot of the Desktop Edition in what could be the release form.
It comes with Firefox, Skype, Dropbox, the full LibreOffice suite, VLC, and in addition to Firefox we’ve also added LastPass for added security when you sign into sites, and we’ve added AdBlockPlus so that you can block ads on sites which are a little heavy on ads!
Simplicity Linux 14.7 Beta has been released today! You can find Desktop edition here (639.3mb). And you can find Netbook edition here (366.9mb). There is no X edition in our Beta release cycle because we have changed direction on it significantly recently, and there is no ISO ready yet. It is based on Puppy Linux, and uses the excellent LXPup By SFS by PeaBee, which we get from here.
For the uninitiated, Desktop is our full fat Edition. It has locally installed apps rather than cloud based apps, such as Dropbox, Skype, and LibreOffice. As such it weighs in at a hefty 639.3mb. As with all our recent releases, it uses the LXDE window environement.
There is also Netbook Edition which is a cut down version of Simplicity Linux which features a few local applications, and a browser so you can concentrate on working with cloud based applications rather than having to deal with local applications.
It should also be noted that these is a beta releases and should not be considered finished as yet. We know there are problems with it, and we are working on them.
We hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed working on them, and any feedback would be hugely appriciated in the comments section below.