I’m posting this from a computer running Knoppix. Charlie brought a copy in to work the other day and handed it to me. I actually downloaded Knoppix several months ago but never burned myself a copy because I didn’t have any 80-minute CD-Rs–I’ve still got about 20 74-minute jobs I haven’t used yet.
Yep, it’s an excuse. I know a lot of people have several objections to Linux:

1. There’s no software, or at least nothing I’d want.
2. It’s hard to install.
3. If I do manage to install it, I can’t get a good graphical interface working.
4. It takes too long.
5. I really don’t want to go to the trouble of repartitioning my hard drive, and I don’t want to run it on my old computer because it’ll be slow.

Knoppix is a full Linux distribution on a CD. You pop it in a PC (it’s best if it has at least 128 megs of RAM) and boot off it. It detects your hardware and boots you into a full-blown KDE environment.

Software? It has three word processors, three spreadsheets, two web browsers, two graphical mail clients, a desktop publisher, an MP3 player, a bunch of games (including a Civilization clone) and a bunch more stuff. In short, far more software than the typical Windows user has installed.

And if you don’t like it, just go to the “K” menu and hit Logoff. It shuts down. Pop out the CD, and boot back into Windows or whatever else it was that was on that computer.

I really wish the people who talk about Linux on the desktop would take the few minutes it takes to download and boot Knoppix. Their reaction would be telling.