Get Free – It’s Easy!

Free replacements for many commercial apps are already available. Here is a good list to help you get started looking, once you have your basic Linux system up and running. (Some of these apps will already be bundled with many distros!) If you don’t find it in the list, freshmeat and sourceforge are your friends. A more complete list is available at the advocacy site, Open Source As Alternative.

Under $100 Notebook?

MIT Media Labs’ Nicolas Negroponte says he is developing an under $100 notebook, as reported by the BBC. The cost savings would come from hacking the display and just generally “getting rid of the fat”. And yes, it would run Linux.

“We have to get the display down to below $20, to do this we need to rear project the image rather than using an ordinary flat panel.”

Arial is everywhere

This article by noted graphic artist Mark Simonson, who specializes in lettering, typography and identity design, explains why Arial font-face is everywhere and why that’s not a good thing. The history of the use of fonts in digital media is important study for all, not just designers. (We even get an early view into Microsoft’s character).

The few cases that I have heard of where a designer has intentionally used Arial were because the client insisted on it. Why? The client wanted to be able to produce materials in-house that matched their corporate look and they already had Arial, because it’s included with Windows. True to its heritage, Arial gets chosen because it’s cheap, not because it’s a great typeface.