September 14, 2001

Web review: Tucows are better than one

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
Our review site this week is very commercial. But that's almost a welcome thing. It's like, Linux hit the big time. I know some people don't want that to happen ever, and I don't mean Microsofties so much as some of the real hardcore old time Linux fogies who want to keep it all to themselves. But that's another story.I'm talking about, which is actually the Linux section of It's just an aggregation of Linux software, kind of like our own, but flashier. Tucows actually makes Linux software look cooler, somehow. Maybe it's all those colorful animated ads.

I already have all the Linux software I need to conduct business. After all, just about any distribution out there already comes with a plethora of applications -- more than you'll ever need, regardless of who you are and how much you rely on your computer. But if you're a software aficianado like me, you like to keep up with what's new out there.

And certainly, is the place where all the really down-with-it people go to look for ... well, fresh meat. But there's a lot of crud floating around that pond. The stuff at Tucows is rated, so you can get an idea, if not a rock solid guarantee, of how useful it's going to be for you.

Also, if you're like me and never have the patience to download the second CD of your latest favorite distribution, you get short-changed on the games. Games are a must-have if there's a 5-year-old boy in the house. Come to think of it, even if the boys are 25 and you're one of them, the games are still very important. Fortunately, has a long list of games, many of which are tempting even to me, a relatively game-neutral being. Again, they're all rated, so start with the "five cows" selections and work your way down.

There's a nifty little page that gives you a comparison of several Linux distributions, which are also available for download at the site. One application is chosen each day for a detailed review, and you can look at all the newest additions each day, as well as the most popular downloads.

Skim the interesting glossary with its satisfyingly hefty list of entries before you leave. The help desk page is nice, also, with a big FAQ, howto's, man pages, and other links.

Tucows isn't the be all and end all of Linux software aggregation sites, but it is a worthwhile addition to your bookmarks file.


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