Don't misunderstand. Microsoft Windows comes with plenty of free applications. The most widely used freebie is Internet Explorer.
To find most of the others go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, and start clicking. Outside of Internet Explorer how many free Windows applications do you actually use? When you feel like word processing do you fire up Notepad, Word Pad, or Microsoft Word? Guess which two of these word processors are free. Equipping an office with the standard Windows applications is an expensive activity. Some Microsoft applications make you purchase the software itself and then pay additional licensing fees when you connect your Microsoft client computer to a Microsoft server computer.
Damn Small Linux applications are free. Some of them are included with the initial download while others have to be downloaded and installed subsequently. There are several reasons for this seemingly intricate procedure. Not everybody wants to use the same applications. Furthermore, the very strict selection of the applications in its base package helps the Damn Small Linux distribution to respect the hard to believe 50 Megabyte limit. Once you have installed Damn Small Linux you can download Open Source (free) versions of Office and run them under Linux.
Please note that you can download and run these programs under Microsoft Windows as well. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well Jack doesn't have to worry if he's running Damn Small Linux.
It comes with lots of free games. Somehow we have the impresssion that you will not need any tutorials to get the games running. Some Linux applications are not only free but are actually superior when compared to the corresponding Windows applications.
For example, have you ever heard of an e-mail client called Sylpheed? This application is part of the basic Damn Small Linux distribution. It has several advantages over those extremely popular (perhaps we should say unpopular) Microsoft e-mail offerings, Outlook and Outlook Express. Sylpheed handles spam much better than do its Windows counterparts. And Sypheed allows you to process threads of e-mail messages.
For example, you correspond with several people about wholesale wine purchases. Sypheed makes it easy to process those messages while ignoring unrelated ones. Since we're talking about email, what about it's cousin the Internet? That will be the subject of our next article in this series.
Once upon a time Levi Reiss wrote ten computer and Internet books either alone or with a co-author. Now he has moved on to building websites, including global wine (www.theworldwidewine.com), Italian wine, Italian travel, and health and nutritional aspects of wine. He has taught various and sundry computer courses including Linux and Windows operating systems at an Ontario French-language community college for decades. His new website http://www.linux4windows.com will get you to run Linux even on that outdated Windows computer in your basement but first you must remove the dust bunnies.