gOS is a Ubuntu system optimized and customized to use Google apps. With the Enlightment desktop and the 1.5ghz processor, 512MB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive WalMart sold outof the Linux machine while the same machine with Vista Home Basic costing $100 more remain plentiful.
Well not able to buy one these machines I decided to test the OS on an old celeron 1.7 gig machine with 512MB and a Fourty gig hard drive. This was a lease return machine I had bought sometime back for around $120 and had used as a spare machine for the people who come over and want to get on the Internet and has run PCLinuxOS 0.93 for quite a while.
I found the download at the gOS site and burned the Live CD. Like most live distros it booted up without any issues and it was up and running in a few minutes. It recognized all the hardware and was able to get to the Internet. The Google apps are all on a dock like bar at the botom of the screen. Like most Live CDs it's also a bit slow so nothing to do but install it to the hard drive. This was an easy task. It uses the Ubuntu Installer and I quickly had the drives set up and the install started. It could be that this old machine with nothing but a CD ROM drive is slow but it seemed to take longer than what I've become use to when installing a Linux system. That said it went off without a hitch.
Linux always runs better from the hard drive and gOS is no exception. From the hard drive it really moves well. Open Office 2.3, Firefox and Thunderbird are included. It has an ample amount of other applications and if you don't have what you want the Ubuntu repositories are available to add the extras.
If you are not familar with Enlightenment it might be something you should check out. Unlike most desktop environments it has a unique way to change desktop screens. By default gOS only has one enabled. I like multi desktops so I enabled three more. In Enlightment to change to another desktop you move the cursor to the right off the main screen or off the bottom of the screen and you're in a new desktop. You have a "Start" button or you left click on the desktop screen to bring up the menu, a right click brings up favorite apps. Enlightment is lite and very configurable.
Other software I add to almost all Linux system includes W32codecs,libdvdcss2(not needed on this machine), wine, XMMS and vlc. You have to enable the restricted repositories in Synaptic. I also add "deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org etch main" to the sources list because some of the most useful multimedia packages aren't in Ubuntu's repositories.
There is one thing I think may be a bit of a turn off for Windows refugees, file-roler. This is the filemanager (think Explorer) and it is nothing like most filemanager currently used by most distros. It reminds me of ROX-filer and I personally like file-roler and ROX-filer because they use drag and drop for file management and in true Unix style they treat everything as a file. This makes it kind of strange to most people new to *nix but it is a way to see how a files system is set up and how it is used for system control.
My conclusion is that if you are looking for a good distro for an older machine this would be a good one to try. I've read a write up on a 800mhz machine with 256 MB of RAM with much the same results as I've seen. And like most distros I test If yu don't like it you've only used a little bandwidth and a CD to find out it's not for you.
Everex PC is out of stock.