We received an interesting question from reader John Lunn about the Presto Operating System Presto.
John asked, ” Has anyone experimented with the minimalist Presto OS for PCs? I’ve been curious about it and gave it a shot on my last laptop. It made my fonts so large it was impossible to read. But I’ll try it again on my new machine. I’d love to hear some reviews if anyone tries to take it through its paces.”
As the WhatsYourTech Linux buff it fell to me to answer John’s question which I will answer in two parts. I’ll start by addressing the font issue.
Without more information, it is difficult to tell what the issue may be. The mostly likely case is that Presto didn’t take well to your video hardware and is running with very low grade graphics settings, including a low screen resolution. The lower your resolution is, the bigger things will look. On your toolbar, there should be an icon for “Presto Settings” and then “Display Settings”. You may want to check your resolution, and turn it to the native resolution of your display device.
For the second part, I’ll try to give you an ad-hoc review. I’m a Linux user, and so I’ll evaluate it as a Linux distribution. However, keep in mind that Presto OS targets Windows users. Presto’s claim to fame seems to be twofold: it installs under Windows, and it boots very quickly. Neither of these points are unique.
If you want to install Linux on Windows partitions, Ubuntu has its Wubi installer (http://wubi-installer.org/) which provides the same Windows-installer convenience (for free I might add). And, as for the boot time, I’ll give Presto credit: it’s fast. But it’s also so stripped down that it’s hardly useful if you hope to do any more than browse the web and check your email. It does however have a software store with many free open source solutions to expand Presto’s range. Also, don’t forget that there are many light and fast distributions of Linux to try, if you like the minimalist approach. Head to www.distrowatch.com to read about some of them.
Having said all this, Presto OS packages these two features in one easy box, without the need for tweaking or hours of wading through options. For a Windows user who wants to be able to boot very quickly, get in, send off a couple of emails, listen to some music and watch youtube, it’s a good product. It’s price of $20.00 US isn’t expensive if you remember what you paid for Windows! It’s a good way for a Windows user to get his /her feet wet in the Linux pond. But experienced Linux users are unlikely to find any new value in the product.
Let me know if you have any questions. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Tim Teatro:
Tim Teatro is a physicist from Oshawa, Ontario and a well received author and presenter in his field. He was born with a keyboard in his hand, and today works on multi-million dollar supercomputers across Canada, discovering the secrets of the universe by simulating reality on a massive computational scale. He has long had a strong fascination with the open source software community and its incredible, rapidly expanding network of people. Tim uses Linux on almost all of his personal computers.