We you can actually use a computer without a mouse if you use linux or bsd. I can not say that for the proprietary operating systems under normal circumstances. I am not much of a tv watcher anymore nor do I spend a lot of time being babysitted by movies or videos. Being able to use a minimal computer without all the hoopla is very advantageous. For one thing, you do not have to have a honking computer to carry around. An old pI/II computer or laptop will do just fine. with at least a 2 gig hard drive.

The software I use is Gnu/Debian linux, but there are several candidates that would work just fine. We usually just do a net install with no desktop and the install is rather quick compared to a MSWindows installation. After that you will need to install specific programs from the repos.

Some of my favorite programs are:

alsa sound modules – music and to support speech programs (and voice recording)
Twidge – twitter client
links2 – internet browser
ps2ascii – convert postscript files to text files.
bashpodder – audio podcast collector
alpine sendEmail – email client tools
irssi – interrelay chat
centerim – instant messaging client
vim can be used as and editor or word processor, there are many others.
antiword – for dealing with proprietary word procesing formats.
screen – allows you to easily switch remote sessions
ledger – accounting program
curl wget – web page and file extracting tools
bash – the built in programming language that can be used with awk, sed, sort tr figlet (make your own database or game programs as well as other tools).
ImageMagick suite – manipulate graphics
cadubi tetradraw – ascii drawing programs
opensched – schedule formater.
hnb – notetaking and outlining
moc mplayer aplay ffmpeg – audio tools and players.
nget – newsreader
pal – calendar/planner program
cdrecord – burn cd’s and back up computer.
ssh and other tools. – network administration/file amangement
espeak festival – voice synthesis (great for having your computer read outloud documents) Who needs a Kindle?

The bottom line is that you can do word processing. spreadsheets. database, email, listen to podcasts or even hear documents spoken. Who could ask for more?

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