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Review: helloSystem 0.5.0 and Peux OS 21.01

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My pristine copy of Peux booted to a graphical login screen with an image of swirling clouds of coloured smoke in the background. Available usernames are displayed on this page and we can click one to bring up the password prompt. Signing in brings up the Xfce desktop.

Earlier I mentioned the application menu is unusual in that it displays 30 tightly packed launchers which don't always have enough room to display the name of the corresponding program under them. Another unusual aspect is we need to double-click icons to launch a program. Alternatively we can click a launcher once, then press Enter to launch the desired item. To switch between pages in the menu (there are three pages of icons on a fresh install), we need to scroll through the icons and, getting to the end of the page moves us to the next page of 30 icons.

This is unusually cumbersome as it means either using the mouse wheel to scroll through 30 icons per page or selecting the last icon on the page and then moving down to the next page. Luckily we also have the option of typing the name of the program we want to run and this will filter down the list of displayed launchers. However we approach things, this is an inefficient way to access applications.

While I'm talking about the appearance of the distribution, I found the theme to be difficult on the eyes at times. I didn't mind the relatively bright theme with purple icons most of the time. However, buttons often display grey text on a white background making them difficult to read. Not all buttons are like this, some are more brightly lit with better contrast, bringing to mind the classic Windows XP Start button, but enough were low-contrast that I soon wanted to adjust the theme.

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