Software Spotlight: RadicalCodex

RadicalCodex 1.0

RadicalCodex 1.0

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the viability of commercial, closed source applications running on Linux as a platform. The purists believe that all closed source applications are inherently evil, and should not be allowed to run on Linux, as it spoils the world of freedom. The other side of the coin are the people thinking about the future of Linux as a viable platform for even our grandparents to use.

I subscribe to the latter point of view. I’d like to point out one amazingly awesome piece of closed source commercial software for Linux.

Radical Breeze
One of the amazing pieces of commercial software out there for Linux is a thing called RadicalCodex. It is produced by Radical Breeze software, and is currently in its beta phase.

RadicalCodex looks to make Linux “The Center of Your Literate Lifestyle” by offering an easy way to organize and read your favorite digital comics, as well as eBooks and other electronic written media.

RadicalCodex is being developed by none other than Bryan Lunduke of Mac Murphy, P.I. fame. What’s great about this guy, is that he believes in Linux whole-heartedly, and is looking into the future of what Linux as a platform is capable of.

This software rocks. It is very lightweight, and packs a ton of features into it, even in the early beta phases. It’s developed and maintained at a blinding pace, and looks like it will be a true competitor for my most run program on my Ubuntu partition.

My History
As a kid, I was never into comics. I had picked up a few issues of Wolverine occasionally, but for some reason never got into the habit of keeping and collecting volumes of these graphic novels.

My brother, on the other hand, still has a large box full of old comics, including the first issue of Alf. He’s all grown up now, and away in the Air Force, so I don’t think that comics are really at the top of his mind at this point, but I think that this could be a way for him to easily get back into it, as well as a way for me to shoehorn Linux into his life.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized all of the missed opportunities I’ve had for reading great sci-fi and other amazing stories through the graphic novel medium. Watching shows like The Totally Rad Show and listening to CastaBlasta has made me really think that I’m missing out on something wonderful.

I finally get to experience the original X-Men, Wolverine, and Watchmen comics in all their glory. All thanks to RadicalCodex.

The Software
RadicalCodex is only $15 during the beta period. $15. When was the last time you bought software for Windows that was only $15, and would be used on a constant basis for your entertainment pleasure? I know that I’ve bought a lot of software in the past, but this has and will be the most used one to date:

  • Opera – I bought a copy of Opera for ~$45 back before it became a free browser. At that point, Firefox was in its infancy, and couldn’t keep up with the speed and versatility that Opera provided. But, after version 2 of Firefox, and Opera became a free product, I’ve lost touch with Opera, and have become increasingly reliant on Firefox extensions in my every day life.
  • BBEdit – I own a license for version 8 of BBEdit ($49 Educational license), and I rarely use it now that I have switched to using Linux almost full time.
  • Adobe CS4 – This is a bit of an unfair comparison, as I don’t believe there are any true alternatives out there that compete in each of the programs’ arenas. See below for more info.
  • XSlimmer – XSlimmer is a wonderful little application that strips non-English languages and universal binaries from programs in Mac OS X. I have an aging iBook G4 that I use, so it’s becoming more important to get things down to their lowest size in order to still run the applications I like without much lag. This is something that is used once every few weeks.

I’m sure I own more licenses, and I’m certainly not including the multitude of games that I own. I have been known to “try out” expensive software suites in the past, but have become more aware of the amount of hard work and effort goes into even making the smallest piece of software out on the market.

I look at it as not paying large corporations, but attempting to support the people actually writing the code and designing the interfaces. That’s why I bought a license of RadicalCodex. Sure, I could have just gone out and found it somewhere on the net, but I know the guy making this (not personally, more of a celebrity), and I know that he’s put a lot of effort and time into polishing this product and making it as awesome as humanly possible.

I’m still getting into the details of what it means to keep a comic book library, as I’m purchasing more books to read in this software. I see it is an easy way to keep my digital library with me in a way that is accessible even on more modest hardware.

If you read eBooks, or are looking to get into the world of graphic novels, check out RadicalCodex. Buying software as useful as this is from a micro ISV is always a good investment, and you certainly won’t regret it with RadicalCodex.