Sunday, April 20, 2008

The buzz around Linuxville

Hey all, thought I try out a blog face-lift, because I can. I do this in Linux all the time. Linux desktop people all find out eventually they can morph their GUIs a little or a lot depending which one they are using. Again, I like Xfce desktop because the configuration settings are not buried deep in layered menus. And while I can't tweak everything, I can adjust it enough to get a satisfying look without much effort.

In my neck of the woods, things are a brewing. I stopped by my alma mater and discovered Ubuntu loaded on several computers in the computer lab. Perhaps I made an impression on the teachers while I was there. I think up and coming techies should know about Linux and have the opportunity to use it. Not only on the server but on the desktop as well.

Then, I am waiting for the official release of Ubuntu 8.04, known as "Hardy Heron". It is boasting a few improvements but what I want to explore is the virtual machine support built in. I want to install MS XP as a virtual machine so I don't have to dual-boot anymore. But to this end I might have to install more memory so that the virtual machine will run better. Ubuntu 8.04 will also have tools to shrink MS partitions and install Ubuntu while booted into MS Windows. Of course I will be loading Xubuntu 8.04 on my main machine. I am thinking about Ubuntu on my older machine. It is good to know a little about Gnome desktop, but I am a bit biased. KDE, well, it's like a window manager called Enlightenment in the way it has so many configuration settings. I just think it is too much and I wish people quit saying KDE is more like MS Windows. This is just not true. KDE, Gnome, and Xfce are all more adjustable than MS Windows. They may have similar elements but that is all.

I do have some secret wishes I would like to reveal. In Xfce, I would like to assign a different wallpaper to each virtual desktop and assign apps to open on the desktop I assign and save my settings. Then I would like to see better isolation of desktop GUIs when you have multiple desktop GUIs installed. If you have KDE, Gnome and Xfce on one computer for instance, functions are duplicated, menus are confused and clear control over the desktop is denied. On popular distros that feature one of the main desktops should feature also a leaner window manager like Fluxbox, Icewm as a users alternate choice.
I would also like to see a dual hard drive standard in computers. A smaller drive for the OS and applications and a big as you want drive for user files. It is kind of risky to put OS and user files on the same disk. So, if you must repair or upgrade or change your OS or the disk it's on, you don't have to touch your data. Solid state or flash drive cost are coming down, a 20-30 gig drive would be perfect for this. Lastly, at least for now, I would like to see a "Popular Linux Magazine" that targets typical average computer users rather than server techs, system admins and programmer/developers.

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