Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Confessions of a tweakin geek

I guess I was all caught up in the election of the new president the other night. And while having revelations about what this means to yours truly, I now must admit and commit. I decided to upgrade my Ubuntu 8.04 system installation to Xubuntu 8.10. Why Xubuntu, because I only have 512 RAM on my system and Xfce runs way, way better than Gnome or KDE on the same system. So, leaving the adoring fans of Gnome and KDE, I am a Xfce fanboy, again. Both I and my cats think the little mouse symbol is cool. Yeah, Xfce is not as flashy as Gnome or KDE, not as tweakable in some aspects, but has speed and agility plus a rock solid feel I just can't do without. And by sacrificing a little overhead, I get added performance for the applications I use. I downloaded a few desktop themes from to get away from the standard gray themes. And even though Open is a fixture in my tool bag I like to use Abiword which is a tad bit nicer (I just discovered this!).

Up top is my present desktop, I do like horses of different colors. But I don't like the clutter of icons all over my desktop. MS Windows likes to bury the file explorer in the menu, my Xfce keeps it handy so that I know where my files are and I don't have confusion staring me in the face. I've seen too many MS Windows desktops that look like a magnet encrusted refrigerator door. And, I am not so distracted by all the "click me" toys Gnome and KDE has to offer.

What is the secret to living with Ubuntu and loving it, it's got to be "The Official Ubuntu Book". I know all the stuff in it because I'm a long time user, right? wrong! There are tips and secrets and explanations galore, as I found out. To have a simple concise fix to common gotchas is a great thing. But what I want is a screensaver that locks the desktop and screams "pull your hands back and step away from the keyboard", snaps a picture and uploads it to the cops.

The art business is shaping up, sort of. I think I am seeing some avenues I want to pursue. Job hunting is producing results and possibilities. Things are positive in spite of the process.

I leave you with encouraging tips to visit Linuxville. If your PC can boot from a USB hard drive or jump drive, install Linux on it. If you have a second drive you can throw into your PC, put Linux on it. OR just use the live-CD version, Linux has pleasant surprises for most people. And if you do plan to install, do a little research so that those surprises are not overshadowed by gotchas. You wireless people need a heads up. And to tell you the truth, if you think Macs are the only alternative to MS, Macs are Unix underneath no matter how much they deny it. Linux can be easy or difficult depending how you approach it. Linux can accommodate the casual mouse masher and the text-hardened code-head. You can come and go in Linuxville without a passport. Too bad there's no free tee-shirt, coffee mug or mousepad..............

No comments: