We're still at the Linuxville Seaside Cafe. You know penguins, seaside and ice! Just finished remodeling the chateau including the penthouse and I'm letting you in on my take of the Linux madness. What a rush the new Ubuntu 11.10 is here and I downloaded and installed. Actually I downloaded so that I have a copy to pass around but on my two machines the chateau and the penthouse I did the on-line upgrades. Doesn't that take for ever? YES! But I get to save most of my personal files and configurations. A key thing is to put your HOME directory on a separate partition. That way swapping in a new OS or an upgrade does not effect your data., just the partition your OS resides in.
The penthouse is my upstairs desktop, for it I have Ubuntu 11.10. The chateau is the laptop in my dining room downstairs. For it I have Xubuntu 11.10. Since I am one of stretched resources, I don't have top shelf equipment, older but sufficient for now. I consider myself the bottom line. Xubuntu is perfect for my 512mb laptop, it is not bogged down. I did try regular Ubuntu 11.10 and it choked. It actually tried, didn't crash, but choked. The new whiz-bang idea is that most people can afford a little more umph!, so why not raise the bottom bar. To be comfortable the laptop could use 1gig memory. Neither the new Gnome Shell or Canonical's Unity 2D worked well on my laptop, period. I didn't try Gnome Classic because it works OK, heavy but OK. For the best, fast and efficient desktop Xubuntu's XFCE is king. And if you want spic-e check out Enlightenment 17( E17), very hot and fancy to boot. Pardon the pun!
In the penthouse/cave of wonders/studio/etc; my desktop sports 1gig memory. Regular Ubuntu 11.10 is in full play but..........short. Gnome Shell doesn't work well at all. I am so surprised Gnome is supposed to run on anything. The Classic desktop works, the Shell doesn't. Unity works and if you want snappy download Unity 2D (without the effects). What!?! effects are the key here. Effects are alpha channels, you know transparencies, shadows and overlays. Some graphics chips/cards handle that stuff well and some NOT. Having more memory can overcome this sometimes when the calculations are handled in software but doing it on the graphics chip is effortless.
“We have a verdict here!”, the penguin judge said as he slaps the fish-gavel on the table! Unity is improved and will take a while to develop efficient user navigation the likes of the older drop down menus. Same for Gnome shell. Reminds me of Win7 and the dreaded ribbon interface for XP users. A fresh approach requires a new mindset (and practice), it also invites new perspectives and new possibilities. Now, if the old ways are wanted, Gnome Classic (for now), XFCE is still here and E17. Upgrading your hardware is most valuable to increase your enjoyment of the new interfaces Unity and Gnome Shell. AND in the spirit of Linux and Open Source, the land of multiple solutions, if you can't come to grips with this, change it to that! And if that is not enough, MS Win7 OS and Mac OS are still available. You still compute, but you'll have to leave the Linuxville city limits. Not a worry, Open Source Software will let you in on fun we have in Linuxville.