Tuesday, August 14, 2007

MS vs Linux steps up a notch

Well, I got tired of bitching about how my Windows XP desktop was cluttered and unresponsive. So I put most of the desktop shortcut icons in a desktop folder, that way I could get at them when I needed them. They weren't being used regularly anyway. Then I installed something called RKLauncher (RKDock). This handy item places a few most accessed icons on the desktop for fast easy access. It looks just like the icon tool bar on the Mac. When you hover over the icon with your mouse, the icon magnifies.
I tried out a few other freebies but they were buggy because of all the security fixes to XP. The best one was called FlyakiteOSX. It looked very, very nice compared to what I could do to the standard XP desktop. It had a DLL relocation problem that I couldn't fix. I really liked the Mac look but would have settled just for the better functionality. All in all I like my XP desktop again. I think it is amazing that some inventive programmers have figured out how to change the look and feel of MS Windows by adding on some software.

My next major shakeup was what to do with the Linux desktop. I have been a Gnome desktop fan since I first installed Red Hat years ago. I didn't like KDE because it was complicated in its look and feel. The little dragon symbol I also thought was hoke. KDE users bragged about the ability to reconfigure the look and feel of the desktop. All I saw was menu after nested menu, especially in the control panel. Gnome was simple to set up, my grandmother could use it. I guess even Linus T. himself had something to say about the simplicity of Gnome. But he was questioning the attitude of its programmers. They were, according to him, underestimating the mental capacity of the users of their desktop. I thought simple was nice so I didn't have a problem. A funny thing happened to KDE, it was improved for the better. So I backed up my personal files and bookmarks, my address book. I installed Kubuntu (with KDE) over Ubuntu (with Gnome). I like what I see of KDE, the convoluted double nested menus are gone. It has a nicer look and feel. It is still tweakable. I am not head over heels satisfied yet, there are some differences to get used to. I want to say out loud that KDE is not like MS Windows and people who say that are smoking something. I thought Gnome was more like MS Windows but thats my opinion. So, I am tweaking my KDE desktop to get the best out of it. I miss the Synaptic Application Manager that was in Gnome, but the Apt-get interface works quite well. KDE seem to have a better variety of programs written for it that integrate well into it. I installed a little program called KoolDock. It again is like the Mac icon toolbar that sits at the bottom of the screen. It is very handy and works with KDE. Change is good and it all seems to get better.

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