Thursday, May 08, 2008

Linuxville bragging rights revisited.

When you get brand new software it always is a concern as to if it is a finished product or if you are the second rung beta tester (guinea pig). I guess I could have taken the upgrade path where you install the new software on top of the old, but that does not work so cleanly all the time. So I, as you will recall, installed the new Ubuntu 8.04 on my older machine and it hung. I tried three times and the third time (the charm) it loaded with no problems. Now I have on my main box, Xubuntu 8.04 and 7.10. My older machine sports Ubuntu 8.04. Being a Xfce fanboy, I am a bit biased toward Xubuntu but, Gnome does have some points. It is a solid desktop with some things I like. I really like the snappy windows in Xfce, Gnome sort of fast fades in and out. I am not a slow motion kind of guy, I like the crisp popping in and out of my windows. I think fades and hesitation promotes an un-assured feeling when working the desktop compared to a crisp response. But don't get all click happy, we must learn patience, computers still don't provide the swiftness of mental agility. Ubuntu 8.04 is on a 32-bit machine so I don't expect any problems getting web browser extensions to work. Gnome is like a whole new neighborhood, similar to Xfce but different enough to notice. In Xfce, the Icon panels or tool bars are more configurable. You can in Gnome add fancy icon bars that rival the one on Macs, but I really hate adding to the overhead of the desktop when the point is to get to the programs. You might think otherwise and that is your right. What do you do with two computers when you are the only real user in the house? If I had some money I'd get a couple of large hard drives and use one computer as a server to the other. But the truth is that my needs are not that great and I don't tend to collect stuff I don't use. I do intend to try out networking and remote desktop and virtual machines and all that sort of thing. I was considering installing MS XP as a virtual machine but I can't think of any software that runs on MS Windows I must have that doesn't run in Wine on Linux. Yes, I am practically MS free.

One of my latest interest is multimedia as I am impressed with a little item, the digital picture frame. Just sitting there on the mantle or desk, flicking scene after scene is so cool. Then I installed a program called Elisa Media Center. It is wonderful as it allows one interface to all the media on your computer, it is very sweet. I'm not much into the MythTV kind of thing, the computer/TV connection is there but, I'm still hedging about putting a computer in the living room, I guess it could happen. Like the days of the hifi stereo setup, TV and computer arrangements tend to get techie. Does Elisa need anything? Yes, it allows you to explore YouTube, but only YouTube and there is no search function so you can only see the most viewed and tagged stuff. To be able to load any internet video source site and have search criteria would make it even cooler. In the meantime, you can download videos to the hard drive and watch them that way at your leisure. Also to be able to download the stuff you find while in Elisa would be nice. Maybe combine Elisa with some Flock browser type functions would be cool. The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!!

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