Tuesday, May 03, 2011

orange cones and yellow tape

Something big happened at the Linuxville chateau. There is orange cones and yellow tape about. Hey, why you looking for the chalk outline? The only thing that expired was the MAC look as the holy grail for a desktop. I'm glad that's over. There is only so much you can do before you just copy it outright.

I did an upgrade over my Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04. All went well until I rebooted, I gasped (ooh the horror of it!), big white square with vertical lines and white text I couldn't read. I think the video drivers are touchy with my hardware. While I booted I hit a down arrow and return and that did the trick. I got the login screen.

I didn't change anything, typed in my password, hit return, the white screen came back again, hitting me and blinding me. I grabbed at the reboot button on my PC, pressed it. Got back to the login screen, this time I clicked the session button selected "Ubuntu Classic", it came up nice and clean. The problem was I was expecting the new UNITY desktop, which didn't work. I think the cause was the default settings have 3d hardware acceleration in mind, too powerful for my average PC. The Ubuntu Classic is the Gnome desktop we all know and love (or loath), it works fine and is gorgeous.

I wanted so bad to love/hate UNITY like everyone else. Then I read on a web site to sudo apt-get install unity-2d in a terminal. Afterwards to logout, login selecting Unity 2D from the sessions menu. It felt like the part of a murder mystery where the band plays "Click the Mouse Slowly". Unity came up and it works. "It's alive!! I cried (of course!). Want to see it?

The first is at rest, note the icons on the side, that's the favorites launcher. The background is changeable. And the panel at the top carries the system stuff for each active application just like the MAC. Below shows MYPaint open. The side launcher retracts when an app is active but reappears when the cursor is positioned in the upper left corner or left side (your choice).

There are many things to explore and I won't spoil it for you. As you work with it, it gets into your ways and means. You will find the way to work with it. It will become as familiar to you as the other desktops you use. Awkward at first, then annoying little quirks, then I kind of like it, then golly geewhiz guys, ain't it cool!!

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