Archive for April, 2014

Elementary OS

Posted: April 6, 2014 in Generally Speaking.., OS Reviews

Well here’s something I haven’t done in far too long: a distro review. I had been having some issues with various items on my laptop which was running Linux Mint. However, I wasn’t fond of Cinnamon and MATE made me miss what will never be again. KDE is too heavy for my laptop without frequent flakiness and I just can’t do enough with XFCE to make it look and behave the way I want without making me sorely miss GNOME 2.x So I decided to try something else. I had been hearing rave reviews of Elementary OS, which comes with the Pantheon desktop. So I boot up a copy and discover that wow, it’s pretty. The Elementary Team really likes the Mac look and they made it show it clearly. It’s probably the prettiest desktop environment I’ve seen to date. I ended up installing it (so you know I liked it) and I’m a fan of put-the-bare-necessities-on-and-let-them-add-their-own school of thought, which is nice because there’s nothing but the basics. However, after a couple of days, I could see that EOS is just a tad too simplified for me. I realize that many desktop environments are trying to simplify to accommodate new Linux users but it’s starting to get pretty insulting (are you listening Gnome 3?)and unfortunately this gorgeous desktop falls into that category. “Files” Pantheon File Manager is obviously aimed at the simple (I mean, files? really?) and it does even less than Windows Explorer. Nautilus has also gone in the insult-our-fanbase-by-treating-them-like-sheep route and has crippled Nautilus.  I love love love the customization options in KDE but it eats too much.  I like Openbox but I don’t have time for it. What to do, what to do.  So ATM, I am using Linux Mint Debian (my long time love affair with Linux Mint) with Cinnamon, which has its flaky moments too but Cinnamon 2 is so much better than ever.

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Gnome 3

Okay, I downloaded Fedora 15..but not to review Fedora Linux..but to review Gnome 3. There are several things to like about it, such as the simplicity and ease of navigation..and it shore is purty. But, I don’t like it. I use Linux for one main reason. It looks and does EXACTLY what I want it to do, not what some corporate entity wants it to. The feature set is exactly what Gnome needs. The taking away of customization is a horrible step in the (Windows) wrong direction. I get the need to revamp, and appeal to newbies, primarily refugees from Windoze..Clean it up, Team Gnome then I will be back to revisit this.

Amplify’d from www.gnome.org

My old keyboard was some generic brand that I can’t even remember anymore but it felt great, low profile keys like a laptop, 2 usb ports built in. The only thing it didn’t do that I regretted was that the keys didn’t light up in the dark, thus allowing me better visibility during my late night design sessions. Alas, like all good things, it came to and end when a few of the buttons didn’t want to work anymore, particularly the space bar. So, I ordered the Ihome keyboard, which is meant as a drop in replacement for a Mac. It’s layout is that of Mac, but it is working so far just fine and it also has low profile keys, which are set up for Mac also, with the Option and Command, F14 and F15. One thing it’s not: silent. This keyboard is very very loud and if the key is not hit exactly in the center it may not process, so for long reach keys, such as my oft-used Delete, I may end up with a serious problem with this one too. I hope it grows on me because I’m just not all that willing to put up with a lack of spacebar while I type long enough to send this back. Wow it’s loud in here!