May 7, 2011

What's on your desktop? (Part Deux)

Well, it's the seventh day of May 2011. A week ago Ubuntu 9.10 reached the end of its life (as far as any support from Canonical is concerned) so I downloaded the new Ubuntu 11.04 and tried it out on my laptop.

Basically it's no different to any other version of Ubuntu Linux as long as you don't use the Unity desktop which everybody seems to be moaning about but which wouldn't even work on my computer in the first place. If you just choose "Ubuntu Classic" from the log-in screen then it all looks just the same. I also added the Xfce desktop because its about 100 times faster and I can play games better without the desktop itself hogging all the resources.

The only problems I had were the usual ones. The Plymouth boot screen didn't appear correctly (or at all!) and it took several reboots to get the background wallpaper to change. I had the same problems with 10.04 and 10.10 so, after trying them out for about a week, I ended up putting Windows XP back on my laptop.

As far as new applications go, OpenOffice is now called LibreOffice and Firefox 4 is the default browser. So, having checked Ubuntu 11.04 out on my laptop, I decided to not even bother upgrading my desktop computer at all. I already have Firefox 4 though it's called Minefield (4.0b13pre 3-22-2011) on my version of Ubuntu 9.10 and I'm quite happy with OpenOffice 3.1 especially as I rarely use it.

Anyway, since I'm keeping Ubuntu 9.10 on my desktop, I just thought I'd post a screencap of it (above) to mark this moment. I'm not upgrading to another version of Linux on my main computer until something goes drastically and irrecoverably wrong. Since I've had Ubuntu 9.10 working perfectly since, well, October 2009 (obviously), I can vouch for it being the best operating system I've ever used.

I can use Microsoft Word and Excel (using Crossover), scan things with Xsane, burn DVDs and CDs with DeVeDe and Brasero, watch my horror movies with VLC player and Mplayer, do all my graphics with GIMP, as well as use a multitude of MP3 players. I also have a couple of hundred free games which are just as good as anything you'd buy. I love Ubuntu 9.10!

The only thing I can't do with Ubuntu (or any form of Linux for that matter) is watch streaming Netflix movies. Maybe one day they'll give in and write the code for something that isn't just for Windows or Intel Macs especially as the Roku box is Linux based anyway. If Netflix can already stream to Blu-ray players, X-boxes, Playstations, and Wii consoles, it's stupid of them to leave Linux users out.

By the way, my desktop computer is an Acer AM1100-B1410A which I bought new from Wal-Mart in 2008. It came with Windows Vista (which was horrible) but it's also had Windows XP and Windows 7 on it briefly. Any OS which needs to have a ton of bloated anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software installed on it (with dozens of programs which all need to be updated individually) is just not for me.

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