Sam and me

Yes, I’ve seen the article by Sam Varghese about the Ubuntu 11.04 beta. Thanks to the two or three folks who sent the link.

It’s not a particularly ringing endorsement. But neither is it particularly precise in its criticisms. It seems Sam has two or three gripes about the beta, and lumped them all together in one muddy package.

I’ll probably do the same, albeit with different gripes.

Right now it’s time for me to admit I’m not an Ubuntu user. I gave it many years of my early Linux life, but my goals and its path diverged, and I seek a different direction now. So be it.

But I’m not wholly in Sam’s camp either. I did use 10.10 for three or four days this week, in order to try out Azulejo. Ten-ten didn’t irritate me to any degree, although it does seem a little too automated at times. ;)

I’ve tried the 11.04 beta in its live version, but haven’t installed it. I really didn’t care for it — with the “strongly dislike” inflection — and probably won’t be visiting Ubuntu for a while to come.

I can agree with Sam that it feels like a cellphone interface but more than that, it’s just unintuitive for me. I don’t want my computer to behave like a cellphone, I want it to behave like a computer.

And as I’ve mentioned before, Ubuntu is pushing to carve out a niche as the Facebookendsterwitterspace operating system, which I find disappointing.

All of those things are swirling about and making Ubuntu’s direction less and less appealing. So perhaps Sam and I have that in common.

Ultimately I have to come to the same conclusion as he does — that someone out there will find this to be the greatest thing since sliced cheese, and cleave to it instantly.

I applaud that, even if I don’t join the group hug. Ubuntu’s gone far off the course it introduced to me, five years ago, but that’s no surprise. It will appeal to some, and their way is the right way. Selah.

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13 Responses to “Sam and me”


  1. 1 Laughing Gnome 2011/04/09 at 10:47 AM

    Well Unity suck!

    Using the latest beta here and it freezes everytime I login, so have to default back to Gnome Classic to get any kind of desktop. The laptop I’m using is only three years old and Ubuntu fails – looks like Ubuntu is making computers obsolete faster than Windows does, nice one.

    Gnome Shell has worked on every machine I’ve tried it on so far – Gnome 1, Unity 0.

    Guess the old farts like me may stick to the traditional style desktop for a while, at least while Gnome Shell irons out bugs and matures a bit.

    Perhaps Mint will win out as they seem to be keeping the traditional desktop and moving further away from Ubuntu with each release it seems.

    I’ve nothing against Ubuntu, they have pushed Linux into the modern world (whether you like that or not) and have no doubt made many converts from the Windows world but this latest offering looks like a toy compared with previous releases and it might lose them users…

    • 2 imgx64 2011/04/09 at 12:31 PM

      The truth is, change _always_ sucks. People hate change, period. Why do most people still use Windows? They don’t want change.

      The hate Unity and Gnome Shell are getting is because of the change from “panel” to “dock”, and from menu (Start-Menu-like) to launcher (search-based). People think launchers look like cell phone menus because they browse the menu looking for the program they want to run, instead of just typing its name then pressing Enter (which is much faster).

      I find it odd that you prefer “traditional style desktop” and yet like Gnome Shell. Gnome Shell is a huge departure from traditional desktops, much more than Unity anyway. I’m interested in knowing what you like about it.

      • 3 Laughing Gnome 2011/04/09 at 3:16 PM

        I like the traditional style mainly because its been a standard for many years (and a few more to come) and I’ve used it since I began using GUI based environments back in the mid 90′s although my computer use stems back to the late 1970′s.

        Having said that I don’t mind change – I’ve seen enough in 30 years!

        Gnome Shell, as I have said, just seems to work for me whereas Unity has been nothing but pain. I just prefer the look and feel of Gnome Shell even though I think it could be better and no doubt it will be in time. The Gnome team seems to have done a lot of housekeeping on the core system as I have heard quite a few say Gnome Shell runs lighter than Gnome 2.x – cant comment on this as I’ve not looked into it on my systems.

        Anyway, it’s my preference and what I like maybe not to others taste’s. I think it’s going to be a very interesting time seeing what happens to the traditional taskbar v Unity v Gnome Shell.

        For myself, Ubuntu has gone out the window now – it’s chosen a set path and it seems maybe I’m not one of it target audience so I will wait and see what options are presented when I come to reloading Linux on my main PC.

        At least I have the option to build my Linux system using any distro as a base and maybe go for my favorite Openbox WM – who knows!

      • 4 cwsnyder 2011/04/17 at 4:18 AM

        To me, a dock is OK, but a launcher is a step back to CLI (or even DOS) from the GUI menu thinking. If you really want the GUI methodology, you should program hot-keys to pop your favorite application instead of a launcher.

        My $0.02, Ubuntu 11.04 bombs on my desktop with a 128M nVidia GeForce 6200, although it works with an ATI Radeon Express 200 motherboard video.

  2. 5 shipAhoy 2011/04/09 at 11:35 AM

    My 2 cents.
    Not too long ago I jumped off the window ship. Landed in ubuntu’s courtyard. Jumped off to mint. I’m now back to ubuntu, kubuntu to be more precise.

    I don’t shy away from the cli, but after years of wrestling with system stuff, I’m turning into a ‘user’. As a user, I find it appalling what’s happening in the linux world. Methinks they’ve all gone stark raving mad. Yep the whole lot. They’re doing crazy stuff on the desktop, even the kernel works have gone by the wayside. They’ve released 2.6.38 and whenever I boot a distribution with 2.6.38 I’m greeted with a black screen.

    Apparently one person tried 2.6.38′s graphics routine on an hp netbook, and that was all to give it a blessing.

    Ever since apple brought a fancy phone an a toy tablet on the scene everybody is rushing to transform the landscape into tablets and iphones.

    I hope that in a not so distant future we see linux come to its senses and shrug off today’s vagaries.

    my 2 cents.

  3. 6 Charles Norrie 2011/04/09 at 1:49 PM

    I find Narwhal a dream. It boots so fast. I’ve had a little problems with keys disappearing occasionally and one saving of an unreadable file in Libreoffice. And the wireless doesn’t work, But in didn’t in MM.

    Annoying but liveable with.

    It’s going to be very very good.

    Why doesn’t Gates simply badge up OO as “Windows Final” and get back to his charity work, leaving computing to professionals and not garage hackers”

  4. 7 linuxbakkie 2011/04/09 at 3:29 PM

    Quote: “I don’t want my computer to behave like a cellphone, I want it to behave like a computer.”

    That was the first thing on my mind when I saw Unity.
    When I installed this something like this could happen ;)
    My Daughter: ´Dad, I can’t call my boyfriend!’
    I: Listen girl, how many times do I have to tell you that that thing is actually the computer?

    I´ll recommend Xubuntu 11.04 for the Ubuntu users who don’t like Unity. It looks a bit like the old version with less bloat.

    • 8 Laughing Gnome 2011/04/09 at 4:11 PM

      Yeah, Xubuntu 11.04 looks a good choice as its got the latest version of XFCE and from what I hear, has been put on a memory/cpu diet – which is always good!

      • 9 linuxbakkie 2011/04/09 at 5:48 PM

        That’s true. Some programs are removed or replaced by lighter programs, for example: No Open/Libre Office, just Abiword and Gnumeric.

  5. 10 Ronnie 2011/04/10 at 3:52 AM

    I tried to run Unity a few times on my netbook but it always had some type of issues during install. On my laptop, it loaded but it was too cellphonish as others have stated. I finally gave up on Ubuntu and moved to Arch and have never been happier. I use Openbox for my Window manager and love it’s simplicity. However, it does require some manual editing.


  1. 1 Links 10/4/2011: GNOME 3 Still Dominates the News | Techrights Trackback on 2011/04/11 at 6:44 AM
  2. 2 The other *buntus « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/04/17 at 10:03 PM
  3. 3 RIP, Dapper Drake « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/05/03 at 6:20 PM

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