Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 - The Flame Wars

I think this is an interesting enough topic to warrant its own thread. At least for the Linux computing geeks.

Pete said in the last comments section:
This is somewhat off topic, but have you loaded Ubuntu 11.04, yet, Jason? If so what are your impressions of Unity. I'm on Kubuntu 11.04 right now. Unity looked like it would be non-functional w/o Compiz. Compiz messes with other OpenGL processes like Blender, so I don't use it.
Ubuntu 11.04 and the inclusion of Unity as the default shell seems to have got some people's blood boiling. For my part I am still tinkering and rather inconclusive with the whole desktop environment developments lately for Linux.

I have been staying with long-term service releases for my desktop computer for quite awhile now in the interest of stability. My wife has Ubuntu 10.10 on her workhorse laptop only because it was new and had some driver issues with older releases. I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 on my netbook just to try the new iteration of Unity out.

My two cents so far: Mostly wait and see. Unity works sufficiently on a netbook computer with a small screen and has very attractive eye candy. The concept overall is good, but the implementation of inner menu structures (the application lens) is muddled and frustrating at best, if not downright fricking useless. Work-flow issues seem to have become filled with extra clicking and slow loading times. I would like to believe all these things will be worked out before the next release or at least before the next LTS a year from now, based solely on my past experience with Ubuntu and Canonical in the last five years. I applaud the move to Banshee and Libre Office as default applications for music and documents respectively. Nonetheless, I could not recommend 11.04 and Unity for big screens or primary work computers.

I have yet to tinker with other options but I am curious how GNOME 3 is shaping up. I find XFCE a bit clunky and counter-intuitive, and the tiny bit I have looked at KDE it was simply opaque and mysterious. I doubt I will have the time in the near future to muck around with something totally new like a different Linux distribution.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with GNOME 2 for the win!

I have been spending some time reading reviews of all the various options but cyberspace seems to be filled mostly with righteous techie outrage right now due to the changes, or measured fan-boy defences of the decision making going on in the background. One reviewer summed up Unity as a netbook platform and GNOME shell as a mobile phone interface, while all end users lose from the jostling for prominence.

Who knows . . . the "Linux Community" freaked out when KDE 4 came out. Most people did not even notice, and those that did seem to be working along with the changes just fine.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trading Pop Art Like Baseball Cards

Another large image by Warhol, a “Self Portrait” in four parts, triggered the other epic bidding match of the day. Dated 1964, it established the auction record for any Warhol self-portrait at $38.44 million.
This article is written as if the journalist of the New York Times needs to stick their head in a paper bag to avoid hyper ventilating.