Something about finals motivates me to ignore studying and tinker with my laptop instead.
I slapped Easy Peasy, a netbook optimized fork of Ubuntu, onto Ifrit immediately after getting her. (Yes, that’s the correct pronoun. No, I don’t know how that happened). I’ve never been happy with it. I hated the menu system it came with and got rid of that. The sound didn’t quite work out of the box. The sound had a tendency to stop working after being booted for a while. I wound up tricking out the interface with a panel on the left side to maximize my vertical window space, but it was ugly. I’d stripped so much out of the interface to maximize my screen space that anybody without keyboard short-cut navigation hardwired couldn’t navigate to check their email. Somewhere along the line it started to get unstable too, I think as a consequence of taking mainstream Ubuntu updates on a fork that wasn’t being maintained. That’s where I started.
Last night, when I should have been studying, I installed the netbook edition of Lucid Lynx onto Ifrit. The liveCD boot (from a 2GB flash drive) was not painfully slow to run. The partition editor is easier to read. The graphics are just lovely. And during the fifteen minutes it took to install there was an informative video showing off the new features Ubuntu offers. Some of them, like the syncing across machines, look very, very cool. I wound up watching the video when I should have been writing up my “Cheat Sheet.” (What kind of class gives you two pages to take notes on for the exam? Either it’s open book or it isn’t, sheesh) Then I rebooted.
Ifrit can run in the 3D session, but she’s a bit slow when she does. If I want to work on a computer with a lag I’ll go for the 42 inch screen and use Edmond. Everything is gorgeous and smooth in the 2d session.
This is the space where I normally take notes on what I tweaked so I can remember for passing along to Clarity or when I tinker again. This time around there are no notes to take. The only changes I’ve made were replacing the things I’d stripped out of the interface before because they fit now and I can have them without eating my entire screen. Flash installed from inside the Firefox plug-in search. Flash installed from inside the Firefox plug-in search. Also, smooth full screen playback of youtube videos. This has never existed before in my Linux universe.
Did I mention that the interface is gorgeous? Seriously, its like I’m using a Mac designed for grown-ups. I’m in love with Ifrit all over again.
Next I’m going to find out of the Chrome beta is more stable on this version of Ubuntu than it was on Easy Peasy because everything is fast enough now that I can tell Firefox is being slow.
I wish this OS had been the one on the early Linux versions of netbooks. Instead of reinforcing panic about scary scary open source OSes we’d be talking about Canonical nibbling away at Microsoft’s market share.