Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal 12.10 with an old-timey Mario wallpaper.

So I did it.

I went back to Ubuntu after a two-month long foray into Linux Mint.  I did like Linux Mint, but there were some small niggles that I could not wrap my head around.  Anyway, I’d gotten used to Unity and the way things were handled in the shell.  I like many of the programs that are included by default in both Ubuntu and Mint, but I think that Ubuntu is a better fit for me at this time, although Mint has come a long way.

What bugged me about Mint partly was its release schedule.  They adhered to a “when it’s done, it’s done” model, and I tend to like a specific date of release so I can anticipate it and participate in the beta and release candidates.  Mint doesn’t seem to have this.

Anyway, I had to do some modifications, as usual, to get my desktop the way I wanted it.  Namely, it involved installing Gimp, Banshee, Spotify, Pithos, VLC, gpodder, Chromium, Dropbox, NixNote, Pidgin, and the restricted-extras packages.

There’s something about Ubuntu and Unity that keeps bringing me back, and I’m not sure what it is.  Simplicity?  Community?  Speed?  Good design?  I don’t know, but Ubuntu was my first distro and I tend to like it regardless of what it does.  I don’t particularly like the shopping lens, but I think with the outcry from the community, they will be scaling that back quite a bit in the next version, which is a great thing.

Anyway, if I want a more “Mint” experience, I can install Cinnamon, which I had installed before I went to Mint.  I think I’ll install it again; it was a good desktop.

Multiple Monitors, and Why I’m Going Back to One Screen (for Now)

I’m reading this article on Lifehacker about different devices and distraction.

The ultra-long title to my post probably gives the reader an idea of what I’m writing about… I’ve moved my second monitor to the basement (again) and have gone back to a single screen.

Granted, I use 4 desktops on Ubuntu (and a single one on Windows7) because I feel like I focus better. I can shuttle all my dstracting stuff off to another desktop and it won’t be as distracting to me (other than the popups for messaging and gwibber) as when it was easily seen over on the second monitor.

The biggest thing I’ll be missing is the ability to watch movies/video podcasts on the second monitor when I’m working on something (blogging/processing email/membership for Theta Phi/etc), but it’s fine, because I feel like I can focus on my main task, and I can have my music and podcasts on a different desktop. I’d rather prefer to have video on the television that’s directly behind me instead of having it right next to me. I can listen to television or Netflix without the second monitor.

Another plus to this setup is that I have more desk space. I can put my books and netbook on the small file cabinet I have for my miscellaneous “stuff” that doesn’t fit on my desk (I have no drawers in this desk). This leaves the whole right side of the desk for things I need to look at to type, or write longhand.

Simple. We’ll see how long it lasts before I get the extra monitor out again.