Thoughts on Sabayon Gnome 5.3

Posted in Sabayon by jwilliams on August 25, 2010

After having a horrible experience with certain distribution  (maybe the version number didn’t help much) I was desperate to install anything else, so it was either Ubuntu 9.04, which I remember left me quite pleased plus it is still maintained and it should have got better with age, or Sabayon 5.3 Gnome. I was going to install PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome Zenmini but Fed…. the distro I was using couldn’t even burn a cd properly.  I gave the buring process a second chance with Ubuntu 9.04 but this time the drive wouldn’t even get recognized. So I opted for Sabayon with unetbootin, which luckily it worked. (more…)

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Posted in Windows by jwilliams on June 27, 2010

So i’ve been using Windows 7 for a couple of months now, I was forced to do so for certain software. I have developed a wow/crap relationship with it.

The thing is elegant. From the flawless boot sequence to the loading of a user session. It is decently elegant all through the system. It boots and logs in pretty fast on a 2.53 dual core and 4gb ram plus It is responsive and stable.

I like the dock, especially with big icons.  Consistency on the notification area is achieved. I appreciate that they made the show desktop button that way, it’s exactly how I would have done it. The contextual menu and the progress bar on dock items is an opening to new functionality that was not exploited before. This will probably kill the notification area pests.

Although I find myself opening the main menu quite often I think it’s because I’m kinda forced due to the bad usability design. I don’t like the main menu concept at all, although this one is quite a decent one it’s still crap. I don’t know why having the most recent applications when you have a dock, the point of most recent applications is to have a list showing applications that are the most relevant to you, and that’s exactly what the dock does. The dark menu on the right is a non configurable waste of space, there should be an option called “Disable retarded links”. Windows fails at listing available applications, showing folders just doesn’t feel right. I like the search bar, first because it’s of quick access, just pressing the windows key, it delivers good results and opens the first application in the list by pressing enter. Unfortunately it is bloated. I like the arrows showing recent documents processed by an application. I think the shutdown button is well placed but there’s something odd about it.

I like snipping tool, im not amazed that is has it though, I expect something similar from any desktop environment that hints to be friendly.

I feel naked when on Windows I had to look for links that weren’t dead to get my software, basic software like a rar extractor, pdf reader, a decent media player  and browser. I didn’t install MS Office, I rather use Google Docs or OpenOffice if I had to. Even though I tried hard not to I ended up giving up to the Adobe patch. Hunting software gets old fast. Installing software in Windows is not friendly, every install requires the user to go usually through a step process making him take trivial decisions like installing icons mixed with options that if not disabled installs unwanted software into the system. Repository based systems definitely excel in this area.

Something that sucks is the obligation to mess with compatibility settings when running certain software. They made this horrible compatibility mess and they want the users to cover it by making them do random compatibility variations hoping one of them works.

Their file explorer is quite decent, unfortunately it’s not flexible at all and it just never feels proper.

Pardus 2009.1 Review

Posted in Pardus by jwilliams on February 4, 2010

Having tried the Pardus 2009 review, I was excited to try this upgrade (2009.1) since the previous one simply blew me away. They make this 2009.1 version on the year 2010 which is kind of odd, but I guess the changes were not worthy enough to make it a whole new version, or it was probably intended to come out a bit earlier.

Pardus is the official operating system of Turkey, and it is sponsored by the turkish government. It was made from scratch, that is, it is not based on another distribution like Debian or Slackware, which of course demands a lot of more work but it gives more freedom to customize it on every aspect desired. I wonder how those Turkish geeks managed to get the funding because as you will see later on, the result is remarkable, turks really know their Linux. (more…)

Linux Mint 8 Helena Review

Posted in Linux Mint by jwilliams on January 30, 2010

Today I testdrived Linux Mint 8 Helena, an Ubuntu-based distribution led by Clem Lefebvre and his team. This Mint edition is based off Ubuntu 9.10, they usually release a Mint version some months after an Ubuntu release so they can fix bugs and customize the distro as much as they can, usually turning up quite polished and stable. (more…)