Some phrases should be culled

Posted on by Chris Warburton
Although ‘screen real estate’ is up there, the top dog must be ‘bling bling’. With that in mind I’ve been pimping my laptop in anticipation of the influx of potential new Free Software users in the form of the next academic year’s worth of firstyears. I am now running Ubuntu Gutsy, which overall seems to be following the less-dramatic-upgrade tendancy I’ve seen in Ubuntu (Breezy>Dapper was very pervasive, Dapper>Edgy seemed nice, Edgy>Feisty didn’t really seem worth it, Feisty>Gutsy? Dunno yet), but it means that along with working out how to get ATI’s crapware to ‘work’ I can run Compiz Fusion (using XGL, eww) which seems nice, although I really don’t like the ‘CompizConfig’ tool, it is in serious need of some UI lovin’ (who in their right mind would provide users an integer system for animations without telling them what animation each number corresponds to? Plus, the amount of conflicting stuff is annoying, like ‘minimise effect’ not being disabled when minimise/maximise animations are enabled).

I’ve installed E17 as well, which has changed a bit since I last played around with it. Although it has gained features on the whole the process of configuring the thing is a real mess. The ‘shelves’ idea is OK I guess, but as far as I can tell I can no longer use the modules as desktop widgets (strange, considering how other desktop systems are moving in the opposite direction) which would be a shame. Still, I have set up a new non-admin user called fss-test and set up a nice enlightenment configuration to use (although Amarok, Rhythmbox, MPD and Exaile all crash for that user :( Banshee seems to be OK so far (Banshee has become very nice recently too I have noticed!), but that’s what you get for using pre-release software). I wanted to have KDE4 running too, but the packages are pretty bare at the moment (Plasma is the main area I’m interested in but they only have 2 plasmoids in the vanilla setup, the rest of them living in the ‘playground’ directory in subversion, which I have tried unsuccessfully to compile).

Now that I know my own laptop will stand up well in the first-impression-critical world of the Freshers’ Fair I want to get other machines on board. I have asked my friend Heminder if I can borrow his laptop to demo stuff on and I think he agreed, I’m not sure. I’ll try and hunt down some more (perhaps James could pop along, since he is supposed to be a member and has Fedora installed on his laptop, making no live CD needed).

Oh well, time to get back to the real world and make sure my monetary hurdles are overcome.

PS: Must test Wii controller with my laptop, since demoing that would be awesome :)