I took a bite…

Apple Macbook Pro

Last week I broke a trend I never thought I would break. I had been using Ubuntu on my trusty HP G42 laptop for almost three years…and then I got a Mac. Last weekend was full of adventures trying to find a new laptop (was looking for an Ultrabook) for Ubuntu to live on. I bought and returned a Samsung Series 5 (I did know about the brick bug, but it was wireless that failed) and an Asus Vivobook S400 which also failed in the same area. I love Ubuntu, but I wanted a new laptop worse, one I could afford, and one I could get my hands on that weekend. I’m never too sure about ordering a laptop online. I have to meld with it, touch it, feel it. I had my mind on an Dell XPS 13″, but anything less than the developer edition wasn’t going to do.

After all my frustration with matching up hardware and software, I had my eyes on this Macbook Pro when I paid a visit to the local Apple Store. I had a desktop Mac once, and I always remember it being one of the most creative times of my life…and I bought it. I felt I would install Ubuntu on the hardware if I didn’t like using Mac OS X, but as of now I’m pretty happy with the old friend.

These are a few pluses I’ve found so far:

  • I could run the Canary version of Chrome
  • MacPorts has been sufficient enough to get open software to run on the Unix base
  • I’m back to XAMPP and I forgot how easy it was
  • Beautiful UI

But, other than that it’s basically been all about using OS X until I want to put Ubuntu on it, or need to, and so far I haven’t. But, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of just up and leaving the Linux/Ubuntu community.

 

Enable “tray-icons” in Ubuntu 12.10

Okay, I sort of did this by accident. But, I was trying to enable Pidgin (an instant messenger) the ability to notify using the “tray-icon,” and I did this:

  1. run dconf-editor
  2. open com -> canonical -> unity -> panel
  3. set systray-whitelist to “[‘all’]”

Which did this (notice tray-icons):

Screenshot from 2013-02-11 14:24:35

 

I’m not sure this is what I wanted, but thought I’d share.

Upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10, Ubuntu 12.10 Review

This week I decided to upgrade to the latest release of Ubuntu, 12.10. I had thought about using 12.04 LTS until the next LTS came out, but I was getting a little tired of random Compiz crashing, and I was just generally curious. Here is my review of some of the differences, experiences, and new things I found in 12.10 that mattered to me.

Setup

I started the install on my  HP G42-415DX with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics and 8GB of RAM.

Install

After backing up my home folder, I decided not to upgrade, but to just install fresh by electing to erase my hard drive and start fresh. The install was rather quick over a USB live install of 12.10. Once the install was over it booted, rather quickly I might add, into the login shell. I noticed that I could no longer select 2D when logging in (which I expected).

No restricted drivers, everything worked out of the box hardware wise. I will say that this install was the best ever using Ubuntu.

Performance

The default video drivers performed perfect and I haven’t touched them. I did find Unity much slower than 12.04, but it seems to help to remove some of the lenses, but it’s still slower than 12.04. Other than that everything has performed pretty much the same. I did find the video to be much snappier and responsive, less static and flashes too. Dual displays worked great!

Visual Differences

Tabs were re-done to appear much nicer and buttons are smaller. The notification area has been made simpler, if there is only one user the user-switcher does not show up. The launcher works crisper and animations seem to be a lot better. In 12.04 I was always frustrated with it’s usability and notifications. In 12.10, when a notification is thrown, it properly pops out the icon so you notice.

Otherwise it’s pretty much the same. Unity has square highlights vs rounded highlights too.

Applications

Empathy got a good work-over and I feel it looks a lot better. Online accounts (which Empathy uses) is in the Settings panel. Gwibber does not work at all. The notification applet also always shows you as offline.

The best part is that ALT-TAB does not fold tabs in Chrome. This was really annoying in 12.04 as I had to ALT-TAB through each tab in Chrome.

Overall

If you are wondering if 12.10 is worth it, I would suggest it is. The removal of restricted drivers and more “just working” makes it a great release.  But, as always, your hardware setup will always change things. I’m glad I upgraded.