Saturday, April 7, 2012

Looking forward to Ubuntu Linux 12.04

Remember being a small child on Christmas morning?  I know that not everyone had that experience but it always surprised me because I was obedient so I never found the gifts ahead of time.  Surprises are many times a good thing.

A few releases ago, the Canonical people decided to go their own way and cover up GNOME by putting their own desktop, Unity, out front.  It has been a somewhat painful transition for me.  I liked GNOME for its simplicity (as opposed to KDE or Windows), although it might have been too simple at times.  It reminded me of the earlier days of graphical user interfaces, when GEM and Macintosh ruled in the mid to late-1980s.

I don't use Unity every day, unfortunately.  Being forced to use something, you're much better at it, of course.  I spend most of my time in Mac OS X, which is a love-hate relationship.  I'm not a fanatic of any operating system by any means, but it's been almost 12 years since the public beta test of Mac OS X and it doesn't feel any more usable.  Some days, it's just downright unfriendly and I wish I had an alternative.

I've been using Ubuntu since 07.04.  It started as an experiment to see what the Linux fanatics were saying was better than anything else.  Well, unfortunately, it wasn't better then, and it was not all that good at all.  The installations would leave a few things to be figured out by the end user.  Grandma wouldn't have been happy when she couldn't get an internet connection.  Linux would have been perfect for the grandmas of the world who only used a web browser, e-mail, and the occasional letter writing application.

I think the 10.04 was the first release that seemed good for grandma.  Now, with Unity, are things better for her?  I think if I'd switched her machine, she'd be cursing me.  My mum was that kind of person.  She'd say "I hate that !@#$ computer!" quite frequently.  My uncle gave her a laptop computer as a gift and she gave it back the next year.

In any case, I'm looking forward to what the next Ubuntu distribution will bring.  I haven't been checking the website regularly, so it will be like a Christmas morning surprise.  I'd really like to switch, though I have paid software that I'd rather would run on my machine instead of using something that looks as though someone was testing it.  I won't give my photography to a half-baked application.  I can't sell it if it's not the highest image quality I can provide.  I saw that Corel was providing an application but their software quality isn't exactly high.

Here's to an interesting Ubuntu 12.04 release.  I hope they find new friends to install it.

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