Friday, April 1, 2016

Ubuntu 16.04 is out.

The new release of Ubuntu code-name 'Xenial Xerus' has reached beta stage and is out now, this is Ubuntu's 6th LTS release, which means 5 years of updates, bug fixes and support.
On board is a new software center, and many new improvements have been made under the hood.
This release is shipped with Unity 7 but word is said Unity 8 is also available as an alternative session (experimental, use at your own risk!)
Probably the most expected new feature (thanks mostly to the work of Marco Trevisan and the Ubuntu Kylin developers team) is the possibility to move the Unity launcher to the bottom, this has been the source of many discussions and debates all over the Internet, finally the developers have been merciful with us end users, kudos and thank you Canonical for a key change, i'm sure this move will make Unity more attractive to users of other desktop environments.

A gorgeous looking Unity at the bottom of the screen
Another improvement in Unity is the so-called 'Spyware' feature which make huge waves and made many users start looking for alternatives has been disabled, back then when the user searched his/her own files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop the system used to send that string back to Canonical's servers. Read here an article by Richard Stallman on this. Even though you could turn this feature off, users weren't happy to have such feature on their desktops (I was one of them)
In case you found this feature useful, don't panic! You can easily turn it back on, take a look below.

Go to Ubuntu Systems Settings > Privacy > Search and turn the slider back to 'on'
While it would be unfair to call Unity's search feature spyware and even worse, like some people did, compared it to windows 10 nagging, which in my own experience is much worse, this wasn't a good move from the developers, but they have positively reacted to the communities, again kudos and thanks Canonical.
With all this features together, being able to change Unity's position and many improvements under the hood, Ubuntu 16.04 makes an excellent release from my point of view, particularly from the LTS stability standpoint, give it a go and try it yourself, and feel free to leave a comment if you found this article helpful, happy testing!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

True, true...

Couldn't help but smile at this, 20 years ago you would walk around with a ghetto blaster and/or a Walkman with a backpack full of CDs/cassettes, camera (and a bunch of film+batteries!!) Books, notepad and a myriad more things, today the whole electronic world fits in your pocket.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Back online!

Well, after a turbulent year and a lot of personal changes i'm back! What a year, maybe i'll write a book about it sometime :-)
This time off brought a few goodies and testing platforms to play with! For the first time in my life i bought a brand spanking new notebook (specs will follow) I also got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a Samsung S II mobile phone, of course all this gadgets are running on code that didn't come from the factory, details will follow as well, i'll soon start posting the result of my experiments :-)
Nice to be back!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cinnamon a GNOME 2.x style desktop

This afternoon while searching for more information about this ACTA mess i came to a site featuring Linux Mint's new desktop interface codename 'Cinnamon', a Gnome 2 looking desktop built on top of Gnome 3.
Is this a step backwards? Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like the popular Gnome 2.x interface, but it’s built on top of the Gnome 3.x interface. 
How is that going to work? Time to ask mighty Google for enlightenment, the first images weren't that impressing but being a geek i couldn't say no to try a new window manager so i installed it on my Ubuntu 11.10 using this instructions.
After a couple of commands on the terminal and a few minutes i was ready to go, the first thing you notice is the clean desktop featuring only the bar on the bottom as you see in the picture.

Standard Cinnamon desktop.

Not impressed? well, neither was i to be honest, but as i started to poke around i quickly realized that it's actually pretty nice, fast, and well organised, the menu window is big and is neatly arranged, on the far left you have your favorite applications, in the middle the different software categories and by hovering the mouse over any of those categories you have on the far right the applications corresponding to that category.

Menu window

AND here's this particular thing that i love on G3: when you move the cursor to the top left corner you have an overview of all the open windows :-)

Overview of all open windows
This combination of old school G2 interface on top of the actual G3 is well made, practical, productive and very nice to work with. Clement Lefebvre, lead developer of Linux Mint and his team created Cinnamon because many people, including Linux’s father Linus Torvalds don't like the new Gnome 3.x interface.
Among the new features that the now official stable Cinnamon 1.2 includes are desktop effects, desktop layouts, a new configuration tool, and applets as well as a variety of bug fixes and other improvements.
Overall, many of the changes aim to reintroduce a level of customisability that numerous desktops have lost in recent years, Lefebvre said.
Cinnamon is available as a download for the mayor Linux distributions on their website.