A boring rant

G'day all!

I have a shiny new computer.  It has red and blue LEDs inside it.  Ooh err.  It should be very fast and should last me a while - my laptop lasted nearly five years and still would work if you could get the fan controller to behave.

DH installed our favoured operating system on the new machine and umm, well, let's just say I am very,





disappointed in the user experience so far.  There's been two new iterations of the system since I tried to upgrade the OS in my laptop.  I've been running ubuntu, btw.

I don't know if it is my system is not linux friendly (or more specifically ubuntu friendly) but I can't make it do basic things like set up the mouse buttons to do what I want to.  I can't pin programs to the task bar (that we had to reinstall because their new idea about taskbars is show all the programs in a bar on the left of the screen).  I can't configure anything on the system except for the background, whether I want a dark or a light taskbar, and whether I want a left or right handed mouse.  I am not using Unity, the new ubuntu window manager/user experience as DH installed gnome for me - it is the window manager that I am used to but it seems half busted.

Quite frankly, my user experience so far has been so very very very bad that it is making Windows 8 look like a real option.  And that annoys me greatly because I like running a different system, I like not having to worry heaps about downloading a virus and screwing the whole thing up, I liked how I could make the user experience the way I wanted to.

I've been mucking around for hours and I still can't get some nice little things that I used to like up and running.  I've installed things... I keep logging out and in again because that should make the new installations work.  I am so very very peeved with this.  Why did they have to go and ruin ubuntu?

Why do user experience designers have this need to foist their ideas about how we want to interact with the computer on us and lock things down so tightly that you have to be a guru to make things work the way you want to, the way you are used to.  WHO CARES if it makes the task bar messy?  (The UX designer, obviously.)

One of our friends used to work for Canonical, the creators/developers/maintainers of ubuntu, but he got out six months ago and joined DH at Amazon.  Just as well because he would never hear the end of my whining about this craptastic, locked down operating system.  I thought the whole idea of linux was computing your way, not some way that some user experience designer thinks it should be.

I can do sooooo much more on the work laptop to customise the desktop the way I want it to be.  It runs Windows 7.  I could do sooo much more even on the locked down machine that I had at AXA (Windows XP) - I could not install programs but I could alter the look and feel to be what I wanted.

Ah well, it is all a learning experience.  I am sure we will figure things out sooner or later, or I'll just learn to deal without my favourite application.  Yes I can look it up online but you have no idea how easy it was to check things just by looking at the top task bar - oh, it's 38C in Melbourne, it's 6C in Seattle, it's 25 in Sydney, 13C in Fort Collins, all without having to click on anything or hide all the windows covering the background....  Such a simple little thing and gone.  I've found ways to get it going again but they just don't seem to work on my machine, the app doesn't seem to be updated any longer and I'm wondering if Canonical is actively trying to stop people doing such things and ruining the clean look of the system.

I am almost annoyed enough to fire off an email to the guy who runs Canoncial, only I don't know what his email address is.  They want people like me to use Ubuntu so why on earth do they make it so flipping hard?

Rant over.  For the moment.  I've still got plenty of rant all pent up but I should talk about much more interesting things, like some recent experiences.

For those who got this far, here's a pretty picture of some Fall leaves.  The liquidambars/sweet gums are pretty much the last to go and they are going in droves now.

Glorious fallen leaves



  1. if you want the old experience you are used with, use instead Linux Mint with the MATE interface, it has a "classic" GNOME 2 look and feel and is still an Ubuntu derivative - http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

  2. I'm the most uncomputery person, it all goes over my head... I hope it all get worked soon. Loving those leaves, looks as though you are having a beautiful colourful fall there.

  3. Why dont you like Windows? Its in all reality all I know so comfortable with it,looking forward to the new Windows 8 Pad or tablet when it arrives,I really need something easy to carry so I can do my uni work/study on the run so to speak and am hoping Ill have one before Easter. Most of what Ive seen so far are too slow dont store enough or come with the necessary programmes ie Professional Home and office,are set up for people who dont know their way around a computor or locked into buying from THAT source,ei Apple


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