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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Ubuntu - First Impressions from OpenSuse

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 13:50:10 -0400

I've used OpenSuse for years.  Actually, for decades.  But a couple of issues
recently pushed me to switch to Ubuntu.  Neither is terrible - I guess maybe I
just wanted to try something new.

The first problem was the lack of a decent IDE for C.  I typically use
Intellij Idea, but their C plugin is dead.  And when I try to use Eclipse I
end up wasting hours trying tomake it legible (it picks up some settings from
KDE, but not all, and since my KDE is light-on-dark the result is unreadable;
using a theme fixes some further issues, but not all).  So I was thinking
maybe I should switch to Gnome.

Second, I was looking forwards to the next release of OpenSuse, because
hibernate was broken (perhaps my own fault for trying to install a different
kernel).  But that has been delayed.

So, whatever the reason, I installed Ubuntu on my laptop this weekend.  And
here are some first impressions...

The install process was worse than OpenSuse.  Maybe I did it wrong, but even
with the "alternative" installer (which uses a curses interface) it couldn't
read my existing LVM encrypted config.  And configuring a new one was tedious
and inflexible.  And the installer didn't include firmware for my wifi
(although the final install does).

Once running, it feels "more like a mac".  There's a top-of-the-screen menu
bar, for example, and something vaguely like a "dock" (a cross between start
menu and task list).  And things look, I think, a little more attractive.  I
particularly like the Ubuntu font (although it doesn't go as small, legibly,
as schumacher clean, which is an issue on a small laptop display).

Part of the mac-like (more "user friendly") approach is that software install
is fancier, and displays things that you can pay for.  It doesn't look to be
as powerful as Yast (which I think is pretty damn awesome), but it seems to
support as wide range of programs out of the box.

In general then, not a lot in it so far.  It feels more user-friendly, but
correspondingly less flexible.


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