Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ubuntu on unity: is this the end?! NO!! Ubuntu Studio saves the day.

I've been using Linux ever since I was forced to use PC hardware on my everyday job, against my platform of election - The Commodore Amiga.
I started my PC experience with the 286 and then my father brought me an IBM PS2 386 SX, hopping I would drop the brilliant Amiga against the DOS and clumsy windows 3.0....it didn't work! I used the PC for the works at school (mostly programming), and the Amiga for just about everything else from programming  to music producing, to video editing to the simple spreadsheet and word processing.
Even when I was studying engineering, I was forced to use the AUTOCAD 12 under MSDOS...but I still used XCAD on the Amiga for the drawings, Lightwave 3D for animation and 3D, and sometimes I even played with Real3D for some very very awesome renderings of my mechanical parts.

When I started working, back in 1997, the Amiga was loosing strength (because of poor visioned management that rotted the corporation for years), and I was running out of time to work 2 different systems constantly. By then Windows NT3.5 and latter the NT4.0 were the poor mans workstation standard, while Sun sparcs ran Solaris and Serious HP workstations ran HPUX.
I had training in UNIX, but it was just impossible to have both a UNIX station and a Windows station back home, so since most of our clients were Windows based, I had to opt for the NT...hell, I even got certified (not something I usually tell people, not by the fact that's a Microsoft certification, but rather not to be confused with today's "Microsoft Certified Professionals"...back then a Microsoft certification was hard to get and implied real knowledge, instead of just good memory for brain-dump).

Still, was constantly amazed with the increasing hardware power,  while the results were so damn poor comparing to my good old Amiga... and I was not even comparing my A4000-030, I talk about the 80's  A500 running a 7mhz 16bit CPU on 512Kbs of ram.

It wasn't until 1999 that I got enough money to have several computers at home, and the office allowed me to have a laptop, so my work could be on the laptop and use my home machines for exploring other O.S. solutions. Back then Linux was not much easier than a Unix, and far from as productive as an Amiga... but at least it was hardware resource sensible and very fast.

Linux grew in time... lot's of distributions passed and I tried them as I searched for a good Linux. I tried RedHat, TurboLinux, Mandrake and of course Debian, making this last one my preferred one.
Ever since Ubuntu popped in the scene with REAL improvement on user desktop experience (and I'm talking about 6.04LTS), I decided to stick with Ubuntu and Debian alone. If the Hardware was too picky, I would go for Debian, and if I was running on state of the art hardware specs, Ubuntu (with it's constant updates) would be the choice.
For the last years I've been using Ubuntu Studio 9.10 64 on my HP Compaq 8510p laptop, and I've used the same on my home AMD 5000+ Workstation, however problems with the support for Vmware  workstation 6 and 7 on Debian based Linux (especially with the compilation of network kernel modules) made me constantly try new kernels, and that led me to the post title.

On one of those Updates, the Ubuntu Studio 11 (if not mistaken) I found my self out of Gnome and into (if I'm not mistaken) XFce... and I really don't like KDE nor Xfce (or I thought I didn't). So I decided to re-install with Ubuntu and then manually install all the other packages from Ubuntu Studio....boy was I on for a surprise. Ubuntu had been defaced into that thing called unity. These's something very wrong about today's Ubuntu Unity and Windows 8! If I want a PAD, I buy one and run the Debian based Android on it!!!! Why would I want that interface on my workstation?!?!
The pity thing is that the kernel is much better and faster (same thing as in windows 8... a much much better kernel on a bad interface), so the Unity interface is just a way to let you...NOT enjoy it and move away to the always reliable and good old DEBIAN. Like I did!

I've been very very disappointed with today's Ubunty Unity, and I understood why would Ubuntu Studio move away from Gnome to a XFce like environment, however, I decided to recheck Ubuntu Studio on the 12.10 version. FINALLY, Ubuntu's good old "Gnome-like" desktop running on the brand new super fast kernel.

So to conclude, If you used to like Ubuntu and feel disappointed (ultimately moving to Mint Linux...as I would if they drop that sick green), try the brilliant Ubuntu Studio 64 12.10... and find your self back into the Desktop Experience Linux game...and you know what? That brilliant Gnome like desktop...is actually Xfce4 :s. Seems like that, while Gnome is getting worse with unity, Xfce found it's way through.

This is a good example for some of you readers queering me about my anti-Microsoft pro-Linux tendencies. I'm not against Microsoft... I actually love, use and teach how to use some of their products....at the same time, I'm not a blind Linux lover.
If I like a product, than I like and write about it; If I don't... well I just don't and write about it.