Compiz has a lot of nice effects that are mostly useless and I wrote about it before. In my quest to find a work place without distraction compiz effects doesn’t really fit in. Even though examples of compiz effects can be used to demonstrate a superior desktop experience compare to other OS, in reality most of the effects don’t have any practical use other than, “It looks cool”. Few weeks ago when I read about the formation of a new Compiz Council, I was interested to give compiz another try and in the process I actually found some of the effects that actually enhances my desktop experience (unlike wobbly window) and be more productive. Here are five effects that I actually found useful:
1) Desktop Wall: If you work with many workspaces, this effect will give you a wide view of all your workspaces without having to visit each workspace to look for your application. In this screenshot you can see ten workspaces and the active workspace is highlighted:
Every week I read a new blog post giving 10 – 25 or even 100 reasons you should switch to Linux right now. I say bah humbug to them. If you need someone to give you 100 reasons to switch your current OS of choice, you are better of sticking with it. As someone who is literally forced to use windows for work-related task, use a Mac just because I have money to blow and runs an obscure Linux distro to prove my point about my anti conformist views; I know a thing or two about why you shouldn’t switch to Linux.
1) You shouldn’t switch to Linux because… you actually enjoy paying for an operating system that is so mired with bugs and issues that it shouldn’t be even released as an alpha build. What recession?
2) You shouldn’t switch to Linux because… change is always scary. Look at Obama, he scares the shit out of me. I voted for him but he always talks about change and change is always scary even if that change will make things better.
If you are like me, someone who is very anxious to try out the latest alpha/beta releases out there, you will be glad to know that upgrading from your current Ubuntu install to the latest Alpha release is just a command away:
sudo update-manager –d
But before you jump up and start upgrading your stable Ubuntu desktop, where you do most of your important stuff, to a buggy alpha release you should know that this upgrade will definitely break some stuff on an otherwise perfect desktop you had before the upgrade. There is a reason why they are labeled “alpha” releases. In my case my audio stopped working. You could always download the ISO and install it as a virtual machine with VirtualBox, but you probably won’t appreciate the beauty of notify-osd under a VM, which depends on Compiz for sleek effects.
I have dummy old Pentium 4 for my experiments with alpha releases.
Upgrading to Jaunty Alpha 5
New Log-in Screen. Source: softpedia
Enlightenment is perhaps the least known and the oldest Windows manager still being actively developed. KDE and Gnome (Desktop Environments) made their first release few years after Enlightenment had its first release way back in 1996. Enlightenment features an iconbar, which the “Dock” of OS X is based on, and is quite different from the traditional WM and DE that we are used to. The current version, E17, has been in development since 2000 with slow update cycles and perhaps one of the reason why it is not as widely adopted as other WM and DE out there. Earlier version of gOS was based on E16-17 (they moved to gnome). Elive, OpenGEU and Maryan Linux are three distribution that has Enlightenment installed by default.
Unfortunately the latest version of E17 installation is not very straight forward, the packages available at Debian and Ubuntu repositories are few years old. The best way to install E17 is through an installation script made by one of the developer of E17, which downloads and latest source and files from svn and compiles and installs everything needed to run E17. I had no problem, but use at your own risk.
Enlightenment is highly customizable and has a nice default look. The Enlightenment user base is very small compare to Gnome and KDE and there are not a lot of E17 themes out there, with that in mind here are eight beautiful E17 themes that really stands out from the rest.