Re: Brief thoughts on Unity

On Sun, 2011-06-12 at 09:54 -0700, MR ZenWiz wrote:
I recently acquired a laptop and put Natty on it as an experiment.

At first, the 64-bit CD wouldn't boot, so I tried the 32-bit CD. When
that came up, I re-tried the 64-bit CD and this time it worked. (Huh?
Oh well....)

The first time I brought Natty up, it refused to run Unity because it
said the video wouldn't support it. It's an NVidia 4600 I think (not
looking right now - foo), but I figured the latest proprietary driver
would probably fix that, and it did.

After about 30-seconds or so poking around the Unity interface, I came
to dislike it intensely. It is not configurable, I have no control
over the panels or the dock (dashboard?), and I'm stuck with a reduced
size screen that I find offensive - laptops screens are small enough
that the thick bars for the dashboard just eat way too much horizontal
space, and I don't even use top panels on my desktop with the 25"
screen - I like my vertical space in a widescreen format. I switched
back to GNOME and am already much happier with it.

However, I have been in this business for over 31 years now and I have
this thing about being in control of my computer, not it in control of
me. Even when I was running MSDOS, I used the 4DOS shell because it
let me do things that MSDOS couldn't. I waited until Windows 98 came
out before I tried 95, and I fought with Windows for control of my
machine for ages. As you all probably know, that's a war you can't
win, so when I jumped to CentOS and more recently Ubuntu, my issues
were resolved. (The ones I couldn't resolve right away I dug into
until I could. It's in the nature of my beast.)

So, while Unity might be a flashy, attractive (except I hate the
colors, too, and I didn't see how to change them, either - in fact, I
don't much care for any of the "stock" themes because I like genuine
blue colors, not all that grayed in stuff) and fancy new interface for
netbooks and new users, I'll stick with GNOME 2 until something better
comes along. (I've had my battles with KDE, too, and it's sort of
like the vi-emacs religious war - I like one and not the other, and no
one's going to change my mind on that unless I see an advantage in

Unity has features that might lure in some Windows users and some MAC
users, but it is far from the complete, fully-implemented,
developer-friendly universe that GNOME and KDE provide. (FTR, I tried
xcf (?) once and didn't like it at all - small yes but way too
underpowered for me.) I still enjoy the power of the command line
interface, so having configurable terminal windows that start up in
the size I want (without having to massage them after startup) is also
important to me.

That's my $0.02. No need to argue anything - others will agree or
not, and that's fine.


Having persevered with Unity I am now OK with it, although I do have a
few issue with it.

There is quite a bit of configuration that you can do, and there are
lots of keyboard short cuts which make for slick operating.
Unfortunately, it is not well documented yet, but there are discussions
about how to tackle that problem.

Here are some links that may help you to understand Unity better,

and a video

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