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2011-06-25 Sat

Can I have a look at the menu, please?

Filed under: dator / computer — pl @ 22:40

I’ve installed, and switched to, Linux Mint.

Presently, I’m tripple-booting Windows XP, Ubuntu 11.04, and Linux Mint 11 “Katya”.
(The only reason for keeping Windows is to backup my Palm, as I haven’t had the energy to find a satisfying Linux-solution for it, and the only reason why I still want to be able to backup my Palm – despite of not using it as my primary smartphone anymore – is that I still haven’t found a satisfying replacement for HandyShopper. I’m still looking for a HandyShopper substitute that covers all my needs (which are not all grocery shopping related) though.)

I’ve been using Ubuntu as my main OS since (autumn 2007? 2008?). My first burned Ubuntu CD says Ubuntu 7.04, but I didn’t switch straight away.

So.
Autumn 2010 / Winter 2011.
Read about Ubuntu switching to Unity, and that it should resemble the netbook version.

April came, and then it was available for download.

Friday 29 May: Installed Ubuntu 11.04.
(to quote myself: “[Unity] makes me feel as if my LEGO’s have been replaced by Duplo’s“)
Gave Unity the weekend.

Continued to use Unity, but found info online about the ability to choose “Ubuntu Classic” at login.
Chose Ubuntu Classic.

 
Tried Unity some more, knowing that it would be the only option from Ubuntu 11.10, but got really frustrated about how stuff worked.

I’ve set it to “Select windows when the mouse moves over them”. Rather handy when you want to write things in one window, and be able to read-and-scroll in another window.
I also have a habit of not always maximizing my windows.
In Unity, there’s one menu bar for all windows. Up on top.
To go to the top bar, at the top of the screen, most of the times I passed another window.
Then the menu bar changed. To that other window.
“Rather” annoying.
(Just checked: If I move the pointer rather fast, I seem to be able to by-pass the “oh, there’s another window, let’s switch”-part.
Another option to access the menu bar is to just press-and-hold the Alt-button.)

If I move a window up to the top, and I’m not careful, it maximizes.
When I un-maximize it, it’s back at the place where I started dragging it from.
(repeat)
Annoying.

Most of the time I’ve got more than one window open.
I switch between them by clicking on them, or Alt-Tab:ing. Quite often (read: most of the time) though, I just click their corresponding icons on the bottom bar. That is especially handy when having more than one window open for the same program.
In Unity, there’s the left-hand bar.
If I maximize a window, the left-hand bar disappears. It comes back if I let the pointer linger in its place.
The left-hand bar has small arrows by the icons for the programs opened. If there’s more than one window opened for a certain program, there’s a double-arrow. If there’s three or more windows opened for a certain program, there’s a tripple-arrow.
I haven’t found a way to click-switch between multiple-windows-same-program windows, or to fast-choose a specific multiple-windows-same-program window.
(Just checked: If I click the left-hand bar icon, I’ll get a view with all that programs’ windows. I can then click on the window I want “on top”.)

All these three issues involve a lot of pointer movements.
Not good.

There’s an issue with the screensaver.
Every now and then (about two times out of three, or more), if leaving the computer for longer than [screensaver activated, and then power save cuts in], when waking the screen up, it just shows me a frozen screen saver.
The pointer is still movable, and it’s possible to Ctrl-Alt-F1 to another session (the original being Ctrl-Alt-F7), but the only (working) way I’ve found “out of it” is to power button shut down and restart. “Very funny” indeed.
That part has made me consider the option of going back to terminal mode.
The screensaver issue appears in both Unity and Ubuntu Classic.

 
I can live with the “ooops, window maximized. again” thingy. (It’s in Linux Mint, as well.)
I can stand the Alt-Tab all the way around, or “drag pointer, click, search, squint if necessary, drag pointer, click”, to get the window just behind the window I’m currently looking at.
I guess I can change my habits to make a workaround for how to reach the current window’s menu bar (e.g. use the Alt-key, and then the up/down/left/right arrows to navigate).
Setting the screensaver to “2 hours” (or “never”, if I ever find that option) “works” (I haven’t had the time to “leave it on, but still under observation”, for 2+ hours), but is not a satisfying workaround. That’s the part that made me try out Linux Mint.

 
So.
So far, all’s fine.
I’m considering dual-booting Windows XP and Linux Mint, i.e. no Ubuntu.
(The reason for keeping Ubuntu when trying out Linux Mint is a bank program that I didn’t want to have to reinstall if Linux Mint didn’t work out.)

I guess I’ll download Ubuntu 11.10 when it’s released, but if the issues mentioned above (most notably the screensaver one) are still present, then I’m not coming back.


update:

Oookey …

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and the same screensaver problem just appeared in Linux Mint as well.

I think I’ve pinpointed the problem to be related to my 3G dongle:
When I’m connected to the internet via the 3G dongle, and then leaves the computer long enough for the screensaver to start and then the power save to kick in (I even shortened the time for it to kick in, so it doesn’t seem to be time-related) – and I then come back to wake the screen up, it’s locked on the frozen screensaver.

I just switched to being connected via my mobile phone.
Other weird behaviours occur instead (seen those too, in Ubuntu) – screen blacks out, but I can get it back by just Ctrl-Alt-(arrow) change desktop change back to first desktop.

 
Haven’t decided yet whether I’ll go back to Ubuntu (with Ubuntu Classic, then), or if I should stay with Linux Mint (which is rather nice, this far).
I’ve considered going for Debian (which is the base for Ubuntu). Maybe Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is a good compromize.

I guess I’ll keep the tripple-boot, for now.

/2011-Jun-26, 14:20

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