Home > Fedora, Ubuntu, Unity > Being Precise on Unity

Being Precise on Unity

May 24, 2012

Those who have the great fortune, or have made the great sacrifice, of befriending me on Facebook and/or Google+ have already been alerted to this, um, development.

So let the word go forth that I am using Precise Pangolin — Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, for those of you keeping score at home (though I don’t know why you would) — complete with Unity until Saturday. The reason I am giving it a few days, rather than just one as I did in an earlier blog post extends from a conversation I had with Scott Dowdle on #ubuntu-montana, where he made the poignant observation that it would take more than one day for me to make a fair assessment.

Good point, Scott (and this point, it should be noted, comes from a Fedora guy, for all intents and purposes. Hope that doesn’t blow your cover, Scott!). After a considerable amount of pixels spilled on the miraculous game-changing improvements to Unity and Head-Up (something?) Display that a flock of bloggers and some in the tech press are parroting after being spoon-fed from Canonisoft’s PR department, I am giving it another look to see if I had missed something somewhere along the line.

To be frank — and Frank doesn’t mind — after about eight hours of use yesterday, I’m not seeing anything I didn’t see last time I took Unity for a spin, except for one thing: The welcome relief afterward to get back to another laptop running CrunchBang was beyond description.

Earth-shattering, game-changing improvements — they’re here somewhere, right? I don’t see any, at least not yet. In fact, what I do see is what I saw when I used it originally: the one-size-fits-all desktop environment which arguably doesn’t fit quite right on any of them, coupled with a lack of improved utility that I didn’t already have using other desktop environments or FOSS programs. To say nothing of a desktop environment that insults my intelligence by bending over backwards to do things for me that I have been doing easily on my own since — oh, I don’t know — birth.

What am I missing, Ubunteros?

See you again Saturday.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Categories: Fedora, Ubuntu, Unity Tags: , , , ,
  1. May 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Not an Ubuntero, but I’d say you’re missing a Screenshot of this “HUD” thingie and/or Unity thingie, to give us non-Unitiers a taste of just how awful that thing looks? 😛

    • May 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Heh. Nah, I’m really trying to find a silver lining here, but it’s not looking good so far.

  2. May 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Being an “Ubuntero” myself (and a Mint-er, and a SUSE-er), I can say without reservation that the first thing I dump when I do an Ubuntu install is the Unity desktop. I used to be a Gnome devotee but since reading a post about Lubuntu, I now prefer the LXDE window manager.

  3. May 24, 2012 at 11:03 am
  4. Harvey
    May 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Had a similar thing when I installed Ubuntu on my (non-techie) girlfriend’s laptop. Unity lasted less than a day and then she asked me to ‘make her machine like mine’, i.e. Gnome shell. After six months of Gnome/Ubuntu I switched her to Debian testing.
    Annoying thing (to me) is Unity is built on top of Gnome 3, not sure what they contribute back to Gnome (be lovely to be surprised on that one).

  5. colonelpanik
    May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    How about DisUnity?
    Larry I fear you have jumped the guppy here, there was no way anyone could have
    fixed DisUnity enough to make it work.

    Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.

  6. May 27, 2012 at 3:44 am

    I just use Kubuntu… Go 1 time through all the options in “System Settings” and you might fall in love…

  7. istok
    May 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    this post got me thinking… i first disliked gnome shell when i used it briefly, and then i liked it when i tested it for a while longer and actually learned what i can do with it. liked it very much in fact. so who’s to say i wouldn’t feel the same about “unity” if i gave it more than half an hour?
    but i gotta say for a distro that’s all about makeup and hairstyle, ubuntu has some ugly, fat default fonts, and horrible icons!

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