I recently completed my semi-annual OS re-install on the laptop. This year’s flavors are a dual boot of Windows 7 (still–no Windows 8 until I can take advantage of the touch options), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Now Windows I’m an old pro at customizing, and honestly I don’t do much anymore besides download my favorite apps, but Ubuntu I find I always have a little fun with when it’s first installed.
Today I just want to share with you the first things that I did after installing Ubuntu
First, download Chrome. I don’t want to start a Firefox vs. Chrome debate, both are great, but I’m a big patron of Google services, so Chrome it is for me.
Second, install Gnome 3. Primarily this decision was based off of wanting to use this theme, but also it looked like something fun to play with… and here I am a couple hours later, still having a lot of fun. Immediately after the transition from Unity to Gnome, I found myself thinking Gnome was rather nasty looking. It’s not bad, I guess, but it’s pretty boring and the little line accent thing underneath “Activities” in the upper left hand corner of the screen is kind of ugly. But I figured, no big deal, since I’m going to be replacing it with that awesome theme I found.
There are instructions on how to install the theme underneath the image of the theme itself, from the link above, so I won’t go into that. A side effect of installing the theme, though, was that I learned about Gnome extensions… every shell should have this. Seriously. I love how easy it is to customize things in Gnome. I have been shopping for extensions at https://extensions.gnome.org/, and so far I have found a couple that I really like. One is this neat little resource monitor that fits in your status bar. The other is this nice little menu augmentor that puts your restart and shutdown options on your menu as well as suspend. These extensions make Gnome great, but in and of themselves, they’re not what really makes it shine.
Let’s face it, every shell has its own idea of how users should work. And some probably work better for others. But with Gnome, I feel like it was made for me. Run your mouse over to the top left of the screen–all your windows assemble themselves on your desktop. Pick one, and you switch to that. Want to start a new application? You favorites just popped up on the left, or you can browse all your installed applications by just switching tabs. Gnome is simplicity, and I might even venture to say it is touch-interface inclined, because of its simplicity and ease of use. It would be really easy to see something like this on a tablet. Of course admittedly, I haven’t dabbled in all the shells that are out there. But this one has really impressed me so far. So I don’t mind giving it some high praise.
Well, that’s it for me. Soon I should be back with some fun stuff about installing the Android SDK, and customizing Ubuntu 12.04.