Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gnome Shell is a total win.

I been using Gnome Shell exclusively for the past few days on my development computer, and I gotta say, I love it to death. I was using the version of gnome-shell in the Ubuntu repos, and while it was OK, it wasn't particularly engaging or anything... but the Gnome Shell Testing PPA is freakin' awesome. It still needs some polish (there's annoying flicker every once in awhile, and the top bar freaks out when I switch to RubyMine), but it's streamlined the way I use my computer.

Two things I'm missing:
* a quick way to summon the activities tab for a search (which is how I start most apps)
* Ubuntu's special applets, what are they called, the indicator and the me menu?

I really do miss the "Me Menu" though. Here's hoping Lucid can integrate it with Gnome Shell somehow.

Other than that, it's a blast. I've really taken to snapping the mouse to the upper left to get that Expose-like windows discovery, and its pretty much replaced ALT-TAB and minimizing windows for me. The transition is fast and smooth; ALT-TAB feels especially clumsy after discovering windows this way.

I'm not too sold on the "sidebar" though (click your name, then click 'sidebar' to see it). Doesn't seem to do anything more than moving to the activities tab, and given how fast "Activities" responds to a quick mouse flick I'm not sure I'd even use the sidebar. I haven't been, so far.

Could definitely do with a smaller "recent items" and a bigger "applications" / favorite space, too.

Anyway, enough rambling. I have to go fix this "mysteriously broken" Vista laptop. You like that, yeah? "Mysteriously broken?" 'Cuz I sure as hell don't.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Parents + Ubuntu

So, my parents use Linux now.

My dad, using my borrowed laptop; the old windows laptop he had ran for crap. My laptop is super old too, but it's got Ubuntu on it and it's dead simple to use. He's running 9.10 now, after I upgraded it. My mom's using my old netbook sometimes, which is running some bizarre off-brand distro that I'd like to nuke and put Ubuntu Netbook on it, if I can figure out how to get it to work.

Ubuntu's evolved to the point where my dad can use it for pretty much everything -- his proprietary FOREX trading software works alright in WINE (a little laggy starting up), he can play WMV videos in webpages (because he goes to those old government sites that still use it), the Internet is fast and compatible with Firefox... pretty cool. He even knows how to install security updates, though he tends to ignore the Update Manager dialog.

They're moving the close/min/max buttons to the left in Ubuntu 10.04, which everyone I'm sure has already heard about. I don't really care, because I'm going to change it back immediately, because I'm one of those people that don't really pay attention and occasionally hit the title bar instead of the menu bar, which is going to be an instant close/min/max given the circumstances.

I'm not so much worried about myself but worried for my parents. They're not on the computer a lot, so they don't have the sniper-like aim of regular computer users. The moment I saw a shot of the new button placement the first thing I saw in my mind was my dad trying to press one of the buttons in Firefox and hitting close window button instead.

Fortunately, OMG Ubuntu reports that for other themes, the window control buttons will remain on the right side of the screen. So, as long as I perform the distro upgrade myself, and make sure to change the theme to something else, it'll be fine.

But still, I don't like that Ubuntu's taken a step back and re-inserted me into the picture. Ubuntu was at the point where I wasn't needed: didn't have a codec to play a video? My dad figured out how to do that by himself, because all he had to do was click "find codec" and put in his password. Needed plugin for website? Firefox has it handled.

Now I gotta do the distro upgrade for him because he won't be able to figure out how to fix the booby-trapped window titlebars? Sheesh.

Oh well. Nobody's perfect, I guess.

EDIT: before I get any flak for this, let it be known: I don't care for "uniqueness." I'm a programmer. Functionality > Form.

Worst anime I've ever watched: Infinite RYVIUS

Infinite RYVIUS (wikipedia) has got to be the worst anime I've ever watched. It is in fact so bad that I commonly use it for reference when discussing stuff I hate, which is why I'm bothering to mention it even though I watched it a year and a half ago.

Spoiler free syonpsis: a bunch of space cadets become stranded on a massive warship while evacuating their disintegrating space station; order breaks down because the top cadets can't keep the rest of them in line while they try to find their way home, and it turns into Lord of the Flies in Space.

It started off strong, but midway through I just hated it. Loathed it. Something deep in my gut said, "This is a terrible, awful story."

When you tell a story like this, a story that makes you hate all of the characters, there's gotta be something worthwhile tucked away. Some little spark of hope or redemption that makes it worth-while. Infinite RYVIUS has none of this. Nothing. During an encounter with a hostile space-ship, I suddenly yelled "FUCK YAH!" when I thought the enemy space ship was actually going to sink them. That's how much I hated the whole thing.

But, being how I am, I ended up watching it through to the end. There's a happy ending, but it isn't enough to make the anime taste like anything other than goddamn awful.

So now you know: when I start rambling about kids and space and hoping the whole goddamn ship blows up into a million pieces, you'll know what I was talking about: Infinite RYVIUS.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Prototype vs jQuery: are we still having this discussion?

Seriously, are we?

I literally don't know anyone that is still using Prototype for reasons other than, "that's what we started with."

Yeah, I guess I'm ragging on you if you're still using Prototype intentionally. Sorry, but it's pretty funny form my point of view. Take solace in the fact that nobody loves me, Prototypers.