Archive for the ‘beryl’ Category

Ubuntu Upgrade – surprising!

November 18, 2007

I’ve never had complete satisfaction with a distribution upgrade although they seem to get substantially less painful for me with each iteration.

So in the midst of vacuuming the house this morning, I decided what the hell.. I’ll do the Gutsy upgrade. I logged out of Openbox and into my old standard Beryl/Metacity setup. I did a few package upgrades that were waiting and then hit the button at the top of the upgrade manager.

Two hours later I was done and rebooting with crossed fingers. It likely would have taken substantially less time but it stopped to ask me to confirm about 4 configuration file changes (I ok’d them all) and seeing as how I was vacuuming and not sitting in front of my computer watching the install, I likely added about 15 or 20 minutes of delay to the process.

The startup into Gutsy with my previous Metacity theming went fine. I turned on some high level desktop effects just to see if it picked up on my ancient Intel 810 video card. Yep. No problem, but more on that in a second. I then checked out internet connectivity and some other bits and bobs – they all worked fine.

For the final test, I logged out of that session and back into my Openbox setup. Everything seems to work A-ok. I’m duly impressed!

A note about compiz: As an engineer I am stupified as to how smoothly Compiz effects work on my bottom rung Intel 810 card. It’s got 32MB of *shared* ram and that’s it. And yet it all works beautifully. I’ve played with MS Vista and while some things look nice, the system requirements for Aero seem out of this world.

I’m by no means much of a Compiz fanboy – I love some of the effects and find some of them very useful – but the speed, simplicity and hackability of Openbox has really stolen my attention for the moment. But man, you have to give them credit for being able to do what they do when compared to other OS’s.

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Enough With The Insane Beryl Demos Already!!

January 31, 2007

It’s no secret that I run Linux. More specifically I run Ubuntu 6.10 and use Beryl. I’m quite happy and satisfied with it.

Now since Vista has launched, can somebody point me to a good demo video touting it’s interface features? While you’re at it, please provide a link to a good video demo of the OS-X desktop.

W-w-what the hell? – you might ask. Why would I ask for these things?

I’ll tell you why. I believe that Beryl and Linux can provide at least the equal of the visual desktop experience of Vista or OS-X (and with much lower hardware requirements). Compiz and Beryl have come so far so quickly in their development that it’s hard to imagine they won’t surpass the capabilities of the other two in fairly short order. But here’s the rub:

Almost every Beryl demo I’ve seen cited on Digg and other sites has been a mish-mash of anime wallpaper, speedmetal and hyperfast cube-spinning and window switching. I’d like to be able to show a co-worker or friend a well produced demo of the actual practical capabilites of the Linux+Compiz/Beryl desktop without resorting to the goth-wallpapered, death-metal soundtrack demos I see all over the place.

What better way to convert would-be Vista or OSX users than by offering real-world high production value demonstrations similar to those produced in their own camps. Let’s make the demos match them not only in capabilities, but in taste and style as well. It’s hard to argue when you can demonstrate the same functionality.

Burning menus down in flames or exploding title bars might be neat, but they don’t exactly bolster the argument for our side.

Anybody got any OS-X or Vista demos they care to hold up as shining examples of what a desktop OS should be?

Or of course, if you can point me to a Beryl or Compiz video that already does this, all the better.