Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fedora, Mint, and thequest for the besk Linux desktop

So, I had a recent rant about Fedora, and how it ends up being very anti-user-friendly.

I decided to try something else, which I had been hearing about a lot, Mint. I decided to try with the LXDE interface, because I like my desktop to take little memory and be responsive.

My criteria for success were as follows, with comments:
  • Keyboard layouts should be easy to configure and switch from. Result: FAIL. I need to open a text file to add a layout. Switching is easy to add though.
  • Buttons should be mapped out of the box. Result: FAIL. The volume doesn't unmute. grrr. Some other buttons don't do anything too.
  • Widgets are easy to install. Weather widget is a must. Result: OK. There is no default option in LXDE, but Mint offers indicator-weather as an easy download. Other widgets are available and are set up painlessly.
  • Memory and CPU usage should be low. Result: WOOT!
  • Desktop should be responsive. Result: WOOT!
  • It should be easy to launch an application using only the keyboard. Result: FAIL. The launcher isn't on the foreground by default. One needs to modify a text file once again.
  • It should be easy to configure my printer/scanner. Result: SUCCESS
  • It should be easy to configure my wifi. Result: SUCCESS
  • It should be easy to play every kind of multimedia under the sun. Result: SUCCESS
  • Battery life should be good.
As of now, I decided to try Cinnamon as my default desktop for some time. I can report key bindings that just work, and a responsive desktop, so that is a step forward.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fedora Usability FAIL

What happens when a harcore Linux geek liberates two systems for non-geek use?