Random Trains of Thought


I've been riding a work high (all of a sudden, everyone found out next Tuesday and Thursday are holidays here), mulling exactly how much of an added value .Mac is (spurred in part by the emergence of Google's browser sync extension for Firefox), procrastinating on Yaki and trying to port Python stuff to ActionScript, of all things.

But there is more:

  • The Maemo 2.0/Nokia Internet Tablet OS 2006 beta is out. I don't have ready access to a 770 anymore, but I'm intrigued by the new OS being "faster". Heated molasses?
  • Maybe, just maybe some of my ranting regarding lack of collaboration features in Mac OS X hit home (quite honestly, I doubt my ranting had anything to do with any new Leopard features, but hey, this is a rumor, and I haven't been the only one writing about the lack of collaboration support in Mac OS X...)
  • The great thing about Planet Tao is that everyone there seems to have a sense of humor. Besides Jonathan's cool twist on reinstalling a MacBook Pro (and you seem to have to have a sense of humor to own one despite all the issues), Florian provided us with the only tolerable way to watch streams of the FIFA cup games, Nuno has taken to recording podcasts in the garage and Melo has his hands full.
  • My dad's iMac turned out to be OK - the solid-state fuse/current limiter had to be reset, and the Apple representative didn't even charge him for it (kudos).

Of Mice And Penguins

By that time, however, I had dragged out my test laptop and set up XP plus OpenOffice on it to lend to him, thereby wiping out my last remaining Fedora Core 5 install at home - and, with it, a working NFS and TFTP server that Murphy demanded the very next evening.

To top it off, my only set of Fedora Core 5 CDs is on my desk drawer - at work.

So I downloaded the Xubuntu Live CD, installed it, and to my surprise it hasn't trashed itself yet (Ubuntu fanboys are welcome to actually read this through before posting comments saying it worked fine for them previously, or that it is the best thing since sliced bread).

Thunar (which I had written about previously), the default blue theme and a Dock-like arrangement of the lower panel go a long way towards making Xfce work for me, although some experimenting soon made it apparent that Ubuntu still hasn't got X font sizes, dual-head support and a lot of the details right.

A Minor Rant on the GIMP and Pertaining Commentary

But considering the sort of reaction I get from just linking to other folk's views on that wanton and barbaric contraption known as the GIMP UI, I'll refrain for now.

Just remember that free does not have to equate with very poorly designed.

Thunar is a good (positive) example of a simple, free, intuitive application that becomes invisible by the simple expedient of its UI being properly designed, whereas the GIMP is notorious for precisely the opposite.

It is, literally, the lame elephant in the room.