Three seconds after switching to MATE Desktop, I am in love. It’s been a long while now that I’ve been trying to get used to Gnome 3, gave up, switched to KDE 4, which is better, but nowhere near as good as Gnome 2. All of a sudden, all those distant memories of a useful, stable, working desktop environment which is completely out of your way are a reality again.
I’ve only done it on my home laptop for now. But with positive feelings that strong, I think my work laptop will be switched over on Monday. Huge thank you goes to both everyone who made Gnome 2 an awesome desktop and those who forked the MATE. Please keep it up!
Not the best start of the week today. For some weird reason my desktop’s screen resolution crashed into a safe 1024×768 mode today. No updates, no changes in configuration, not even a reboot – just in the middle of the working morning. I’ve tried to fix it to no avail, installed updates, and even rebooted. Nothing seemed to help. Google to the rescue, and I find this handy page that shows step by step how to use xrandr to fix things. I knew about xrandr for a few years now, but it’sbeen decades since I had to use it, so I’m rusty. 15 seconds later I have the following script ready:
#!/bin/bash #gtf 1280 1024 60 xrandr --newmode "1280x1024_60.00" 108.88 1280 1360 1496 1712 1024 1025 1028 1060 -HSync +Vsync xrandr --addmode VGA1 1280x1024_60.00 xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1280x1024_60.00
Run it once and all is back to normal. In fact, after a few minutes in 1024×768 mode, it feels like I have a better monitor now than I used to. They say, you need to lose something to really appreciate what you have. Until today I thought I had a crappy old monitor. But just a few minutes in a lower resolution make me appreciate it a lot now.
Add security to your desktop by automatically locking and unlocking the screen when you and your phone leave/enter the desk. Think of a proximity detector for your mobile phone via bluetooth.
Nobody can say if GNOME 3 is better or worse than GNOME 2.
A whole lot of people, yours truly included, have said that GNOME 3 is much worse than GNOME 2. That should account for something.
After almost a full day of tweaking configurations and swearing at both Gnome3 and KDE4, I decided to follow my brother’s advice – try Xfce4. This is yet another desktop environment available in Fedora 15. I’ve heard a few good words about it, but never actually tried it out. Today was the day.
The first look around after a quick installation showed that most of the things I’ve been fighting with in Gnome3 and KDE4 just work. Xfce4 uses a lot of configuration from those other desktop environments, but somehow it actually understands what the user wanted to configure, even when neither Gnome or KDE do.
Xfce4 has a very simplistic tough to it. It feels at firs that something is missing. And maybe something is in fact missing. But after working with it for a couple of hours, I still didn’t realize what it is. Maybe it’s not as polished or as wow-ified as other desktop environments. But it works!
All I needed and wanted for my daily routine is there – desktop icons, panels with application shortcuts and widgets, keyboard switcher with flag icons, useful workspace switcher with application thumbnails and windows drag-n-drop support.
Even more surprising was the fact that Xfce4 picked up my font preferences. Gnome3 was configured with nice fonts. KDE4 was configured with nice, but other fonts. And they didn’t want to recognize each other’s font configurations. Xfce4 got with no effort on my part!
After losing almost a full day to configuration and tweaking I finally have a desktop environment which I can actually use. Hooray!