The main difference between now and the last time I started playing heavily with Linux is broadband--I can do so much more damage so much more quickly than I could on dial-up. Also, my computer is still somewhat modern, which means I can actually try some of the current toys out there.
The nice thing about being so far out of the loop (I think I last used Fedora 3) is that everything is new and shiny to me. I experiment to a degree I wouldn't dream of on a Windows system. Anyone playing with gnome-shell?
The thing that kind of bothers me about all of the new UI's is that the world has somehow decided that the desktop's navigation controls are now going to be on the left side of the screen instead of on the bottom. I realize that the rationale behind this is to make more effective use of wide-format screens, particularly on netbooks where vertical screen real estate is limited, but some of us still have a few 4x3 monitors in service. Even on my desktop at work where I have a 24" widescreen, I still prefer the controls on the bottom, because I typically keep two or more windows open side by side.
I did a crapton of apt-geting (not much developer-related comes with desktop Ubuntu) and eventually was able to compile the current Gnome-Shell from source. Performance and stability are underwhelming compared to the older version that I was able to get from repositories and theming seems kind of broken at the moment, but it's a work in progress and I don't sweat that much. Once it got going, I stopped worrying about it, but it did seem to be pokey for a while out of the gate.
I could get used to it, but I actually didn't hate Unity, either. Maybe it's because I don't have a lot of (recent) experience using other systems, but I expected it to be different and have a learning curve, so I was willing to experiment a little. Some of the reviews I read were just ridiculous--"This doesn't work how I expect, ergo it sucks and you should stay away from it."
me uses i3: http://i3.zekjur.net/
scales from tiny netbook screens to big multiscreen desktops verry well. plus: its lightning fast.
usefull feature #1: <meta> F : go away and make the current window flusscreen.
plus; it still can easily switch between virtual desktops while in fullscreen, so you can effectively switch fast between several fullscreen apps.
wanna jump from window #5 to window #42 as quick as possible: this is your WM.
if you sit in front of a wintendo, 8 similar running windows start to suck if you have to switch from one to another.
plus that the wintendo will always open new windows on your primary screen instead of simply taking the one your mouse cursor is on.
can't tell how often I see collegues double-click title bar of window, drag it from left to right screen, double click it again for fullscreen...
I3: opens window in the current frame, if its wrong, move it with <meta><shift>#desktop done!
It will be interesting to see whether the user community ends up
preferring GNOME Shell or Unity as the better desktop interface.
It will be the one that's the default on what ends up being the most popular distro.
plus that the wintendo will always open new windows on your primary
screen instead of simply taking the one your mouse cursor is on.
I happen to find this feature rather annoying. If I want to start something new, I want it to show up in front of me and I'll move it away if it's not important. Having new things show up far to my left is a problem since sometimes I don't notice it, if it's small enough.
most probably 'your focus' is supposed to somewhere near to your mouse focus?
I guess I'm probably once again the last person on earth to try something that everyone already discovered is cool, but ...
I installed NX on my server at home, and ... holy shit this really is the world's fastest remote desktop. I was accessing a desktop on my home server from my desktop at work at a speed which felt like a local connection. It's *really* nice.
At this point it would make sense to set it up in the other direction too, so when I'm working from home I can just remote in to my work desktop.
The thing that got me interested in doing this was the $12 Neoware thin client I bought on eBay which will arrive this week. It's got WinXP on it, but it's basically just a low-power PC and it'll boot from PXE, so I'm going to grab a copy of ThinStation and boot it from the network. NX is one of the remote desktop technologies supported by ThinStation.
Who knows, if it works out nicely I may buy a few more.
By all means let us know how it goes. I used NX briefly in 2003 to talk to my home machine from work; I remember virtually nothing about it, except that it seemed really fast and responsive, more so than my local Windows 2000 machine... I would seriously consider a solution like that to provide me some useful connectivity in my garage.
You can buy amazing things for cheap from china, but you can't buy anything used or antique.
Although I suppose they'll get into copying ancient hardware if there's enough of a market.
In the meantime buy cheap stuff while you can. :)
If my replacement terminal works, I'm probably going to buy a few more. In fact ... I might even be able to build a small business out of grabbing old terminals off eBay and selling them back repurposed as Thinstations.
hm, repurposing.... reminds me of:
It was all vector-based. Printing text through the interface was conceivably possible, but that would've been much more effort than the class required.
whew. spellbinder, that sounds like a very sound 'it had to be proven' and having done that in your youth pro'lly makes you old and wise evil h4x0r.
I don't usually toot my own horn, but when I finished, it worked better than the reference controller built by the teaching assistant. :P
We've got a couple of digitizing oscilloscopes in our lab with LCD displays.
I daresay one of them may even have a touch-screen display.
Heck, even 10 years ago, we had digitizing oscilloscopes, but they were at least using a CRT to display the info. However, the trace was still digitized first and drawn on the screen via a normal video adapter. No direct-driving of the CRT guns by the signal being measured.
Certainly not as cool as the old green-screen o-scopes, but the digitizing scopes are a lot more advanced. With the digitizing scopes, the inputs can be very high-impedance, which means less distortion of the signal being measured.
It also means you can do a lot more signal analysis right on the scope instead of having to figure it all out by hand.