"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Test drive: Ubuntu-Gnome 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” on the EEEPC

Like every year the Ubuntu (second) upgrade season is coming. Like every year I'm taking e brief test of beta releases in order to have preview of novelties and, most important, possible problems. I downloaded so both the latest Ubuntu-Gnome ISO disk image (Utopic Unicorn Beta 1) and prepared a bootable SD card to test it on the EEEPC.

First impressions

The live disk with Ubuntu-Gnome booted in a reasonable time, welcoming the user with the usual flat-looking Gnome-Shell look
at a first view there are no big news (no news good news especially on old computers) but after a deeper look some interesting novelties appear.
First in the top-right menu a “location” option has been added:
it should enable or disable computer location transmission on the 'net an interesting thins from the privacy point of view but I have no idea how this new setting is already supported from programs and browsers in particular way.

System settings

The system settings appear to provide some new interesting configuration option:
the notifications settings allow to choose which applications can notify events to the user trough Gnome-Shell notification messages.
The privacy settings allow to select some privacy related details like screen-lock, name visibility or history and temporary files.
The search settings allow to configure the system wide search function
last but not least the sharing settings provide an easy interface to enable or disable files and screen sharing over the network.


Among applications available by default in Ubuntu-Gnome one caught my attention. Maps: a simple but promising maps application with both a map like
and a satellite view visualization
based on OpenStreetMap data. It might not be as detailed as Google maps and might even make your computer even more “phone-like” but it looks an interesting application especially if it will integrated with more data in future.

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