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Author Topic: Dell's affordable Ubuntu-powered Inspiron laptops take aim at Chromebooks  (Read 15253 times)

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Online PCNetSpec

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It's a real pity Ubuntu is getting the attention now. I'd have been genuinely happy at this news in 2010, but now I just see it as replacing one bloated OS with another.

So as for "We must support Dell in this endeavor!", I'm not so sure .. Acer did the netbook no favours with the stupid Linpus Lite they put on the Linux version of their AA1, it was such a stupid dumbed down UI that NOBODY liked it, it was foreign to both Windows and Linux users .. remind you of anything ?

I'm finding it harder and harder to support Ubuntu in much these days, which s a real pity as they did a HUGE amount for Linux a while back so will always have a place in my heart if no longer in my mind.
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Offline rjm65

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Ubuntu was all I ever installed, I thought it was the only linux way back when, and then they brought out this unity crap which I hate so much, I went looking for other distros and found linux mint!
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Mint bring out some nice tools, and have a familiar layout for Windows converts, but they're still bloated .. Still maybe that makes Windows users feel more at home.

Ubuntu/Mint MATE is closer to the mark, but that's old tech and *may* have it's own long term problems .

Peppermint I feel strikes the right balance between looks, functionality, ease of use, familiarity and lightness and  kicks all of their a**es  .. but then I would think that wouldn't I.
(yet even we're still sitting on a few components that have no future)
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Offline AndyInMokum

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...Looks like it's Ubuntu 14.04 SP1, Andy   :D

That's highly amusing  :D.  I think it's also complete folly to use Windows terminology.  It gives the impression to the uneducated, that Ubuntu and Linux distros in general are no more than Windowseque free alternative OSs.  The general public's perception of these computers will be.  These machines are the lesser, or the poor man's version of the, "real thing".  It's as I stated in my previous post.  There is a lack of forethought, most definitely poor implementation of an idea and marketing that goes way beyond being just sub standard - It's a joke!  I seriously cannot see these machines, irrespective of their quality, making any difference to the Linux Desktop's market share.  In fact taking into consideration how bloated and memory hungry Ubuntu has become.  They're more of a hinderance to the Linux Desktop quest for popularity than anything else  >:(!!
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Offline perknh

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Hello PCNetSpec and AndyInMokum,

You know guys, I like to have one of these things.  But they're doing with these Inspiron keyboards what Chromebooks have done with their keyboards:  They put spaces between the keys.  I don't know why, but I have difficulty typing on computers that have spaces between the keys.

Maybe I have to adjust to this new kind of keyboard.  I'm just not used to it yet.

perknh
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Offline scifidude79

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I had a wireless keyboard with spaces between the keys for a while.  It was weird.

As for Ubuntu, yeah.  I don't get why it always has to be Ubuntu, when there are so many other great Linux flavors out there.  I haven't liked Ubuntu since Unity, which I thought was a terrible idea.  Then Gnome released Gnome-shell, which put me off of the entire DE.  (I don't even like Mint's Mate or Cinnamon variations, because it's still Gnome 3 underneath)  Then Windows released "Metro," which is the same crap.  Ugh.  I hate those tablet style interfaces for my computer.  It looks like garbage on a decent size monitor, to say nothing of a big one.

If any of these companies had half a brain, they'd install something with more of a Windows-like interface, such as a KDE or LXDE interface.  Those are going to be more familiar to Windows 7 and earlier users.  And, there are even official Ubuntu variants with those desktops, so it doesn't even make sense that it has to be Ubuntu's main release.

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MATE is a fork of Gnome 2.x, but that means it may come with it's own particular set long term problems.
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Offline perknh

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Yes, scifidude79 and PCNetSpec, even old-fashioned Xubuntu would be an excellent choice.  I've personally seen Xubuntu work well on an old computer where even MATE and LXDE strained with difficulty.  The truth is that Xfce is a really good DE too. 

Xfce is another DE that is light and fast; and, most importantly, it just works! ;)

@scifidude79

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I had a wireless keyboard with spaces between the keys for a while.  It was weird. --scifidude79

I've never gotten used to it, but I don't know if this is a good enough reason for me not buy one of these reasonably priced machines.  I am thinking seriously about it!  :-\
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 01:53:16 pm by perknh »
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Offline scifidude79

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I was thinking MATE was just a mod of Gnome-shell, but that must just be Cinnamon.  *shrugs*  Either way, I don't like Gnome 3.  It's not just what's on top, but there are a lot of under the surface things I don't like.  I never took to MATE either, that's probably why I didn't remember it being a Gnome 2 fork.  One of the massive issues with that is that Gnome is developed by Red Hat, which no longer supports or develops Gnome 2, so the current "fork" development is being done by others.  Therefore, good intentions or not, it will be different than Gnome 2 was.

I love Xubuntu, I ran it on my desktop and laptop for a while. (I still use XFBurn for CD and DVD burning) XFCE is my favorite Gnome-style DE since Gnome went to crap.  However, it requires more custom modding in order to get that layout to look like Windows, and most OEMs don't want to have to pay employees to go through that trouble.  That's why Kubuntu and Lubuntu would be better "out of the box" solutions for OEMs wanting to give a Windows-like experience.  Though, ANYTHING is better than Gnome-shell or Unity. ;) (in my opinion, of course)

Offline perknh

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I love Xubuntu, I ran it on my desktop and laptop for a while. (I still use XFBurn for CD and DVD burning) XFCE is my favorite Gnome-style DE since Gnome went to crap.  However, it requires more custom modding in order to get that layout to look like Windows, and most OEMs don't want to have to pay employees to go through that trouble.  That's why Kubuntu and Lubuntu would be better "out of the box" solutions for OEMs wanting to give a Windows-like experience.  Though, ANYTHING is better than Gnome-shell or Unity. ;) (in my opinion, of course)

Hello scifidude79,

I admit Xubuntu lacks the glitz that many people are looking for today.  And, yes, you're right;  You have to tweak Xubuntu a while before it suits one's personal preferences.  This means it's probably no-go out of the gate.  Good point!

I'm trying to look at this objectively, and I know I'm biased here; but this is one of those cases where I really do see Peppermint 6 as a perfect fit.  This is my opinion, but I really do consider Peppermint 6 to be a fast, light, and gorgeous distribution.  All I've done for my distribution here is darken, enlarge, and move the panel to the top, customize the clock, and set up 9 applications in the panel.  I'll tell you, with the Mint shield up there, it really looks very nice.  And it moves too.  I don't experience the wait times I do with Unity --and my preferred DNS is coming out of Amsterdam too.  Still, Peppermint 6 is moving along very quickly.

Peppermint 6 is all very impressive!  ;)

perknh

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Offline scifidude79

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XFCE is actually my second favorite DE, after LXDE.  Both are light and fast, without all of that glitz, or as I call it, useless fluff.  I don't like all of that.  (I don't even have the destkop effects enabled in P5 or P6)  I used to love KDE, but the load times of the heavier desktop aren't to my liking.

Though, there are other distributions that offer a more "Windows Like" XFCE experience "out of the box."  Mint is one.  In fact, I used to love Mint XFCE, before the borked some of their repositories.  (different discussion altogether.  ;))  However, it unfortunately once again comes down to the OEMs stepping out of their comfort zones and going with something that's less known than Ubuntu.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 03:13:27 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline rjm65

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I don't know about the rest of you, but if that dell comes with ubuntu lts, and let's say someone buys it 2 years from now, how do you think they are going to feel in 2 years being told their OS is end of life on a 2 year old machine? I would think if Dell was serious about making a linux machine they should have looked into a rolling release, rather then a 5 year LTS that as of this moment has only 4 years left? There are some light weight rolling releases out there, one that comes to mind is Antix MX-14 which is using xfce, and I am pretty sure it is a rolling, or semi rolling release....    ;)

Maybe Peppermint should do a debian release that is rolling and hit dell up for future machines....
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Offline perknh

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XFCE is actually my second favorite DE, after LXDE.  Both are light and fast, without all of that glitz, or as I call it, useless fluff.  I don't like all of that.  (I don't even have the destkop effects enabled in P5 or P6)  I used to love KDE, but the load times of the heavier desktop aren't to my liking.

Though, there are other distributions that offer a more "Windows Like" XFCE experience "out of the box."  Mint is one.  In fact, I used to love Mint XFCE, before the borked some of their repositories.

Although Xfce was removed from Mint, SolydXK, a Debian distribution, has picked up where Linux Mint left off.  I actually like SolydXK Xubuntu edition very much.  It just doesn't like our computers much because of heating issues, so I haven't looked at it in a long time. But rjm65 has had excellent luck with SolydXK, and I believe it would probably also make an excellent distribution for a Dell Inspiron if it came preconfigured on the computer.

I can't say too much about KDE.  Yes, I've tried it, but I always left Kubuntu humbler for the experience.  It looks wonderful, but I never figured out how to really use it.

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However, it unfortunately once again comes down to the OEMs stepping out of their comfort zones and going with something that's less known than Ubuntu. -scifidude79 -

You know what you're saying here really sums it all up, doesn't it?

@rjm65

You posted right before I posted, but I was thinking of your positive experience with SolydXK too.  The rolling release idea is interesting too.  I believe Peppermint once considered the idea, and I can't remember why Peppermint decided against it.  But, it was sound logic at the time.  Who knows?  Maybe this idea is due for reconsideration again.  I'd love to see Peppermint taken up by an OEM.  In my opinion this would also be a service to the world!  ;)
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Offline scifidude79

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Rolling distributions are nice, but they're few and far between and most people haven't even heard of the rolling distributions.  The branch of Debian that is rolling is unstable, meaning it has software that hasn't fully been tested.  Distributions based off of it have frequent issues until fixes are released and are not new user friendly.  Distros like Arch or PCLinuxOS would be better picks for rolling distros on computers being sold.  Of course, then you can run into issues with popular software maybe not working as well with those.  For example, I tried PCLinuxOS again a while back and had issues with Steam working like it does on Debian based distributions. (probably because it's a converted .deb package) So, there are concerns when you start getting into "other" Linux flavors, aside from user familiarity.

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I don't know about the rest of you, but if that dell comes with ubuntu lts, and let's say someone buys it 2 years from now, how do you think they are going to feel in 2 years being told their OS is end of life on a 2 year old machine?

Don't you think it'll come with 16.04 by then and have 5 years support .. not to mention the ones with 14.04 will be offered a free upgrade to 16.04 by the update-manager. ;)
(something that wouldn't have happened in Windows until recently)

Personally I've never done Ubuntu in-line version upgrades on the desktop edition, too tainted by old Windows (failed) upgrade experience .. but I 100% trust Ubuntu in-line version upgrades on their server edition on my VPS (it's never had third party software outside the default repos, and obviously hasn't a DE to go wrong), server edition is a simpler beast.
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