A few days ago my new old laptop arrived, a HP Compaq nc6400, and since I upgraded the RAM to 4 gigabytes I am absolutely happy with it. Having Windows XP Professional preinstalled this laptop felt a lot like my good old beloved HP Compaq nx6325, only more widescreen and quite a bit faster. In fact this nc6400 must have been pretty damn expensive when it was new, even today its Core2Duo T7600 CPU is not that outdated performance wise.
Of course, even though Windows XP is not that bad considering its age, I had to try another, more modern OS on this machine. As I didn’t really feel like diving into Windows 7 and as I didn’t feel ready to give that hackintosh experiment a try, I decided to install a desktop optimized, end user friendly distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Even though I will most likely move on to something different, like Slackware64 or Arch (I am a little bit fed up with Debian) I have to say that as long as your machine is fast enough, Ubuntu can be fun. Its instant messaging integration is a nice touch, and the preinstalled software is ok.
As always with Ubuntu, I had to customize the looks rather quickly. I never liked its Orange and Brown color themes, now they added in some purple and red, and there’s still some orange in it… if it was all purple, dark grey, light grey and white, I could like it, but as it is it feels like the designers weren’t sure which colors to use. Not that the colors don’t fit each other, they do, at least sort of, but it’s too much for minimalists like me. So I went trough the wide fields of the internet, looking for something that fits my aesthetic feelings better, and I ended up with elementary.
There is one more thing new with Ubuntu 10.04: The buttons to close, minimize and maximize a window were moved to the left (were they’ve always been on Apple’s operating systems. Whether this was a wise decision or not (I doubt it because the majority people that give Ubuntu a try are used to M$ Software), it made me installing global menu and a cairo-dock, to have some kind of Mac feeling. Unfortunately, this is a broken experience, as global menu only works with native Gnome/GTK+ applications (not with OpenOffice or Firefox), but still it`s a nice thing which reminds me of the 1990’s when I used a Mac. Feels great.