Thursday 21 October 2010

5 GUI Apps that Ubuntu is Missing

Ubuntu has come a long way in the past few years. I've been using it as my only desktop OS since Hoary, and it's come along in leaps and bounds. There are however a number of things that just seem to be "missing".

This list is a set of GUI apps that I have discovered to be missing, either on my own desktop (1, 2, 3, and 5) or while installing Ubuntu for friends (4).

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Mellowing the Ubuntu Indicator Applets

Update: As of Ubuntu 11.04 Canonical has switched to using light blue icons for notifications. So, I can officially say "I told you so" :)

One thing that has bugged me since Canonical launched their Indicator Applet work was their chosen colour system. I'll explain...

Friday 8 October 2010

Step Back to the 90s with this Mega Drive Emulator for Ubuntu

This post is a cross-post from Ubuntu Gamer

I don't know about you guys and girls, but sometimes I like reminiscing about my childhood by playing some good old Mega Drive (Genesis for those across the pond) games. You can't beat a good round of Sonic.

When it comes to Mega Drive emulators that run on Ubuntu, Gens/GS rocks. Gens/GS is a fork of the well known Gens emulator, and over the last several months the author has been cleaning up the source code and adding new features and bug fixes to create an awesome (open source!) emulator.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Using Multiple Wine Prefixes

This post is a cross-post from Ubuntu Gamer

Wine rocks. It is probably one of the most underestimated pieces of software in the open source ecosystem. If the idea of running pre-compiled programs from Windows on a totally different operating system with a different kernel, and different programming libraries doesn't make you cross-eyed with the complexity, then you aren't thinking about it hard enough.

Just to give some idea of the Herculean achievement that Wine is; the current number of lines of code that make up Wine stands at well over 2.5 million and the project was started in 1993.

The Wine developers don't just have a mountain to climb. To extend the metaphor, they have to climb the mountain, blindfolded, in a straight jacket while tied to a goat... drunk. Their work really is that hard.

Yet despite all that effort, Wine still isn't 100% perfect. Sometimes a Wine DLL will be missing some code, other times the code may not match what Windows does and occasionally a program assumes the existence of files that may not even necessarily exist on a native Windows installation (e.g. .NET).