Compiz goodness

I’m really pleasantly suprised how well the desktop effects in Ubuntu Feisty work. They’re supposedly still pretty experimental, but the default compiz effects run just fine on my 4-year-old HP laptop with Mobile Radeon 9000 w/32 MB VRAM. And I’m using the open source ‘radeon’ driver. Obviously I’d get seriously better performance on a more powerful machine, but even on this old dog I’m enjoying a more pleasant experience with added depth on the desktop — the same reason OS X was and continues to be so cool. In addition to just simple 3D-depth, placing virtual desktops on the sides of cube considerably boosts their usability. It is now far easier to remember where something is when it has a physical place in space.

By default Ubuntu does not include a settings manager for the Desktop Effects, so I recommend installing gnome-compiz-manager (available in the Universe repository) or compiz-settings. The latter is less mature and more messy, although it doesn’t come close to the mess the Beryl settings manager is. I recommend the latter only if you want to try the compiz-extra plugins.

Forking out

In the last two years, I’ve been writing in both English and Finnish on my personal website, Hopeapuu. The vast majority of posts have been in Finnish, however, and most of them not tech-related. Lately I’ve been writing a lot about Ubuntu and usability related stuff, and decided it was time to start a separate blog for all that. I also thought it’s maybe not such a good idea to mix two languages in the same blog. There are already “a few” tech-related blogs in the world, but at least this will serve as my English website. Let’s see how this goes.