I’ve been playing around with various operating systems lately, all in a VirtualBox environment. I tried out the new Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope distribution and was completely underwhelmed. While gnome has been improved and you do not have to drop to a command line (sorry, terminal session) to many of the things you used to have resort to terminal to do, it is still a confusing mess of a desktop. For some reason, right-click on most things no longer works. The system immediately found 76 updates and that took awhile to install.
The gui is just a mess, it reminds of when Microsoft had just released Windows 95 and many applications were trying to work with both Windows 95 and Windows 3.11. Ugly. The mix of UI elements was just weird. I don’t know if the installation was hosed or if the odd mix of UI style is just the way things are in Linux land. My eyes hurt after awhile.
And the barrage of UAC – like dialogs got real old as well. And this really just ticks me off. Every version of Ubuntu I’ve tried has had these UAC like dialog boxes, yet that seems to be OK with people. Vista comes along and does the SAME BLOODY THING and people bitch up a storm.
I am thinking that Ubuntu just isn’t for me. It is a confusing jumble and an utter mess. The older version I had actually installed on an old PC was better. I think that was 6.04, but I don’t remember. They seem to have taken a big step backward.
Another OS I have been playing with is ReactOS. ReactOS is a Windows wannabe. It is an open source project to emulate Windows XP. It appears to be coming along nicely and is almost usable as a daily OS. Still has many bugs and things do not look as they should, but if you have an older box that needs a quick OS, give this a try.