Tweaking Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 on a Dell Mini 9
I recounted the installation yesterday.
I am not a big fan of desktop environments. I also don’t like the “remix” style desktop, with the huge icons and the automatically maximized application windows (see the pictures in yesterday’s post).
I use my netbook as a small laptop, not as a big padtop. I commonly run at least three applications, sometimes more, and prefer a standard interface in which I can easily switch between applications.
In particular, at least on this netbook (I’m using it right now), Gnome Network Manager did not want to connect to a wireless network unless I also used the Gnome desktop. If I restarted the computer, I would have to start up Gnome, connect to the wireless network, then exit Gnome and return to Fluxbox until the next restart or power off. (No, I don’t understand why, but it was mildly inconvenient.)
Wicd reliably connects regardless of the destop environment or window manager I use.
Here’s a picture of the wicd connection dialog under Fluxbox (the background is a picture I took during our one Virginia Beach snowfall last year):
Once I verified that wicd was working, I removed the Gnome Network Manager. (Wicd had disabled it, but I wanted it gone.)
In addition to wicd and Fluxbox, I downloaded and installed
- Konqueror, to use as a file manager because it handles networking better than the default Nautilus file manager,
- the GIMP image editor, which is no longer part of the default installation but should be (the GIMP is also available for Windows and Mac; excellent video tutorials are at Meet the GIMP).
- Kolourpaint, which I find far superior to default Gnome Paint program.
- KSnapshot, a screenshot program which is more versatile than its GNOME equivalent.
- the Opera browser, which I have discussed extensively here,
- Gkrellm, a system monitoring tool, and
- Xscreensaver, removing the Gnome screensaver, which is exceedingly lame.
I also restored my home folder and my Fluxbox configuration files from the backup on my file server.
Here’s a shot of the Fluxbox menu with Gkrellm running in the slit, with my restored menu and transparency settings:
After all this, I have used only 3,967,704 of 26,913,012 1k blocks or 16% of the drive and have a fully functional installation with multiple browsers, graphics programs, an office suite, and all kinds of other good stuff.
I know I shall do a little more tinkering. In particular, I’m trying other email programs. I’m still loyal to Opera’s M3 for mail, but, since this is not my primary email computer, I am experimenting with slimming down the load I place on Opera by moving mail to another application.