Why I Love My Xubuntu Laptop

Last month, Jono Bacon had a cool post about what he loves about his 10.04 installation. I thought it might be fun to do the same thing for my 10.04 Xubuntu install.

I love Chromium. On my machine, it’s much, much faster than Firefox. Plus, you can kill failing tabs, rather than having to shut down the entire browser (not that that happens too often with Chromium). Plus, I love the Chromed Bird extension. It eliminates the need for a separate Twitter client (although I do have Pino installed). Chromium gives me a lot of bang for my buck.

Application Finder
The Xfce application finder is surprisingly robust. It can’t open files or directories, but it’s great for opening programs quickly. I feel like people were really into application launchers and now they’re kind of off of them, but for someone like me, who hates to take his hands off of the keyboard, application finder is perfect (I bound mine to Alt-space). On a semi-related note, the Quick Open plugin for gedit lets me quickly open text files I’ve worked on, without using the mouse. Quick Open ships with gedit so you just need to activate it. It opens up with Alt-Ctrl-O. Then, start typing the name of your file, if it’s not already on the list.

I’m not a big OpenOffice/LibreOffice fan. It just feels so bloated. Gnumeric seems to do everything OpenOffice’s spreadsheet does, without requiring me to also have an unnecessary word processor, presentation, drawing, and database program installed. The Unix philosophy is do one thing well and Gnumeric is a good example of that. My one complaint is that copying-and-pasting is borked due to some kind of conflict with the Clipman clipboard manager. Luckily, I don’t do too much spreadsheet work.

I know people hate Gimp. I know people think it’s overly complex. And they’re right. But after years of trying to work with it, I feel like I’m finally becoming competent (for my very, very basic purposes). It doesn’t win any style points and the usability is non-existent, but it lets me crop and size images pretty quickly and easily. I probably use it once a week (on Xubuntu but also at work on Windows 7). I’m grateful for Gimp.

I don’t listen to much music on my laptop, but Exaile is great for keeping everything organized, editing metadata, and for the odd times I do want to play music. Exaile is simple and I never have to think about it. It even picks up album art for me. I just wish I could get it to burn CDs.

See this post to understand why I love clamz.

There are probably some things I’m forgetting, but these are certainly the main things on my computer that make me very happy to be running Xubuntu.