Natty Narwhal

May 1, 2011 § 5 Comments

My sunday was looking remarkably open and with the recent release of Linux Ubuntu’s 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ operating system I figured I could spend the morning being a nerd and test it out on an old hard drive I had laying around.

Thoughts and reactions: I’m not a Linux guy, really. So my comparisons to other forms of Ubuntu / other distros are virtually nil. From reading the great information superhighway it seems there is a great divide of opinion of those who have upgraded: hatred and indifference. I suppose I’d fall into the indifferent camp. The new Unity desktop is pretty cool, I do have to say; I found a few bugs in my first few minutes playing around but otherwise it seemed pretty solid and the integration of everything was really well done. I definitely appreciate the ability for them to make the OS so coherent (as opposed to Window’s and Mac’s relatively cobbled together assortment of apps running and things all kind of going on at once) and having the chat / email / date-time-calendar / media player all neatly tucked into the corner seemed like what Window’s little corner dock wants to be (and so it should!).

In the end it’ll never be my main OS simply because everything I have is on Windows and running WINE just to emulate the desktop I’m already using for a few upgrades to the UI seems really pointless. It is a shame, though, because those scrollbars really speak to my minimalist side.

I did some benchmarking with TM Nations and scored about 50-75% as good as the same thing running on Windows 7. I chalk the performance difference to the power required to emulate everything. Additionally, there were some ugly rendering issues in the game, not sure what caused them however.

Speaking of Trackmania, if you haven’t seen the new trailers for TM2 I highly suggest you look them up. I am so excited for that to come out!

Moral of the story: Windows is the worst OS, except for all the other operating systems I’ve tried. I use it because it does what I need.

Thanks to Bryan Veloso for the narwhal image above.

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§ 5 Responses to Natty Narwhal

  • Tobias Mann says:

    There are alternatives to the applications you need I can almost guarantee it. What do you really need. I of course know this isn’t addressing the problem but I love to argue.

    • Brennan says:

      Excellent! I love a good objective discussion.

      Blender I can get since it too is open source, as well as Yafaray renderer. Other renderers such as Keyshot (no linux version or equilivent), Indigo and Luxrender (both can be done, but with a bit of work it seems) are pretty OS specific since they work very closely with the hardware architecture to squeeze out as much power as they can; simply WINEing them has significant benchmark drawbacks.

      Photoshop has alternatives which I did try quickly but was unimpressed with – perhaps only because of unfamiliarity.

      I didn’t even look, I do assume there is some sort of video editing program like After Effects (or more basically Premier / Vegas).

      Ultimately, Steam and every single PC game will suffer quality. The handful of open games out there are pretty unpolished and I was sorrowly disappointed with how Yo! Frankie ran (that’s Blender’s open game and a Linux native release and it had so many rendering issues)

      FL Studio… (and don’t even try to promote Audacity, because there is no comparison between the quality there, haha)

      Does Ubuntu’s Banshee sync with my ipods / ipad? If not, I’d need iTunes… (which I don’t particularly like on any OS – necessary evil.)

      Various drawing programs I like…

      Ultimately, while there are alternatives to most things the quality of them is generally lacking. Crowd sourcing can be very good, but it gets spread thin pretty quickly and the end result suffers. I’d prefer to pay my money and get something that works. Exceptions: Blender and Openoffice – brilliant products.

  • Tobias Mann says:

    As for photoshop alternatives there is really only one that competes. IT is called GIMP or the GIMP. Compared to pretty much everything else nothing compares short of CS3. It takes some getting used to but it is truely excelent.

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