Day 1 of 60: Tourist

I've spent a bit of time poking around the workstation and Solaris 10. I feel like a tourist in a Western European city. Everything's pretty familiar -- the roadsigns all look the same (although the font might be a bit different, and the speeds are marked in kph not mph) but there are things everywhere that remind you that you're not quite home.

After logging in to X for the first time (as root) you're faced with the choice of the Java desktop environment or CDE. I chose CDE first time around, and quickly had the garish purple blocky interface staring at me. That's guaranteed to take me back at least 12 years to when I was using these things at university.

This trip to CDE was necessary because the GUI admin tools don't appear to be installed in the GNOME environment. I'm not sure why yet. Anyway, having created the "nik" user I logged in to the (far prettier) Java Desktop Environment. Or GNOME.

I don't especially like GNOME, I'm more of a KDE man. And I'm beginning to remember why.

First, the keyboard layouts are incorrect. This is more of a Solaris complaint than a GNOME complaint, but since I've already told the machine what my locale is I'd expect it to make a stab at getting the keyboard right. So, for the moment, pressing the key marked "\" generates a "< ", the @ sign and double quotes are misplaced, and so on. I'll fix that later.

I'd also forgotten quite how dumbed down GNOME was. There are far fewer configuration options to set, and some things are apparently not exposed through the GUI. For example, for at least the last 14 years I've used ALT+RightButton to move windows. GNOME only lets me use ALT+LeftButton. it's a small thing, but it's muscle memory that needs to be retrained -- especially as all the other systems here are configured to my liking.

Perhaps I'll install KDE.

Anyway, the GUI's configured sufficiently so that I can use it, which then meant a minute's worth of hunting around for the terminal client. Not only is it buried a few submenus deep but it's not even an xterm. That's another pet peeve of mine. Thankfully, /usr/openwin/bin/xterm is the place to go.

And Mozilla's present out of the box, which means that this blog entry is being written on the workstation.

Now to go and install some software so I can go and be productive.

1 comment:

  1. [...] Specifically, I&#8217;m going to run Linux as the primary OS on this machine. I&#8217;ve heard good things about Ubuntu (in terms of being relatively easy to install and get going &#8212; I&#8217;ve reached an age where dicking about with system installers is no longer considered a productive use of my time). I&#8217;m going to use the Kubuntu distribution, because, as I&#8217;ve mentioned previously, I don&#8217;t get on with GNOME, preferring KDE if I&#8217;ve got the choice. [...]