Monday, March 26, 2007

Beryl. The Windows Aero?

Beryl is a windows manager for Ubuntu Linux that puts some eye-candy on your desktop. For those people not aligned with Linux and subject to marketing efforts of Windows and having been woo-ed by Aero only, this is Beryl:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=beryl&search=Search

Beryl uses OpenGL to animate all those pretty effects. The number of options you have for customization is absolutely astounding. You can configure all effects for window events and then also configure individual timings and what not. Beryl also shows the X Cube, which is an invention of X/Linux. This cube helps in choosing your workspace.

I'm running Beryl on both NVIDIA 64MB card at home and my 128MB laptop computer. The 128M laptop is quite a bit slower and to remove very large windows with effects you notice the extensive cpu load, but still if you believe the video's, the performance should still be better than Aero.

Some people have loaded videos on YouTube that show how Beryl continues to run properly on standard current computers and do not need these "special" Aero graphic hardware that now seems to be demanded by Windows Vista to run with Aero. Have a look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC5uEe5OzNQ

So, I guess we're finally here then. Windows Vista sucks and is already getting discounted:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070323-microsoft-announces-more-discounted-vista-licensing.html
My advice is... if you are looking for something new... get Ubuntu! I am using it on two computers right now and there is no reason for any of my productivity apps to move to Windows. The only reason anybody should ever have to move to Windows is for games or multi-media editing applications (Yes, there are plenty available like Kino, Cinelerra etc..., but their usability and stability is not very good at all).

Actually, you can move *now* to Ubuntu, but go straight to the distribution named "Edgy", which is the latest release. As soon as Feisty Fawn comes out, you'll be able to upgrade.

If you are that person that will have to reinstall anyway:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2082982,00.asp

you might as well consider it in your "upgrade". I haven't even told anyone about the features of "apt". Imagine a very, very, very, very large repository of software on a server. And this server is connected to the Internet. This server contains all definitions of package dependencies, compatibilities, kernel versions, distributions etc. available. And then from your PC, by typing in:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

*ALL* (yes, *ALL*, not just kernel, not just the "main" Linux software or packages, but *ALL*) the software on your computer is automatically upgraded to the latest version possible, taking into account dependencies on other packages, taking into account if you have removed certain end-softwares that no longer use a certain other piece of software.

That is APT.

So, get Edgy from here:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/6.10/release/

burn your CD and go for it. When Feisty comes out officially, you will be able to upgrade over the Internet (yep, free and gratis!). Then start reading from info here:

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Edgy

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/

Also use Google. Type "+Ubuntu" at the beginning and anything else that is of your concern. The reason is that this normally shows the ubuntuforums and other information. Notice that the Ubuntu people generally provide easier and more generic methods to resolve your problems. If you go with other distributions, the resolutions are generally more technical in nature.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%2BUbuntu+%2Bberyl&btnG=Search

Have fun!

G>

1 comment:

Alan Kelon said...

Gerard,

you should use ``apt-get dist-upgrade'' to upgrade between two releases of your system, such as from Feisty Fawn to Edgy.

Regards,