Emily Wind's Musings

Hopefully Interesting Things from the Life of Emily Wind

Moving to Blogger

leave a comment »

Since Blogger allows for more customisation without putting a price tag on it, I will be making further posts on http://emilywind.blogspot.com/ starting with a development blog post on Lucidity 2.4. See whoever comes here there. :)

Written by emilywind

July 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lucidity 2.4 – New Direction

leave a comment »

So after all this time, the themeing bug has hit me again. I have stripped all of the mono panel icons from the Lucidity icon set as they were just those from Ubuntu with colours modified and instead have focused on adding mono icons for applications. In the end, all application icons which Faenza has will have a Lucidity version, as I am using it for the base of how many icons to change.

One of the biggest changes to Lucidity will be the merging of Lucidity and Lucidity-Dark; instead of having pure light and pure dark themes, Lucidity will now be a mix of both as seen in the following screenshot.

I will be doing a beta release soon once I sort out a few more icons. Cheers.

Written by emilywind

June 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lucidity 2.4 – Sometime Soon

leave a comment »

I have been using Windows 7 for quite some time now and do not plan on removing it, but Ubuntu 11.04 has me interested in setting up a dual boot, or at least a virtual machine installation. That said, I would also like to finish my work on Lucidity 2.4 and have it work well with Unity and GNOME Shell. In the meantime I may do an update for Lucidity with the new Metacity buttons from Lucidity 2.4. It is all up in the air, but for those who would like to see more of Lucidity, here is some good news. :)

PS: Those who were around for my wild colour shifting with some of the Lucidity releases may be pleased to know that I have since acquired a 24″ LCD monitor with amazing colour display so there should be no more of that silliness. :)

Written by emilywind

April 8, 2011 at 5:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Onto Windows 7

with 2 comments

A few months ago I stopped using Ubuntu Linux and returned to using Windows 7 which I used before it. Such a thing can be confusing in the Linux world where people often invest too much interest and emotion into their Operating System, so I am going to go over my reasons why I switched in order to share criticism with the Ubuntu community about things they really should look into fixing.

Although what put the final nail in the coffin was the poor graphics quality, low framerates and high heat production I experienced while playing World of Warcraft through wine, there were many things which irked me and were not due to Blizzard not making an official Linux version of a game.

Sound Support

Sound support has always been a sore spot for Linux. Pulse audio was making great strides in fixing some of the woes users experience when performing audio-related tasks in Linux, but it also came with a ton of annoyances. For example, when I plugged in my USB headset I sometimes had to kill pulseaudio in order to have it appear. I also often plugged it in to have no volume because the volume was mysteriously muted for some reason, and it was never able to be set as the default device and have that preference remain through an unplugging.

People can say such things are unnecessary, but when Windows 7 can do them all without a fuss, plus allow you to set up a device as default for communications (aka a headset), then it is very hard to sell such an idea. Simply put, pulseaudio needs to save preferences between device disconnects, and support a modern computing world where people use USB headsets and multiple sound devices.

Video

For some reason, colours in my laptop’s monitor were extremely off. Greys looked like neon blues and it was pretty bad on the eyes. The issue was some sort of colour imbalance, which no amount of tweaking the nvidia graphics tool would fix. In Windows 7, I used the colour configuration panel and was surprised to see that everything looks just fine.

Hardware Support

I had a few things that did not work in Ubuntu, due to seeming lack of attention to them. For one, my fingerprint reader. There is some nearly dead project to make it work, but it suffers from a major lack of attention. Also, putting the card from my Sony camera into the multi card reader did not work at all. It read SD cards, but that was it. Other things seemed okay aside from the bad monitor colours, but it’s still enough to put me off seeing that things were half-working or could have been.

Another hardware issue which was even more annoying was that with my wacom tablet. In order to get it to work I would have to download the most up-to-date version of linuxwacom and compile it for my kernel. Sorry, but most end-users are not going to have the know-how or patience to do this, and I barely did. This dance also had to be completed after every kernel update. The real kicker is that the kernel already has a wacom driver built-in, but it is flagrantly out of date and remained so for the entire year I used Ubuntu, through all the kernel updates up to the most recent in 10.10.

Aside from these complaints, I think Ubuntu and Linux have come a long way. There is still more to be done before I would consider using it exclusively over Windows 7, but the software for the most part is very nice and the fact it is all free is amazing and admirable. To ask someone to put in more work to get me to return is not something I wish to do, so I am just posting this in case the people involved in open source software want to take their time to make such large improvements to their work.

 

P.S. Lucidity 2.4′s release date is now entirely unknown by me. What I had finished of it still remains on my external hard drive, but my drive and ambition to complete it has gone out along with the platform for which I was producing it. Therefore, I am not sure if it will be finished, and if it is I have no real E.T.A. Sorry to those who were looking forward to it. ;x

Written by emilywind

February 5, 2011 at 5:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lucidity 2.4 Preview

with 6 comments

Lucidity 2.4 will change the way Lucidity modifies your desktop with the addition of smooth monochrome icons coloured in the Lucidity palette. Also, the window buttons have been redesigned and remade yet again from the ground up to match more with Lucidity’s new monochrome icons’ style. It is hard to tell when I will have it ready for release, but I would like to share what I have done so far.

:Metacity:

Lucidity 2.4 - Metacity

Colours! This is done both for the sake of aesthetics and accessibility for average computer users. The differing icons make it easier to discern what does what, and the colours allow for colour recognition. The red colour will also appear in the icon set’s close button and other areas.

:New Monochrome Icons:

Lucidity 2.4 - Nautilus

In this screenshot you can see the new, smooth monochrome icons within Nautilus. There are still many icons to be made, and I will be modelling which icons will be monochrome based on which ones are monochrome in the Faenza icon set as a base. The icons will be available in sizes 24×24 and below, in interest of only affecting toolbar buttons and etc, allowing for Lucidity’s partner icon set to define the look and feel of the non-toolbar icons.

The ETA on Lucidity 2.4 is likely not for a month or so, depending on how much time I have to work on it and my level of motivation. I want to be sure I am properly motivated in order to assure maximum quality for the icons. Light versions of the icons will be produced for the dark icon set, of course.

Update: Things are moving a bit quicker than expected, and Lucidity 2.4 may be ready for release within the next week or so. Here is yet another screenshot of the new icons in action.

Lucidity 2.4 - More icon work

Written by emilywind

December 5, 2010 at 12:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lucidity Rewind

with one comment

Yes, another post about my Lucidity theme. However, I have wanted to do this one for a while now, but could not think of where to host it until the obvious hit me; use my lonely WordPress account.

The time I have put into this theme is quite immense, so I would like to pay homage to that and take the time to show how Lucidity has evolved over the past months since I first released it as merely a version of the theme by daysofruin. Since Lucidity 2.0, those days have long since passed. I hope you all enjoy this little reminiscing, regardless of how long you have been using the theme.

Lucidity Version 1.0

Lucidity 1.0 - First release

Lucidity Second Release

Lucidity 1.1 - Metacity theme was remade

Lucidity Third release

Lucidity 1.2 - Text was darkened for better contrast. Metathemes Lucidity-Left and Lucidity-Right were added.

Lucidity 1.2.2

Lucidity 1.2.2 - Removed handles from scrollbars for a smooth look.

Lucidity - 1.3

Lucidity 1.3 - Made the Metacity buttons like those of Lucid Lynx.

<Fast Forward >>

Lucidity 1.3.3

Lucidity 1.3.3 - I'll let the appearance speak for itself now.

Lucidity 1.4.1

Lucidity 1.4.1

Lucidity 2.0.1

Lucidity 2.0.1

Lucidity 2.1

Lucidity 2.1 - Lucidity icon set is branched from Ubuntu-Mono-Light.

Lucidity 2.2

Lucidity 2.2 - Added configuration and vendor logos for icon set.

Lucidity 2.3.1

Lucidity 2.3.1 - Lucidity-Left and Lucidity-Right removed in favour of configuration scripts to set button layouts. Unfocused window effect is more "Lucid." ;)

Lucidity 2.3.1 Variations

Lucidity 2.3.1 - Squared, Dark and Dark Squared versions of GTK and Metacity themes released in 2.3.

And there are more changes to come, specifically with the dark versions of the theme as the buttons should be lighter than the surrounding rather than darker, and other such tweaks. I hope you all enjoyed this walk down memory lane. :)

Written by emilywind

November 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Advertisement Idea for Ubuntu

with 4 comments

Note: This blog entry covers an idea for an advertisement for Ubuntu, not the intended format. The intended format is a live-action video advertisement in which the content within the comic is covered. The comic is only to illustrate how the live-action advertisement would take place, and the blog entry is to describe the reasoning behind it.

———————–

Many of you may have seen the new Ubuntu ad which was created a little while back and shared on the Facebook group among other Ubuntu community sites. While I thought the ad was okay at giving an idea of what Ubuntu is to more technically inclined viewers, I feel the entire advertisement does not really talk to the average computer user at all. The average user is more focused on applications and being able to do with Ubuntu what they can with Windows or Mac. Essentially, a good advertisement for Ubuntu, aka Linux for Human Beings, needs actual Human Beings. At the time I did not really have a solid idea for how to market Ubuntu in such an advertisement other than showing some Ubuntu users from the community and other general suggestions.

Ubuntu Advertisement Concept

My Idea for a Live-Action Ubuntu Advertisement

Then I had one of those “eureka” moments when an idea sparks in your head. I was sitting in a Café eating between classes, when I saw a couple of girls sitting together on their Macs and sharing Youtube videos and such with one another. I started thinking about a scenario in which a friend of those girls walked up with a laptop running Ubuntu, and was asked about application support and shared a quick bit about Ubuntu with them. The preceding conceptual comic is the result of this thinking and several hours of drawing/painting (in the GIMP of course ;) ) with my wacom tablet.

The actual advertisement could be adjusted as necessary, but the big points in this concept are as follows.

  • Use of real people, with one making the decision to use Ubuntu and being questioned about it by their friends. This example sets up a student and teacher model, but the teacher is down to Earth in that they are not an “expert” and are an equal amongst three friends. This makes Millina out to be an ordinary person in that she is not an “expert,” and also the down-to-Earth explanation and recent switch avoids her being tagged as a nerd but rather someone who made a decision based on cost and other “normal” factors.
  • A focus on applications. Applications are what allow people to do what they do, and most computer users understand this. Since most Ubuntu applications are different from what most people use, we need to be upfront with saying which applications we have that do what people do the most, and being sure that they are just as good along with saying they are.
  • A mention of the Operating System itself as well, covering the points which people will be most curious about. In this case I glance over price and security amongst the talk of applications.
  • Advertising it as something to switch to when getting a new laptop. This requires getting Ubuntu laptops in stores, of course, but it is more likely when we are going to net a new user. The average user has never installed any OS before, and is probably going to be overwhelmed if they have to install Ubuntu. Giving them a choice right when they’re buying makes the decision more likely to go in favour of the cheaper option, especially in today’s economy.

These concepts are important and in the comic strip I model them out the way I feel they are in the order of importance in peoples’ minds. That is, the applications get most attention with the actual OS features mentioned a bit. Perhaps adding in that it is fast would be a good idea too, especially in saying that it doesn’t slow down over time like Windows since I know people also get annoyed with an unresponsive computer. This is usually due to viruses and such, but covering directly and simply is best.

I present this idea as someone who uses Ubuntu because of its applications. For a while I went hopping between the OSes, using Windows 7 and Snow Leopard before settling on Ubuntu at its Lucid Lynx release and have been using Ubuntu exclusively ever since and have no intention to stop. This was because the applications I used most and liked in Windows 7 were Google Chrome, Pidgin, GIMP and OpenOffice. I went to Ubuntu because I had used it in the past and knew that those applications and others integrated with it much better, and it was all free. However, your average user is only going to know what they know from Windows or Mac since those operating systems come on 99% of home PCs which are sold.

Therefore, if we are to “sell” Ubuntu to people, we have to bring the information about the applications to them and ice the cake with its zero currency price tag, high security and speed, along with showing them average people using it. Essentially, feed them what they want rather than the ideals of the Open Source model, which is great and makes perfect since but is outside the scope of what the average computer user cares about. However, getting the average computer user using open source software is what those of us who share the ideals of the Open Source model care about.

Written by emilywind

November 14, 2010 at 4:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.