Moving to Natty Narwhal: More Is Expected

In the previous two parts of Moving to Natty Narwhal, I mentioned all the features Ubuntu has, especially those that are not on Windows and Mac. As much as I like my Ubuntu experience, there are a few things missing from Ubuntu 11.04 that I would love to have.

Can I customize Unity?
Unity has been a huge part of Ubuntu 11.04. I did mention how much I liked it in my previous post, however, it can be slightly inconvinient at times. First of all, as Ubuntu is created to make the most out of keyboard shortcuts, it can be a pain for mouse users. In fact, it is rather annoying to get back to your desktop using your mouse. Especially since I had a “Show Desktop” icon on my Windows, and being rather used to that icon, I keep searching for my desktop on the launcher.

Unity Dash

Unity also lacks the ability to customize, which frustrates most of the Ubuntu community. The dash remains the most un-customizable part of it. It would be great if I could choose what shortcuts I want on my dash. They should also allow users to place the most common apps on the dash according to their own preferences.

Running Applications
Basically, you can know what apps are running through those little arrows on the launcher, but the fact that the Unity launcher hides itself makes users easily forget what apps are running. Pop-up Chrome tabs have at many times disappeared behind the main Chrome window, and I only realise it’s existence when I close the main window. “Alt+Tab” is currently the way to switch between apps, but this can be slightly confusing at times. I hope that a better way would be created to easily switch between running applications.

Viewing System Files
Unlike on Windows, it ain’t easy viewing the hard disk as a whole on Ubuntu. I’m still not able to all the files on my hard disk and know how much space it takes. For example, I still don’t know how much hard disk space is taken up by my Windows partition, or how much have I taken up by those wonderful applications I downloaded . On this part, Ubuntu really loses to Windows because My Computer was much more useful.

I need a proper Office application
Being someone who is too used to Microsoft Office, LibreOffice is a pain. Though it looks much more like MS Office 2003 and before, the interface can get a little complicated. I am still unable to make the most out of the design, and the way the features are displayed makes it really complicated for its users, especially the new ones. I still get rather annoyed at how you get pop-up tool boxes – and also the embedded ones – as it disrupts your focus while typing. I haven’t given OpenOffice a try though, but I don’t think it would be much of a difference. I hope Office applications on Linux gets better, as I don’t like rebooting to my Windows every time I need to use one.

Ubuntu Logo

Maybe proper marketing?

“Half the people who use computers, don’t know a single damn thing about computers.” Or maybe that’s just my opinion? Well, if Ubuntu Linux is this good, why are people still insisting on Windows – and for the based-on-the-looks-buyers – Mac OS. Sometimes, you can’t really blame this users as they probably haven’t heard about Linux or Ubuntu. Linux has to get their game right and make computer users realise that there is a more powerful OS out there.

So, I shall let this be the end of my three part documentation on using Ubuntu 11.04. If you missed Moving to Natty Narwhal: What’s New? and Moving to Natty Narwhal: The Switch, don’t forget to read it.

Till then, I will continue using Natty Narwhal as you wouldn’t seem me back on a Windows OS for long. I’m a Ubuntu convert.


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