Posts Tagged xfce

XFCE for an old laptop

On one of my previous posts I talk about how I was enjoying Gnome 3, and while it was a much better experience than previously, it still ran a bit slow on my aging Dell D810. I decided to try XFCE, it was always a bit too minimal for my likes. The XFCE team certainly hasn’t been idle since I tried it last…3 years ago. First off, it runs great on my laptop. The old embedded ATI X600 GPU isn’t supported by either Xorg or ATI so I hardware acceleration was out of the question. However, XFCE does do compositing but it’s so minimal that I didn’t notice any sort of performance degradation when I switched it on. So while I did enjoy Gnome Shell I had to uninstall it because I am really liking XFCE.

Orage, the default calendar application is a little odd, its mostly useful, but not terribly helpful overall. It’s almost like it was created as an afterthought, but then started to grow into something slightly more useful, but has never gotten the attention it really needed to become a full fledged effort. Almost like it was a series of minor efforts to add tiny pieces of slightly connected functionality. Anyway, there are some redeeming aspects to it, like it can import .ics files and display daily events and appointments from Google Calendar (Found this useful: http://mwallace.info/2009/08/read-google-calendars-from-orage/)

Battery management is more intelligent as well. If you upgrade to the beta 0.6 version of XFCE terminal it supports dropping down ala Guake terminal, which I find indispensible in everyday usage. One last thing to note, is the keyboard editor is great. It is minimal but makes it super easy to define define keyboard shortcuts for running what-ever you want. The main problem with this is that a lot of XFCE only programs don’t come with a default set of keybindings, you have to read the documentation to find out what you want it to do then go into the keyboard editor and define your keyboard shortcut to run it. Not a deal breaker, but a little odd the first time you encounter it.

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