Why I might switch to Mac from Ubuntu

Who am I?
I’ve been using Ubuntu for almost five years now. I’ve offered some technical support on the Ubuntu Forums and been a moderator there off and on. I’ve maintained a new-user-targeted documentation site for every release of Ubuntu except the very first (4.10). I’ve also contributed to a few official Wiki pages. Even though nanotube did all the heavy lifting, I did help out a fair bit in at least the beginning stage of UbuntuZilla. I’ve filed bug reports at Launchpad. I’m not a programmer, but I feel I’ve contributed a fair bit to Ubuntu.

Why I was drawn to Ubuntu
I admire a lot of what Mark Shuttleworth has done. He has an enormous amount of wealth. A lot of people who don’t have a lot of wealth always think if they did that they would undoubtedly give away most of that money. It’s easy to give away other people’s money. It is not so easy to give away your own. My parents aren’t nearly as rich as Shuttleworth. Somehow, they managed to give a large percentage of their money away to church and to various charities, and still maintain a very comfortable upper-middle-class lifestyle. My wife and I are struggling to make ends meet while also trying to give away to causes we deem worthy. To sink millions of pounds into what could have been a dead-end project is a risk that I admire Mark Shuttleworth taking. He could have been ridiculed. He could have lost a lot of money on nothing.

He had a vision, though. I liked that original vision. I liked the free CDs shipped anywhere. I liked the idea of one CD with one application per task, not a lot of confusing options, and sensible defaults. More importantly, I liked the idea of Ubuntu—humanity toward others, which showed quite well in the Ubuntu Forums. And Ubuntu was one of the few distros to try to strike a reasonable balance between the lofty ideals of Free software zealotry and the pragmatism of proprietarily-licensed software.

Where did Ubuntu go wrong?
For a while, I had high hopes for Ubuntu. Every release seemed to make Ubuntu more polished, every additional feature seemed to make Ubuntu more accessible for the Linux novice. A few things that have come up recently have made me a bit disillusioned with Ubuntu, though:

  • These days, decisions and “improvements” seem more like arbitrary changes instead of actual user experience improvements. Grub suddenly became less configurable, as did GDM. Notifications would appear and randomly disappear at odd times (for example, if my wireless reconnected, the notification would still say I was disconnected and then change to connected only about ten seconds after I’d actually reconnected).
  • My bug reports have really come to naught. A few years ago, if someone had complained on the Ubuntu Forums about a problem with Ubuntu, I would have been first in line to say “Complaining here won’t do any good. If you want to tell the developers, file a bug report.” After seeing that most of my bug reports have been unanswered or unfixed, sometimes for years, I don’t know that filing a bug report is really the best thing to do.
  • Brainstorm is a mess. Really, there isn’t an efficient way for developers to get proper feedback from users. If I, as a user, can’t make sense of Brainstorm’s thousands of ideas, how can the developers, who are busy developing?
  • I’ve seen too many hardware regressions. A lot of this isn’t Ubuntu’s fault. A lot of this is upstream. Regardless, upstream affects the Ubuntu experience. The real problem is that the Linux kernel tries to support everything well. There isn’t enough focus. So something that is in theory supposed to be Linux compatible (say, an Intel Pro Wireless 2200bg card) can work perfectly in one release, and then have random disconnects in the next two releases and then work perfectly again in the next release. Personally, I’ve had a Broadcom card that works and doesn’t work in alternating Ubuntu releases, and that makes no sense to me. If the problem is that hardware manufacturers aren’t making it easy for Linux developers to make drivers, then that hardware should never work. If, however, the hardware works in one Ubuntu release and doesn’t work in the next release, that is definitely the fault of Linux, whether it is the kernel team upstream or the Ubuntu team… or both.
  • Recent decisions have seemed to focus on whim or business more than user experience, particularly the change to Yahoo! as the default search engine in Firefox and the random moving of the window control buttons from right to left. I have no problem with change. I also have no problem with Ubuntu making money. But there seems to be an utter disregard for how changes affect users. A little more communication would help. More details here.
  • The most important thing is there doesn’t seem to be a real strategy in place for fixing Bug #1. Yes, there are power users who like to install their own operating systems and troubleshoot hardware compatibility issues. In order for your product to take off, though, it can’t be just an operating system. It has to be a product. It has to be something people can purchase. And the limited options from Dell (which recommends Windows, even on the Linux parts of its website) don’t cut it. They also aren’t created by Ubuntu. They just use Ubuntu. Recently, Google released the Nexus One as its idea of hardware matching perfectly the software in Android. There is no Ubuntu equivalent. There isn’t hardware designed to be the ultimate Ubuntu experience. I’ve heard various Ubuntu advocates propose making a Ubuntu commercial. What’s the point, though? If someone saw a Ubuntu commercial, she couldn’t just go and buy Ubuntu, especially in certain countries. The options are limited or non-existent. And hardware compatibility is iffy (Dell still uses Broadcom cards… I have a Broadcom card in my Ubuntu preinstalled HP Mini, which HP no longer makes, by the way).

The straw that broke my camel back
This window button move in Ubuntu 10.04 is really indicative of a bad way Ubuntu is headed. Defaults matter. One of the things I liked about Ubuntu, as I stated before, is its sensible defaults. I don’t have to agree with everything the Ubuntu teams decide or that Mark Shuttleworth decides. That’s fine. You want GIMP out… I don’t agree with it, but I at least understand the rationale behind the decision (it takes up a lot of space on the disk, and most people do not need the crazy power-user features GIMP offers as a photo editor). This decision about the window controls came out of nowhere and had no apparent rationale. Instead of getting good reasons for the change, all we got was… nothing for a while. We got some people saying “Hey, it’s different” or “Just get used to it” or “You can change it back easily if you want.” These aren’t reasons for a change. These are coping strategies. If a change happens, there should be good reason for it. Look, I get Shuttleworth saying Ubuntu is not a democracy. It doesn’t have to be a democracy, though. How about, as self-appointed benevolent dictator for life, just explaining why you made a decision? People don’t have to agree with your decision, but at least if they have a reason for it, they are more likely to accept it. How about, even though you have the power and right to not listen to people, just soliciting feedback?

It took a lot of pressing from users to get Shuttleworth to talk a bit more about what kind of “feedback” and “data” he was looking for. He said at least that the decision wasn’t final, and he wanted genuine data. Based on his remarks in this bug report, it really does seem, though, that he has made up his mind that this is what is going to happen, regardless of what data and feedback people present him with—especially when people present a lot of legitimate points against the move, and then he just replies “And the major argument against it appears solely to be ‘we’re used to it here.'” For more details on those legitimate points, take a look at this and this.

Democracy v. Dictatorship = false dichotomy
In case anyone’s wondering, there are more than two options out there. You don’t have to put every decision to a vote. And you don’t have to totally disregard community input. You don’t have to try to please everyone or please no one. And you don’t have to be subject to mob rule if you offer a little transparency.

My advice to Shuttleworth for the future would be if you want to make a unilateral change, just be open about what your reasons are for it. You can be a strong leader without pissing off large segments of your user base. Just say “I want to change this a bit, because I think it offers X, Y, and Z usability improvements. I realize a change is difficult for everyone, and I also concede there are A, B, and C tradeoffs in making the change. The tradeoffs are worth it, though. Ultimately, the decision rests with me and the desktop experience team. Nevertheless, I would like to hear your concerns about the change, and the best way for you to communicate your concerns is through methods D and E.” Would that be so difficult? Any time you make a change, there will always be some people unhappy about it. You can still make the process a little less heated with just some communication and openness. After all, on your webpage, you say “Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers.” Your millions of pounds help make Ubuntu happen. We all know that. Keep in mind that it would behoove you to not piss off your user base, as the success of Ubuntu can’t be bought with pounds alone. Millions of users contribute to Ubuntu in many ways as well.

Why Mac?
When I voiced opposition to this latest change in Ubuntu, I got a lot of “Ubuntu is not a democracy” and “You can always use something else.” Well, as I just explained, you can very well have a non-democracy that is still community-focused. I hope Mark Shuttleworth will reconsider for the future his approach to communicating (or not communicating, in this instance) with the larger Ubuntu communities. Really, though, if I’m going to be using an operating system maintained by a dictator, I might as well go for one who understands that 1) hardware and software planned together make for a better user experience and 2) even if users don’t agree with his design decisions, he should still have rationales for those decisions.

I can’t even tell you how many design decisions I disagree with Apple about (resize only from bottom right corner, zoom instead of maximize, disk image mounting for software installation, dock icons in poof of smoke when dragged off dock, etc.). You know what, though? Each one of those decisions I disagree with I also understand the rationale for. More importantly, I like how Apple doesn’t like to tackle too much at once. Instead of trying to support all hardware and then having regressions on various theoretically “supported” devices, Apple realizes it’s better to have a great experience on a limited number of devices.

And the attention to detail is impressive. The magnetic cord I love. I am a total klutz and can’t tell you how many cords I’ve ruined by tripping on them or tugging them the wrong way. In fact, I just broke my HP Mini cord this weekend and had to order a replacement cord. Not so with the magnetic cord on my wife’s Macbook Pro. When the Macbook is sleeping, the power light fades slowly in and out instead of doing a hard off and on blink. The power button is flush with the frame of the laptop and not jutting out. The sound quality is always good on Mac laptop speakers. There’s a lot to admire about Apple approach. It is one great way to present an integrated hardware-software computer experience. My hope was that someone would present another great way. We’ll see if that ever happens.

Am I abandoning Free software?
Not really. First of all, I don’t know that I’m going Mac. Macs are expensive, so I’d have to save up for one. Even if I do go Mac, though, my Mac experience would be very different from my wife’s Mac experience. For one thing, I might dual-boot with Linux Mint. And even if I stick with Mac OS X, I will use Thunderbird instead of Mail, Firefox instead of Safari, OpenOffice instead of iWork, and my Android phone instead of an iPhone (Cyanogen’s rooted rom has made me really appreciate the Android platform even though the iPhone has its advantages too). No change has to be permanent, though. If Ubuntu comes around or changes the way it does business, or if some other Linux distro focuses its energy on preinstallation and proper marketing/distribution, and thorough hardware compatibility testing on a few select models, I might make my way back. In the meantime, if I go Mac, don’t worry—I’ll still be making my Ubuntu tutorials. A bad decision though the window control switch is, it’s probably not bad enough for most Ubuntu users to actually abandon Ubuntu at this point. For me, it was a tipping point. It’s been a good five years.

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35 Comments

  1. I’ve read your blog for a very long time now. It was one of the first high quality Ubuntu blogs on the Net. Whether or not you switch, I hope you continue to write about Ubuntu.

    This post has inspired me to start an Ubuntu Usability website. My bug reports have gone ignored for years as well. If Canonical can’t do usability testing and fix the major interface bugs, we will have to do it for them.

  2. Good post. I have dabbled with Ubuntu (and other distros), but never even attempted to use at it as my main OS having been a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fan since 1995.

    I have always felt that Ubuntu was a usable OS and certainly offered a massive amount of bang-for-buck. With each new iteration I expected more polish, however I have been invariably disappointed by it. I suppose I just got used to the eye candy that OS X offered. It goes beyond that to usability, though. If it may be said that there is an “Apple” way of doing things and a “Windows” way then Linux (and therefore Ubuntu) always seems to ape Windows.

    One of the original selling points of OS X was the Unix underpinnings and the ability to use applications like Fink to install and run Open-source software. This is still true today and I feel that OS X spans the gap between the commercial applications of Windows and the usability and versatility that Linux users crave.

    Yes, Macs are expensive when compared directly to those generic computers built by the big-box assemblers, but they also last longer, come with more software, have a great independent developer community, are well made and are innovative.

  3. I ran debian for many years, and then switched to ubuntu for desktops since the first release and more recently switched to a mac. I liked it so much I got one for my wife, then one for my kids, then my mother, etc, etc. Even though I develop web applications and use ubuntu on all my servers, the user experience of OSX is so vastly superior to everything else I have owned the decision has been very rewarding. Everything just works. You would probably like iWork, and even though I have installed thunderbird on countless client’s PC’s, and used it for years, I find I prefer mail.app and use it exclusively. The overall quality of apple’s work is extraordinary. I also virtualize ubuntu and run it alongside OSX. I think you will be happy if you get yourself a mac. Darwin is still open source.

  4. What a well-written, thought-out post. Despite my love of Linux and Ubuntu on the whole, I ended up jumping ship to Mac straight from Windows due to the myriad Ubuntu issues at the time (I was particularly tweaked about the whole Intel video thing in 8.10/9.04/9.10), I got a general malaise for software and saved up for a new computer. I bought a Mac on a whim and, though the UI has taken some getting used to, I think one thing stands strong when I think about what I use: I actually now have _fun_ using my computer.

    Screw the fanboys and the hipster accusations… it’s not just easy, it *works*. Not to sound like a fanboy, but the Mac has that same Linux feel of “if you want it, it’s there” intuitiveness; it was designed to be intuitive and have a complete feature set. Its UI paradigms are universal (image wells and drag-drop consistency, for example) so that if an idea pops into your head (can I save this PDF as a PNG, or this website to a PDF), follow the suggestions the UI had made and ingrained within you and in all likelihood, it’ll work. Where it differs – and differs unfortunately – from my Linux experience is that it has that complete feature set. Whereas iTunes, iWork, etc. may not be the best software packages to ever exist (iTunes is a shitty Carbon app and iWork goes a little bit overboard with the animations to a fault), it’s all there feature-wise. There’s no worrying about when a feature will “drop” or when a bug will get fixed, there’s no stress. There’s anticipation (see the long-awaited 10.6.3 update), and it’s fun.

  5. I appreciate what you do here, but I feel you’re doing the false dichotomy thing yourself. Ooh, Ubuntu or a mac! Except, it’s not about ubuntu, it’s about linux, and freedom. You undercut it by forgetting that. BTW, try sidux. It’s really cool.

  6. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution. Linux has many distributions. Many Linux distributions are better than Ubuntu. You say “Ubuntu” so many times, you’re like an angry emo apple fanboy who doesn’t know there are other phones out there besides the iphone. get a life.

  7. The funny thing is, Ubuntu is trying to be a free version of the Mac OS. But it’s still Linux and it retains the crowning thing that puts it above Apple: you can do whatever-the-hell-you-want with it. Something about the interface rubs you the wrong way? You can change it. It’s Mark Shuttleworth’s spin on Linux but it’s still Linux, and there’s that wholesome feeling that the computer is yours. Apple? Not close.

  8. I have to agree with many of the other posters here. You’re missing the point of Linux. Mark Shuttleworth can take his hypocritical “Ubuntu is built by the community” and “Ubuntu is not a democracy” and shove it. If he does something that pisses me off enough, there are many other Linux distributions waiting.

    Apple has a polished UI but you can only do but they very much control the experience and ultimately, if they don’t want you to do something with your device, they won’t let you (not without an uphill battle).

    And if you love Android, don’t buy Apple. They are trying to sue HTC out of the mobile phone market (for, among other things, using the touch screen to unlock the phone).

  9. Thanks for all your hard work over the years. I support PCs for a living and only in the last few years, has Ubuntu brought Linux close enough to be a viable mainstream OS, IMO.

    I started installing it for mom and pop users stuck with the disaster that is Vista on their new PC.

    Often installing dual boot using WUBI, I had to stop last year, even before Win 7 came out. Because each version got more and more quirky, and you guys would fix one thing, but break another, out of the box in a new version.

    So I continue to have to use other options for clients, such as Vector Linux, Puppy, FreeBSD, etc.

    Thus my main machine still dual boots XP.

    I owned dozens of Macs back in the Mac OS 7,8,9 days, and even the hardware was rock solid, but the mac of today is not something I can tolerate, with their usability inconsistencies as often noted by former apple HID employee Tog.
    http://bit.ly/cnRu0a

    Not elegant and usable enough at any price. And the company’s policies and attitude is more than too much for my money, and my values.
    http://bit.ly/drpYrs

    Good day.

  10. I did the opposite of you and went to Ubuntu from a Mac. Well, first I went from Ubuntu to Mac and started really liking Mac until I realized that Mac’s were limited and had to go back to Ubuntu in order to get the freedom I really wanted.

    Think about it this way:
    Apple puts title buttons on the left, and might give some rationale for doing so..but if you still want them on the right, you don’t have a choice..you’re stuck with them on the left.
    With Ubuntu, you might hate that the title buttons are on the left (I do too) and it might have been done for the dumbest reasons but at the end of the day you can still change them to the right, unlike Apple.

    And title buttons are only a minor point. What happens when you want to make your desktop look better but you’re stuck with a mandatory dock in your way? What about when someone makes a nice hack for a program you’re using but then Apple deliberately breaks that hack so that you can’t use it and the developer’s hard work is useless now? That HAS happened to me, and it’s why I’m back with Ubuntu…because I like having the choice to maximize a window without having someone else give me all the rationale in the world about why I shouldn’t do what I want to do. You can watch Ubuntu from the sidelines, but just wait until you try doing the same thing it can with a Mac.

    And as others have mentioned…there are a ton of other distros to try.

  11. HAPPY EARLY APRIL 1ST!

    Oh wait, the date is 31 March…

    Oh well my dear ay-something (never got your Ubuntu Forums name but I know it has a cat), I wish you best of luck. My request is that you do not become a Apple fanboy. And please, don’t become a open source/software libre basher. Open-source [maybe] has failed the desktop OS but that doesn’t mean it has failed in the rest.

    Live long and prosper.

  12. Why not trying other distros?

    This is what I don’t like about Ubuntu’s community in general: they seem to forget that Ubuntu is just a flavour of Linux and that Linux is not Ubuntu.

    You don’t like how things are in that particular Linux community, choose another one.

    Some hints:
    – You are looking for a real community-driven distro whose developers listen to the community (and CONTRIBUTE upstream): try Fedora
    – You want simple and yet cutting edge (and are not afraid of fiddling): try Arch
    – You want stability: go Debian
    – You want that stability + more cutting edgde: try Sidux
    – You want a great KDE-oriented distro: try openSUSE
    – You like pain: Slackware is there for you
    – You LOVE pain: then go Linux from Scratch
    – You’d like “Ubuntu done right”: use Mint

    Forget about Ubuntu: Ubuntu is not THE Linux distro. It is just A Linux distro. And not the best one that there is.

  13. An extreme leap? It seems like you are frustrated with the Linux OS more than Ubuntu. (Considering there are many different flavors of Linux you can jump to.) And RyanT, above, seems to be correct: You prefer Mac. And there is no problem with that.

    But saying that you are jumping to Mac because of Ubuntu, is like saying that you are switching to a motorcycle because of the Toyota Camry.

  14. Hi aysiu

    First, thank you for all your contributions to Ubuntu over the past five years. We appreciate your work.

    As a member of Canonical’s Design team (not to be confused with the Desktop Experience team), I share your frustration about how this latest change was handled. Please know that everyone on the Design team wants to do a better job of explaining design decisions that come out of Canonical. Where it’s us making a decision, we will ask for input, we will explain ourselves, and we will take advice from people like you on how to do both those things. Where it’s Mark making a decision, we will encourage him to be more transparent.

    Many of the points on your “Where did Ubuntu go wrong?” list can be chalked up to lack of coordination between the various developers of the software that ends up in Ubuntu — but in each case either Ubuntu developers or Canonical have worked to improve it.

    * Grub and GDM are developed by independent teams, and in both cases Ubuntu has been left in the awkward position of choosing between an abandoned more-configurable version and a newer less-configurable one — but it was Ubuntu developers who restored what GDM configurability there is.

    * Most NetworkManager developers don’t use Ubuntu themselves — but it is Ubuntu contributors working to fix the notification issues as papercuts.

    * Hardware regressions seem to be because the Linux developers don’t have automated regression testing — but Canonical ameliorates this with our hardware certification programme (ubuntu.com/partners/hardwareprogramme).

    * I’m sympathetic to your view that the best products have hardware and software designed in tandem. It was always going to take years for hardware vendors to trust Ubuntu and work with Canonical that closely, but it is happening, we just need to be patient. Expect more announcements about this in the coming months and years.

    I’ve been impressed with your thoughts on user experience issues, both on this site and on the Ubuntu Forums. So if you decide to stick around, I’d like to invite you to be part of a new Ubuntu experience design team I’m setting up. I can’t promise it will never be frustrating. I can’t promise we’ll never be overruled. But I think we can do a lot of good. E-mail me if you’re interested.

  15. i really like this post.
    it made me think about all of this again, and some interesting discussion in #ubuntu+1

    I’ll give you some extra points
    the move to the left (not that i actually like it, not the left window tittle either) seems to be done to prepare for gnome3 (or gnome-shell).

    About HW for linux, last year, when I co-organized Tokamak 2 for KDE core-devs one of Aaron ideas was to setup a brand to sell PCs and Laptops with ‘a’ distro running KDE.
    Not sure how that went, now news on that so far!

  16. As a fairly new follower of your blog and Ubuntu user myself, I was slightly disappointed to read this post but heartened that you will still post Ubuntu tutorials – I hope you stick to this promise as your tutorials are really very good!

  17. What struck me most about switching to a Mac was that there was far less toying around with it that I could do. I got involved with Linux out of boredom and it became a real hobby for quite a while. I enjoyed the struggle of learning about it and troubleshooting.

    With a Mac, the struggle is initially just going back to Google and trying to find Open Source software, or freeware, that meets my needs. It is out there, but its rather hard to find as a novice user.

    I now find myself wanting to solve some specific problems, or annoyances, I have with my Mac, only to find very little in the way of quality support, and in many cases any support at all. I suppose that Linux also felt like that at one time, but the two platforms are inevitably more different than they are similar when it comes to the things I’d like to be doing on it.

    I’m typing this from my Mac but in my Ubuntu install of 10.04, which by the way was a real pain to install into a bootable state in comparison to previous versions, in fact I ended up installing Jaunty and dist-upgrading to Lucid… then going back to chroot back in and install the older grub and set it up… then go through various steps of uncertainty to get the OS X boot process to find grub.

    All this, and at the end of the day, Its not about jerks invading a community, but about a corporation that I’m forking money over to. Its a love hate relationship. I love my hardware but I want knock Steve Jobs over when I see him speak.

  18. Hey psychocat,

    I started using Ubuntu about four years ago – my first foray into linux, and always found your tutorials invaluable. I still use ubuntu but have played around with a few distros – none have grabbed me enough to switch yet, but like you I am sometimes dissatisfied with Ubuntu.

    A career change about two years ago exposed me to usability/UX/user centred design mainly in web dev and web application dev and I have to agree that usability seems to be somewhat neglected (sometimes) in terms of linux – OSS development might include usability approaches but it might not – usability is not bug fixing, or at least it should be more than bug fixing.

    I know there is a potential conflict between what we call “freedom” – configurability of desktops and systems – and making a system as simple and intuitive, learnable, error recoverable as possible…

    At the very least though I agree with you about getting better transparency of decision making and more responsiveness to issues from Canonical.

    I can’t go back to Mac though ;-)

  19. I totally agree with you about the wonderful Apple hardware. But if I were ever rich enough to buy a Mac, I would put some flavour of linux on it.
    Why?
    I don’t like the way OS X looks (garish and over the top). That’s my personal preference, and not really relevant. What’s more serious is the way that it behaves. With linux I feel in control; I can change what I like and do what I like. With apple, I feel patronised by a computer. It gives me no way to change anything, but pretty much says “Don’t worry your pretty little head about x, Steve Jobs knows best”
    I know you were saying that about Mark Shuttleworth, but he is giving an option (a good choice, I think, because it makes ubuntu seem like a blend of the ease of use of apple and the advantages of linux) and giving you the chance to change that option. Tried changing the apple window controls around yet?

  20. A lot of these reasonings seem to be almost knee-jerk reactions. The Canonical employee voices things well. What, are they supposed to apologize because they’re leaving a slightly broken legacy program for a better, less featureful, newer one? More is not always more. If you’re switching to a mac, good gracious, you better get used to not being able to move that dock with less features than AWN!

    I’ve always loved your articles, tutorials, and forum posts, but this rant does not seem like the maturity you usually incorporate. Like stated in an earlier post, you seem to just have a problem with either Ubuntu or Linux itself. Have fun with your Mac, it’s a great OS. But don’t bad-mouth the distro because it’s trying new things. Canonical does make mistakes, just like every other company. Novell gave in to Microsoft’s bank. Apple just restricted SDK tools to a ludicrously low number, a disgusting bludgeon to freedom. Here we are whining about button changes that can be reverted with one command. Here we are, screaming bloody murder at Canonical when they make a deal to go to Yahoo!.

    Sure, defaults matter. That’s what Mark is trying to improve! He said himself that he doesn’t care about all the different little customizations that you can do to your system, he cares about providing a great default experience. And so far, I have yet to hear a complaint by any of my non-techie friends about the defaults; they all love it. People got so angry with Shuttleworth turning nearly all of the top panel to menu-based items, but it just makes so much more sense than to keep with Windows’ old and unpredictable tray behavior.

    Just this week, Mark was reminded by a blog response that the new theme should get new sounds. Guess what? A community member just came up with solid new defaults and a canonical employee has tagged it to be a freeze exception included for Lucid after a unanimous approval on the bug report. But no, sir, Canonical are evil, power-hungry devils that don’t care about the community!

    I have been reporting bugs a lot, and most of them get fixed. The reports of mine that DON’T get fixed are the GNOME-centered ones. Because of my modest reports, notify-osd has been fixed up for better performance, the Software Center follows more standards of a desktop environment, and so on.

    Sadly, I’m going to have to treat all your future discussions and comments with wariness as this post has derailed your otherwise excellent reliability.

  21. I appreciate you greatly and all the work that you had done with Ubuntu. I used the psychocats website as a Linux newbie myself. i am still using Ubuntu and like it but have a Windows 7 machine for my games. I still use as much open source software as possible and seek out open alternatives instead of pirating the closed source stuff. I hope you keep the websites up and continue to write about Linux and wish you the best of luck. Sometimes you just have to go with what works for you. just ignore all the haters!

  22. Hello!

    If you decide to leave the Linux community, we’ll miss you.

    I am a fairly newcomer in Linux world and I have adopted Ubuntu because it looked user friendly. For years I used the OS installed by default on all PCs and was frustrated by a tool that told me what to do or rather what not to do.Today, although I am not very good at using the commands, I am in charge.

    I understand your frustration and disappointment but keep in mind that thanks to people like you dummies like me feel “they are going to make it”.

    Thanks and good luck.

  23. You were a great help during my transition from WinXP to Ubuntu.

    That said, and in spite of some things that I have stated on the Ubuntu Forums, I have given the Mac some serious thought. I was initially attracted by the engineering and construction of the Macbook Pro. Also, since I use a laptop pretty much all of the time, I like the idea of the hand gestures with the touchpad.

    I haven’t actually tried OS X yet, so I cannot comment intelligently on that. One thing that eased the transition to Ubuntu was the ability to try it out. With the Mac, you have to buy it before you try it.

    So what it comes down to for me is (to borrow an analogy) do I love her for her mind or just her body?

  24. Thanks for all your work for us in the community.
    I hope I won’t have to save your site; I refer many to your tutorials still.

    Mac? Toys, even if they are attractive and want to be your best friends (or maybe *because* they are so), are just not worth the restrictiveness and wastefulness (yes, that upgrade is getting pushed down the apple tube about 30 percent faster than it was even 5 years ago) that such a fast upgrade cycle induces.

    I moved over to linux for the desktop from os x when the space tourist threw his profits into the sharing ring because, even with all the moaning from those with recent hardware (sorry about your mobile problems – it’s never going to be smooth for drivers when manufacturers want to max their profits – maybe Canonical can get enough of the enterprise market to have a little say there, which is another reason I want to remain in the community to support the work) even with all that moaning, there is a huge load of truly disadvantaged who, without Shuttleworth’s benevolence in giving linux desktops such a push, would be still stuck with 5-to-10yo hardware and only untailorable Win to battle the sh8tty Web2 jungle with, or os x to max out their obsolete processors.
    Some of my mates are running various linux distros on 5yo ppc macs very successfuly; with apple’s quick fading support, all except one of them would have been essentially driving underpowered lemons on hardware that for all else still works very well. I have little Win experience, but know first hand a community centre that has been able to pull some few “obsolete” Win machines back out of the cupboard with either Puppy or Ubuntu’s help. This is meaningful in these underemployment times and the fact that novices are happy to use Ubuntu says a lot about the things that Canonical’s team *have* kept right. Indeed, with Firefox or Chrome on board, the poorer user essentially can call the browser their os and forget about the machine’s resident system. Ubuntu is as good as any other os for this. It boots faster for sure on most hardware. And it’s the right price for the disadvantaged.

    I fancy that this move of yours has a little of the tint that mobile hardware of all kinds (especially apple) appears to have put over the leading edge of web development; the plain old wired desktop is still here in the majority and Ubuntu continues to be a very valuable, even loveable dare I say, system for that.

    But do have an enjoyable time with your renewed os x involvement and do continue to contribute to Ubuntu when you can.
    I haven’t turned on os x for a few years now, and still enjoy tweaking and getting more usefulness out of perfectly usable hardware with linux. Five years ago I’d be running around for days finding this or that driver source and verifying this or that app source, probably compiling for every single machine, and tinkering more than enjoying. If nothing else, the package management from Canonical is nothing short of superb. For the same deal on compatibility I don’t remember any os x update being without some quite hairy compatibility problems as software developers abandoned this or that app to follow along the apple forced upgrade trail.
    Happy apple trails to you, however, and once again, thanks so much for your wonderful Ubuntu archive.

  25. I’ve “known” about Psychocat for many years now, and his human readable support texts, plus the many thousand forum posts. When I was a user-noob, the dual boot instructions made me stick with GNU/Linux. So thank you from me too.

    When I read the other, newer blog entry about the Mac, I just thought “oh he’s trying around with Mac a bit”. It’s now that I realize the context was a divorce from Ubuntu.

    I’m in shock:-) And already the first Maczombies have taken whiff to release their robotic praise of that overprized BSD:-)

    On the other hand, going from Ubuntu to Mac is perhaps a natural transition for you. However it almost makes me feel as if we as a community have failed, given there doesn’t seem to be enough of what you are looking for in a community.

    I’m sorry you’ve accumulated such negative feelings towards Ubuntu, for them to result into a “that’s it” release. Whoa!

    I’m a desktopper as I don’t care for Lap/Note/Net/Whateverbooks at all, so I’ve never had any of the hardware troubles mobilers talk about.

    And yes, the first thing I did after installing Ubuntu 10+ was googling how to set the window buttons to the right:-)

  26. I’m switching from Ubuntu to a Mac. I’ve been a power Ubuntu user for 3 years. I even have the S76 Serval. Ubuntu has been a great dev platform. But I’m increasingly needing complete compatibility with “main stream” software that Ubuntu just doesn’t support… Skype and MS Office is just a few examples.

  27. I run Skype on my Ubuntu desktop… and on my Ubuntu laptop (a model whose manufacturer doesn’t even support Linux).

    I run MS Office on my Ubuntu machines, too. Was using Wine, but now I use Crossover for simpler installation & configuration; seems that MS Office runs more robustly, too.

    I’m still trying to find a reason to run Windows in my Virtual Machine… There’s just too much mainstream compatibility with Ubuntu, though.

    Oh, well…

  28. but I think mac is not good.
    I am no one to give suggestions to you, but it’s jut my word,
    I think you can consider debian .

  29. Ubuntucat, can you email me the following?
    a) a link to a server holding as much version of the Ubuntu installer iso?

    b) your suggestion on what is the latest and stable version? I have the version 8 CD (I wonder if I can make copies).

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