Gnome Do Absolutely Rocks

I’ve been talking to some Mac users at work recently, as Orbitz is contemplating replacing the Linux workstations our developers use with Macbook Pros. As you could imagine, this is generating a lot of buzz. I’m not a Mac user (long live Ubuntu), so I set out to understand what makes Mac users so passionate about Macs. What rose to the top of everybody’s list was an application launcher on steroids called Quicksilver. People just couldn’t stop talking about how awesome it was. So, I set out to see if there was a port of Quicksilver for Linux.

What I found was Gnome Do. Do, and Quicksilver, enable you to do anything you may need to do on your computer with just a few key strokes. A wide variety of plugins enable Do to support just about anything you can think of. I don’t know much about Quicksilver beyond it’s main features, so I can’t really compare Do and Quicksilver. However, I can state with 100% confidence that Gnome Do rocks!. Assuming that Quicksilver can do everything that Do can (and I don’t see why that wouldn’t be the case), I can see why all of the Mac users are ga-ga over it.

With Do, you can:

  • Start applications
  • Start applications with certain parameters (ssh to a given box)
  • Open files or folders on your file system
  • Perform operations (move, rename, delete, etc) on files or folders on your file system
  • Traverse the hierarchy of folders in your file system
  • Search Google (having the results presented right in Do)
  • Kick off the composition of an email to somebody in your address book
  • Kick off an IM conversation with somebody in your buddy list
  • Quickly navigate to a JIRA issue (if you use JIRA for issue tracking)

That’s the short list. I’ve only been using it a day, so I’m still learning some tricks. I can see how this could make somebody much more productive, as now everything I need is just a few key strokes away. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) is out!

I’ve been an Ubuntu user for about a year now. Before that, I played around with SuSE, RedHat, and a couple other Linux distros. However, Ubuntu is the first one that I use on a day to day basis. Installing applications is easy. Getting and installing updates is easy. Everything just works. It is the first Linux distro that I would recommend to non tech savvy users. It runs my web, Subversion, FTP, and and other servers at home, and I run it on my laptop. It is very easy to use, the community is very helpful, and I’ve never had a major issue with it. It, and a whole bunch of applications that are one click away from installation, are completely free. Who says you get what you pay for!

Previously, if you wanted to try out Ubuntu, you needed to boot into it using the Live CD, which loaded the OS into memory, and greatly limited what you could do. However, with Hardy Heron, you can now install Ubuntu right on your Windows box, without disturbing your Windows installation or your system’s boot record. Since Ubuntu lives on your file system, and not just in memory, you can now give it a real test run to see how you like it. And, if you decide not to stick with it, all you have to do is uninstall it like any other Windows program.

So, go download it and give it a shot.