The good, the bad and the Vista.

Or/ Roundup of snipets for the week.

The recession has brought about many losses, most recently Joe Wilcox from Microsoft Watch.  Microsoft is reported to have stopped their plans for a bar on the Redmond Campus, cancelled their summer picnic and forced Steve Ballmer to wear deoderant instead of sending his shirts to the dry cleaners after dancing on the stage in them….ok the last one is a joke, but I think when a company the size Microsoft is looking to cut costs people need to start worrying.

Sage, the firm responsible for many financial/accounting packages that most of us have seen in our workplaces it is reported that around 200 job cuts will ocurr in the UK as part of a package to save approximately £50 million a year.  It was reported on a local radio station though that these job losses are to be voluntary redundancies.

Nintendo, producers of the hideously popular consoles WII and DS have announced that they have had a rise in net profit of 8.5% which goes to show, if you have the right product you can still make money in a recession.  That is reportedly in contrast to both Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox 360) who have both announced job cuts.

One of the many alcoves in our house that have PC's stuffed into them!  These are the main rigs I use to post on, the machine on the left is currently running Ubuntu 8.10 and on the right #!CBL.
One of the many alcoves in our house that have PC's stuffed into them! These are the main rigs I use to post on, the machine on the left is currently running Ubuntu 8.10 and on the right #!CBL.


Ive taken the opportunity to install #!CBL on a second PC on my desk.  The idea being that one of the machines has Ubuntu 8.10 on it and since #!CBL is derived from 8.10 it seemed only fair to have the two running side by site.  CBL runs off the Openbox Windows Manager and promises a faster experience.  Did it deliver?

Im not going to do an indepth review of !#CBL since there are plenty of other sites that have gone into far more detail.   Since 8.10.02 is built upon and intended as a “faster Ubuntu” (specifically 8.10) I thought I would compare it roughly on two machines whilst having different size monitors are largely the same.

Boot up and shut down speed were roughly the same (give or take a few milliseconds too small to measure) and operation on both distros were roughly identical.  What I did like about !#CBL immediately was the “right click” feature which allowed you to have all of your programs accessable to you at the mouse pointer.  Of course there is a drawback of this, if, like me you like your browser to take up the entire screen (or indeed any app) you will find yourself having to minimise it first since the program with focus will be “in control” of the options available to you with a right click.

For a distro that is apparently a “distribution has been built and customised from a minimal Ubuntu install” I was surprised to see so many apps, and thats wasnt really a good thing.  Let me explain:

1. Why on earth have Claws and Liferea with no Newsgroup reader (that I could see) when you could have simply had Thunderbird which would have done all three things in one?

2. Why have rTorrent & Deluge?

3. Why have a terminal IRC chat and Xchat?

There were many examples of this, and far from being the lightweight distro I thought it would be, I spent more time removing the plethora of “extras” I had no need for than I did with Ubuntu 8.10.

What did I like?

I liked the fact that AbiWord was installed instead of OpenOffice.  I have little need of a full office suite so that was welcomed (and Ive been a user of Abiword for a long time)

I liked the system info on the desktop although it begs the question if this distro is aimed at being as fast as possible implementation of Ubuntu 8.10 why install a feature as default that will have an effect (whilst minor) on the performance as the code poles and measures CPU usage?

Small gripes aside hardware detection was flawless and quick.  No issues or conflicts.  It comes with a very nice set of wallpapers, and whilst the default colour scheme of the desktop can look a little “dodgy” with certain apps, its far better than the orange/brown we have with Ubuntu.

Do I recommend CBL?  Well yes and no.  If you are expecting a hyperfast Ubuntu (which is already very quick), then in my experience you will be disapointed and please, if someones experience is different correct me.  If you are after a nice looking slightly different version of the very hardware friendly Ubuntu, then look no further.

#!CBL will be staying on my second machine for a while.  Its certainly a very good distro.

You can visit the #!CBL site at:

Goblin –


2 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the Vista.

Add yours

  1. In regards to the CBL article:

    Id like to add, Ive now tried numerous times and cannot get Gwibber to work at all. (It wont even login)

    Not too much of a problem since I use Twitterfall anyway.

  2. I shamelessly plugged your site again on the now becoming defunk M$ Watch site. The commment was withheld, but should be showing up by tomorrow over there. Its nice to see Will and Ralph over here, as they always added much to the discussion. They are others too that can help.

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