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A loose series of thoughts and venting on Linux, computers in general and their (ab)users.
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The small things

Posted 11-27-2008 at 03:17 AM by bitpicker

I just noticed, it's thanksgiving day in the US (I'm German). So this is something of an unintentional thanksgiving post.

Every now and then something turns up when using Linux which I am really grateful for, even though it is a small thing. Of course we're all thankful for the system as such, its security, the price it comes at, the freedom attached with it, the great software available for it and so on, but sometimes there are just small things which crop up, things you never thought about and had no idea existed, and still they make your like or your work easier and you feel grateful they exist.

The last time this happened to me was about a week ago. I have taken up learning Russian all by myself, and in order to be able to type in Russian, too, I had to add a Russian keyboard layout and a switching tool, and I ordered stickers for the keys. I am using XFce as my GUI, and it has a settings manager for keyboard layouts. Installation was pain-free, but what I expected was something like the switcher in Windows; you click on it, it switches the layout.

Well, the XFce one is that, and more: while the Windows solution is system-wide only (as far as I can tell, and there may be third party solutions copying what follows, but that's beside the point; this, for once, is no MS criticism), th XFce solution can be applied to applications or windows, too. That's just so cool: I can have a window open in which I type with Russian characters, and another in which I use my German layout to write English or German, and the switcher just sets the layout automatically along with the focus.

Maybe that works in other GUIs in a similar fashion, I never checked. But it is one of those small features I never realized existed and which I feel grateful for.

Another is the superior clipboard management; XFce gives me two separate clipboards storing ten entries each, one for text copied by marking it and one for text copied by using copy commands or Ctrl + C / X. This makes life so much easier when you have to transfer information like, for instance bank account and payment data, from one application to the other.

And, obvious as it may seem to long-term users of Linux, multiple desktops.

Well, there's a comment function: so, what small things do you feel grateful for?

Robin
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Hiya Robin,

    one of the features that I really like and find useful is that I can copy a text by highlighting it and then pasting it with the mouse by clicking the middle button.

    Lee
    Posted 11-30-2008 at 09:25 AM by windz windz is offline
 

  



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