THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
OR THE SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE.
NEITHER THE UNIVERSITY NOR THE SCHOOL NOR THE AUTHOR OF THIS DOCUMENT CAN ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES OF FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OFFERED HERE.
(In other words: the normal conditions of mutual-help for Linux users apply!)
I use focus follows mouse without raising the input window, so I can type into the source window while the formatted output overlaps part of it. There are also other things visible, including a small xclock window, showing date and time, a larger xdaliclock window, a small xload window, the CTWM display of windows on that desktop, some visible some not, and on the bottom right the map of my ten current desktops. (That's my style, but many others are possible.)
For several months I have been using Ctwm on all my machines, having found Openbox not flexible enough for my needs. I use 1. ctwm-3.8a-27.1.x86_64 on a 5 year old desktop PC in my department at Birmingham University using Scientific Linux 6, with kernel 2.6.32-220.13.1.el6.x86_64 Using this version of .ctmrc 2. ctwm v 3.8.1 on a 1 year old Viglen desktop PC running Fedora 16 currently kernel 3.3.7-1.fc16.i686 (My main machine at home) Using this version of .ctmrc 3. ctwm v 3.6.1 on a 2 year old Dell Latitude E5410 running Fedora 16 with kernel 3.4.4-4.fc16.i686 Using this version of .ctmrc The .ctwmrc files reference a directory "~/.ctwm-themes/glows:~/icons", which is copied here, which extends the pixmap files: .ctwm-themes
I have been using computers, originally for research in AI, Cognitive Science and philosophy since about 1972 (on various research computers available in the UK), and since about 1975 for teaching, initially at Sussex University using the cental mainframe computer (ICL1904 running the George3 operating system), then using a DEC PDP11/40, first using DEC's operating system RSX-11D, then from about 1976 Unix. Around 1981 the university bought DEC Vax computers running VMS to replace the ICL mainframe and for a while I used the local Vax service, first on VMS, then later on Unix. Since then I have mostly used variants of Unix, including first of all Sun Microsystem's (Berkeley) Unix then Solaris (various versions) on workstations and shared compute servers, of various kinds (including Sequent Symmetry and the GEC-63 disaster). After coming to Birmingham in 1991 I mostly used Suns running Solaris, either on desktop workstations or via X-terminals (also used for teaching for several years), then, from about 1999 I started using linux (Redhat 6 I think) on a Dell Latitude C400, then later on more powerful machines, both accessed remotely, or on desktop PCs, or on laptops. I have had a sequence of Dell latitude laptops, the C400, then D600, D610, and since June 2010 E6410. The last three came with Microsoft windows, which I shrank to a small partition before instlling linux. I occasionally use windows for testing hardware or checking out how something works on windows (e.g. because I have to help my wife manage her windows PC).I truly hate using MS windows, including even the best version so far Win7, for reasons explained in :
Some of those reasons apply also to the linux DTEs that I dislike, e.g. Gnome and KDE.
I decided to upgrade my desktop PC to Fedora 15, so as not to have different versions on the PC and Laptop. For the first time ever I used the fedora 'preupgrade' package that analysed my installation and created information about requirements to upgrade. It gave me the option to skip the upgrade to F14 and go straight to F15. Once Fedora 15 was working on the PC, I tested gnome again and hated it as usual, e.g. because it makes it so hard to specify the various forms of tailoring that I wanted, and it did not allow me to to set a keyboard shortcut to a way of moving through desktops that allows "wrapping" from the first or last desktop directly to the other -- I flip through desktops several times a day, so it's important for me that they form a "ring", not a chain. I then tried KDE and hated it too. Like Gnome it was incredibly difficult to find where to specify various preferences (linux designers seem to have become more and more dictatorial about how everyone should work), and then it allowed only tedious use of mouse and menus, instead of providing a file (or set of grouped files) that I could edit to specify my requirements (as is easily done in CTWM or Openbox). But KDE did eventually allow me to specify a keyboard shortcut to cycle forward or back through virtual desktops, and it did allow me to "wrap" when cycling through desktops. However it was very hard to find a way to add a command to the standard root menu, e.g a command to launch 'xterm'. But what finally killed my interest in KDE is that it fails to resume from hibernate. It partially resumes but displays a corrupted screen and then freezes. This is apparently a problem others have complained about: e.g. these two: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=704905 http://www.jlacroix.me/?p=1975 So I went back to using Openbox on my machines at home, and CTWM on my desktop PC on campus. More recently I've reverted to CTWM on all three machines. CTWM is no longer being actively maintained, though the mailing list is used and occasionally there are updates, as explained above. CTWM is very usable: small, very fast, very robust, and very tailorable -- also see this)