Linux Playing: Gnome 3

18 Feb

I normally work using some variant of the Pomodoro technique. I work for 25 minutes, sort of take a 5 minute break, repeat 4 times, take a half hour break, repeat the whole thing. The official Pomodoro technique involves having tasks, allocating a certain number of time blocks for tasks and keeping track of how long you really spend. However, I’ve found that paper to do lists work better for me (I like crossing things off it), but a computer timer is better for me (I’m in a shared office and have head phones on most of the time). I’ve never really reconciled the two, and besides if I’m getting work done I’m happy.

In short, I need a timer. Preferably a timer that will time for one time length (25 minutes) and then automatically start another (5 minutes), so not a standard timer. I gave Tomighty a go. I liked it, even though it used java. But then when I unplugged my laptop from my larger monitor  the numbers weren’t displaying properly anymore in the toolbar. And I had the java runtime environment in the background. Things that I could fix up by working out how to use Java properly and by refreshing the screen, but I went hunting instead.

I discovered that Mint Cinnamon has an app store, which had a timer that looks almost good enough (it didn’t automatically start a break timer), and in the comments there it referenced that there was a pomodoro timer in the gnome extensions. As far as I’m aware Mint Cinnamon is built on gnome 3 (but made to look like gnome 2), but apparently it isn’t the newest version of Gnome as I couldn’t install the extensions. However by using:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

(There was something else, I’m sure, can’t remember).

And logging out and back in I could get all the gnome extensions I wanted. However it  came at a price. Gone is my pretty Cinnamon, it is replaced with  a somewhat confusing gnome. I’ve spent a day using it, well I’m using it.

It seems slow in comparison. Programs that I remember just appearing in Cinnamon take their time in Gnome (things like Terminal). Programs aren’t so easy to find if you don’t know what they are called (when I hit the windows key, there use to be a button to display all the programs, like what Android has, but it has disappeared) and they aren’t ogranised nicely into categories.

The worse thing is that the clock is in the top middle centre. I’m fine with the main tool bar being at the top. Just have the clock in  one of the corners. I’m constantly finding myself looking at the top right hand corner, than the left before remembering that it is in the middle. Just then I confused my Pomodoro timer with the clock (I was sure it couldn’t have been 7:17).

All in all, I can use gnome, it is just annoying me greatly. The only reason why I’m still using it is that I really like the extensions. It was nice that my pomodoro extension started up as soon as I booted up. I’ll give it another day. If I don’t like it by the end of the day, back to pretty cinnamon and I’ll give tomighty another try.


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