Friday, February 26, 2010

A chronicle of my Linux desktop

I have a tradition, dating back to 1995, of taking a screenshot of my Linux desktop at least once a year; I didn’t make one in 1997, but did make two in 1996, 2002, and 2007.

For the most part, I have been using FVWM1 for my Linux desktop; my 1995 screenshot shows FVWM1, as well as My most recent screenshot for 2010. Indeed, the only years where I’m not using FVWM1 for my desktop are 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2009 (but in 2009 FVWM1 is running on a virtual machine, and 2002 has two screenshots, one of which used FVWM1).

My web browser has also changed over the years; the 2000 screenshot shows me using Netscape 4; the 2002 screenshots show me using Mozilla and Konqueror; 2005-2009 screenshots show Firefox; and the 2010 screenshot uses Opera (note that I still use Firefox, but in Windows).

It’s an interesting look at my Linux desktop environment over the years. One thing is how font handling has improved over the years (note: The second 2007 and the 2008 screenshots show some experiments I did with font design); the wordprocessor in one of the 1996 screenshots as well as both 2002 screenshots show how ugly fonts used to look in Linux; for the 2010 screenshot I finally threw in the towel and use Verdana as my only proportional font, along with having full True Type delta hinting enabled. Another thing is how resolution has slowly been increasing over the years; my 1995-1998 screenshots show an 800x600 display with 256 colors; my 1999-2007 screenshots are 1024x768 with high (65536) color, and my most recent screenshots are 1280x800 with 24-bit true color.

Links to the screenshots along with, in some cases, descriptions and configuration files, are available here: