Is it Xubuntu or is it Windows 95?

Or some bastardized mishmash of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 and Windows 98?

Actually it’s my writing laptop with a definite oldschool look that gives me a chuckle every time I use it.

For the record, this is Xubuntu 12.04.

It all started when I was bored and upgrading from Xubuntu 10.04 to 12.04.  Contrary to the way things usually work when upgrading Ubuntu versions, it actually worked and I didn’t have to reinstall anything.

And it was then that I noticed that the editable Xfce4 menu function… well… actually worked!  I remember back in the heady days of using Gnome 2 – before Gnome decided it wanted to be the desktop environment that absolutely nobody fucking uses any more – Ubuntu included a little utility to edit the Gnome application menu.

When I switched to using Xfce4, I noticed that there was a similar utility.  Shame it didn’t work.

But now… hey!  Look at that thing work!   Work so damn well that as a gag I reconstructed the Windows 95 Start menu.  And since I actually LIKE using menus, icons and hierarchical file structures, I kept it.  Then I went overboard.  I found and installed a Windows 3.1 window manager theme and used the settings available in Xubuntu to make the window controls look exactly like they did in Windows 3.1.

A step backward, I know.  But a double click on the left corner closes the window anyway.

Next I downloaded some windows-95-like icons.  This was kind of hard to do actually, and it took a while before I was able to get the icons looking sufficiently 16-bit and out-of-date.  Another trick I used was to turn off font-smoothing AKA anti-aliasing.  I also selected a font that looks wonderfully, horribly old-tech.  Oh, and the “Redmond” theme helps tremendously.

I even customized Firefox (no, despite the IE icon, it’s not Internet Explorer I use for browsing) so that it resembles good old fashioned IE4.

Altavista isn’t playing along nicely with this whole 1990s, 16-bit computing “ZOMG it’s a Pentium, your 486 is ancient!” theme.  I will write them a letter.

And did you notice how I completely replaced the Xfce4-Settings-Manager applet with a folder containing launchers for various setting apps that I’ve cleverly called the “Control Panel”?  So very Win95-ish.  Makes me want to load Encarta and maybe even venture out on the Information Superhighway!

And now that I have all this old-timey glory, I can write my lame-ass blog posts for you to enjoy here in this modern age!  You can probably enjoy this on a phone or even on a pair of eyeglasses whipped up by that new Google company.  Bah.  When I was your age, Bicycles had one huge ass wheel in the front and that’s the way we liked it!