Making Ubuntu wife-friendly

At home the study PC is used by the entire family. We all share the same account. I’ve been getting quite into Ubuntu for quite some time now, the only thing stopping me from moving entirely to Ubuntu is the wife factor.

  1. Email clients are different.
  2. Everything looks different.

Our windows email client is Eudora. While it’s in the process of being open-sourced there is still no linux client. The reason we don’t just switch is due to the history. We’ve got 5+ years of emails, attachments and addresses stashed away in Eudora that I am not sure how to port over to something like Thunderbird.

So, in the meantime I’ve installed Ubuntu 7.04 (aka Feisty Fawn) – desktop edition to another partition and have settled on dual-booting until I can get these things sorted out. I am slowly working on problem 2 – Everything looks different…

I found a post on whirlpool that mentioned some of the things I was thinking – like xpde an xp theme for Ubuntu. But I didn;t like xpde, and figured I could come up with something that was more like the theme we use at home.

One guy mentioned replacing the Ubuntu menu icon with a more windowsy start icon.

 

The Ubuntu logo icon is called ‘distributor-logo.png’ and right now 95% of themes and icon sets are unaware of it as it has just been introduced. This will change. But for now, just replace it. Either globally (/usr/share/icons/hicolor/48×48/ap­ ps/distributor-logo.png) or per-user (~/.icons/name_of_your_current_ico­ n_theme/somedir/apps/gnome-main-menu.ext).

So I made one. Tada:

You can probably guess that I am a fan of Windows 2000 themes. We still use Windows 2000 at home, and I dislike the XP theme enough that I switched my work PC back to the Windows 2000 look’n’feel asap.

Update (7 March 2008)

I managed to get linux and windows reading the same profile information so they could share the same emails and address books. One way to do is outlined here, but I found an even easier way:

  • Install Thunderbird on first OS
  • Make sure your profile is stored on a partition that can be read by both windows and linux (ie a FAT32 partition).
  • Check everything is still AOK in first OS
  • Reboot into your other OS and open Thunderbird using the “-P” parameter to ensure the profile is asked for.
  • Point it to the funny named directory (something like 1a2s3d4fg5.default).
  • Tada! Your alternate OS can read and share the same email  and address book.

Worked a treat for me.

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