Sept. 8, 2019, 11:16 a.m.

Xfce

I upgraded my Debian box to the latest version, with the default GNOME desktop environment (DE) recently. Sometimes the computer runs slowly, perhaps consistent with its age. On searching the cyberworld, several culprits regarding such slowing are pointed out. Without going any further, my erstwhile DE is found on top, of course apart from the usual suspects (Microsoft, e.g.). I thus searched for the best DE, one that is not bloated, one that is lean and mean. I zeroed in on Xfce which was immediately installed. Many geeks actually recommend it (among others) for lower-end hardware, although it's also useful for the high end computers.

My relationship with computers spreads for less than 40 years, perhaps occasionally during the first quarter of this period, and probably more frequent later with the introduction of the CD-ROM. The Internet was not available at all! I think I used Apple DOS and MS-DOS operating systems (OS). Internet was available in the second quarter, but it was so slow (using the modem) and also expensive. In this quarter, it was Windows everywhere I looked. I think I used Windows 3.0, 95, 98 and ME.

The third quarter showed my frustration with Windows prompting my search for an alternative OS. The software is buggy, not to mention expensive. I landed with Linux, particularly the free Debian GNU/Linux 3; it was free alright but I spent time reading about the manual pages. At this time, Linux was still a geeky subject. I tried several distributions using disk partitions (called multi-boot install). In this latter period, I used Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 10; in the UNIX-like OSes I tried NetBSD, GNU Hurd, Fedora, YOPER, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and of course Debian (present).

Some DE I used include Luna, Aero and Fluent for Windows, and Enlightenment, LXDE, Unity and GNOME, and of course, Xfce. I'm now back to the traditional scene of the good old menu system, simple and easily configured. Why fix it when it's not broken?

"Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment."