Multitasking in Ubuntu

By Neal Krawetz  |  Posted 2007-06-01

In this chapter from the ExtremeTech book "Hacking Ubuntu: Serious Hacks Mods and Customizations," youll learn about switching applications, tweaking the workplace switcher, customizing applications, using buffers and tracking projects. Visit the three previous excerpts from this book: Hacking the Ubuntu Installation, Hacking Ubuntu to Improve Performance and Making Ubuntu Usable.

Twenty years ago, computers did one thing at a time. You either used a word processor or used a spreadsheet or printed a document—but not all at once.Today, people rarely use computers for just one thing. While using a spreadsheet, you may be modifying a document in a word processor, watching the stock market, reading news, and checking the weather—all at the same time! In my experience, the only times a computer does one dedicated task today is when (a) it is an embedded system, (b) it is devoted to a game that consumes all resources, (c) it is solving some computationally complex formula (for example, cracking passwords, modeling or data mining) and needs all of the systems computing power, or (d) its a really old computer.

Multitasking does not just mean running two programs at once. The definition encompasses your ability to switch between programs, communicate between applications and find running programs. In the corporate world, it also means accountability: You need to be able to say how much time was spent on each project. Fortunately, Ubuntu has many options for addressing these needs.

Read the full story on ExtremeTech: Multitasking in Ubuntu

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