Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Time for a change, some thanks and a return to Xubuntu

I've worked with Ubuntu for nearly seven years now and have recently realised that I have several other interests that I have been ignoring for some time. Some of those interests actually go back to the 1960s so I feel that it's now time to spend less time at the computer keyboard and, weather permitting, more time outdoors.

Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

Last October, I received an email from Elizabeth K. Joseph informing me she was looking to cease her involvement with the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter [UWN]. Although I was surprised at what she had to say I totally understood her reasons for wanting to move on. I know that she has worked on the newsletter from the most unusual of locations and at some very strange times of the day. What isn't always appreciated is that the current "team" is probably one of the smallest within the Ubuntu community. "Lyz" has generally held things together, guided the rest of us on what the newsletter should include, and taken ultimate responsibility for its "look and feel" and content. After contributing to over 140 issues myself, I'm also now bowing out, for a while at least.
Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

My most recent contributions to UWN were made on a somewhat casual short term basis as I had formally left the team some months previously. I made a commitment to help with a dozen or so issues leading up to issue 500 and thought that that issue would be my last. However, for the benefit of another team member I decided to provide some assistance with issue 501. I wish the remaining members of the team well in producing future editions of the newsletter and hope that new contributors decide to join the team as anyone interested in writing article summaries is always especially welcome.

Thank you Lyz for your all your help and guidance over the past four years.


Last summer I started to reassess my needs for a personal finance application. For many years I had used Microsoft Money but switched to KMyMoney when I started using Kubuntu. As I didn't want to add numerous KDE dependencies to my Ubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME or Xubuntu installations I decided to look for a small GTK based program and found Homebank in the Ubuntu repositories. The program is developed by Maxime Doyen.

Homebank v5
Homebank v5
Unfortunately there were a number of annoying bugs in the first versions of the program that I used but I am pleased to report that the latest releases have fixed virtually all of the known and confirmed bugs. Homebank has been a pleasure to use and has been a great help over the last few months while I have been planning for my retirement and managing my very much reduced income. However, I recommend using the latest version from the official PPA as the releases in the Ubuntu repositories have become out of date and don't include the latest bug fixes.

Thank you Maxime for this superb program.


I'm currently using XubuntuUbuntu GNOME and Ubuntu Server on three laptops and a VPS hosted at DigitalOcean.

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS on my Toshiba C-50B
Xubuntu 16.04 LTS on my Toshiba C-50B
My Toshiba C-50B laptop, shown above, is for the time being my main machine but is now running what will become Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. Although the release is still in development, it has restored a certain amount of functionality and performance that was previously lacking when running Ubuntu or Ubuntu GNOME. In due course I plan to run Xubuntu on all of my PCs or laptops as it so much lighter on resources than some of the other Ubuntu flavours that I have been using recently, a factor which is very important on my ageing or inferior hardware.

Thank you the Xubuntu team for producing what has now become my favourite Ubuntu flavour.

--- oOo ---

Of course I will continue to use Ubuntu, or one of its flavours, to keep in touch with people through email and IRC, and to manage my personal files, photographs and documents. For the time being Ubuntu will be something that I use to organise my other interests rather than being an interest that has taken up so much of my time since I first installed Ubuntu 10.04 in May 2010.


  1. Homebank 5.1.5, released on 13th May 2017, is a further minor release which fixes all known bugs to date.

  2. Homebank 5.1.5 is now available in the Ubuntu repositories for the Artful Aardvark release so use of the PPA is not needed. However, the next release of Homebank is being worked on and will include some new features and further bug fixes.