What happened to Ubuntu?

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http://ubuntuforums.org – <Rant ON> Back 5 years ago I was running Ubuntu Hardy Heron. I thought it was great at the time. When I decided I wanted to play games I moved to Windows 7. Well now I am back with much better hardware and running Ubuntu 12.04 and it plays games just fine for me. However I must admit I am disappointed with Ubuntu. With Hardy Heron I could configure things the way I want. Now everything appears locked down. Something simple like changing the order of the indicators is a chore of copy and edit files which I have yet to get to work. Also, I wanted to add a GPU & CPU temperature (Hardware)