First look: Ubuntu 8.04
Previously I’d been using Xubuntu because Ubuntu didn’t seem to work very well for me. But though it was amazingly fast, Xubuntu had problems. Yesterday I downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 and installed it on my home machine. After switching off the fancy gingerbread and trying it, I have a few observations below the fold.
Short version: this one is a keeper. If Microsoft could keep up steady improvement like this, they would be a celebrated global treasure instead of the icon of junk software that they are. But they can’t, so here we are using Ubuntu. And so far very favorably impressed.
- Seems to patch itself to stable versions. Much appreciated.
- A seriously nice interface. Just about as fast as Xubuntu when you switch off the gingerbread features. (Do you get the idea I really don’t care about transparent title bars and rotating cube screen switchers?
- Install takes about 40 minutes including applications and patching. Contrast that with 4 hours to get a Windows build anywhere near ready to use at all.
- It detected my scanner instantly, and the Xsane scanning utility is the best one I’ve seen (as measured in the fine control it gives the user).
- Drawing masks in Gimp is much more precise – and easier – than in Photoshop
- OpenOffice is much more straightforward in use than Microsoft Office.
- So far I have not had any of the ‘FlashCrash’ problems that plagued my Xubuntu installation, and even using Adobe’s Flash player plugin. (I hate the Adobe corporation even more than Microsoft)
- Very easy to burn CD’s.
- Very grateful for restricted drivers’ option, since proprietary companies dont’ seem to want to cooperate fully. This unit is running on a restricted Nvidia driver, and Broadcom network wireless chipsets can now be used without an NDIS envelope.
- Super-easy to patch the machine.
- It’s annoying to have to use restricted drivers. C’mon, chipset manufacturers, what are you afraid of? (I’m guessing they are violating their competitors’ patents and don’t want anyone to know)
- Suspend worked perfectly in Xubuntu, but hangs in Ubuntu. At least on this machine. Until I figure it out.
- Windows hotkeys don’t seem to be working. Maybe there’s a way to enable them.
- Monitor detection is very spotty in Ubuntu; it finds a “generic monitor” and you can’t get past 1024×768. This is a fairly big problem.
I’ll have more to say after using it for a while.