Exciting news for the Ubuntu community! Alpha 4 of Jaunty is now available and as a friend of mine is so fond of telling me, if you’re not on the edge, you’re taking up too much room! :)
So how’s Jaunty as compared to the most recent stable release, known as Intrepid Ibex? Well as a 64 bit user Jaunty has the huge advantage of booting at all which is a bonus! I’ve been using computers for almost 20 years and would call myself a professional of one sort or another for at least 7. I’m still new to linux but I am learning and what I’m finding is that the new release fills in a lot more of the perceived gaps that I have between my knowlegde of computing and my ability to copy and paste command line instructions from other users. My wireless setup now works straight out of the box, again another source of heartache with Intrepid, and the new file system seems to boot faster – those interested in pretending that they understand the nuances of it can read more about EXT4 over here.
On the down side there still seem to be issues getting some system updates – I think the UK mirror is sometimes a tad unreliable which means that your downloads don’t always work and that has killed my system on a couple of occasions. This is a small niggle when you consider that if I just installed it and left it be it would be a working system that I could produce work on and happily live with up until the release of the final product in April. Not only that but it’s also important to remember that this stuff is Alpha and so while the fact that I can’t play a DVD mvie at present results in my girlfriend mocking me it’s not really what I’d call a huge deal. I imagine that with the amount of DivX viewing tha goes on these days it’s not something a lot of people test particularly carefully.
If it sounds like I’m making excuses it’s probably because I am :) I could dual boot into Windows right now and all of these issues would go away but I’m really enjoying using Ubuntu and solving it’s little niggles. I am also very very excited by the new version of Gnome DO – a fab Linux quicksilver-esque application. It now has a dock mode – see screenshot above – which is the perfect combination of keyboard launching and clicking as far as I’m concerned – again I could just get this straight away on my Mac but it’s about the journey as much as the getting there … or getting things done when you get there :) If I could stop playing with the software repositories for five minutes this post wouldn’t have taken 3 hours to write!
I’m also working on my Linux for beginners presentation that I did for my place of work a while back. I am being encouraged to present this at a barcamp or other such event in the near future for those interested in being able to bluff their way through a conversation about Linux so if you’re new to Linux like me and want to know more about it without doing three installations in one night – that’s my current record – then let me know and I’ll happily have a natter with you. Similarly if you’re into getting together to discuss your installation woes and you’re in the London area give me a shout!
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