Despite using Ubuntu for the past 3.5 years, and fastidiously upgrading the the latest and greatest version when it came out (Ubuntu releases a new version every 6 months), I dropped the ball on linux usage a year or so ago. I still updated it on my system (Lenovo T61 dual boot with Windows XP) – I just did not use it regularly.
Finally got a chance to get back to Ubuntu (Hardy Heron, or Ubuntu 8.04 as it is known -> upgraded to Jaunty Jackalope, aka Ubuntu 9.04) – and boy, what an improvement ! Partially due to the better (than the T60 I was having) specs – more Processing power and RAM, maybe. But more importantly, I found the following things which make Ubuntu a much more powerful and serious candidate for being the OS for non-geeks too:
- Upgrade / Install Process – Very smooth, with a lot of hand-holding when required. A breeze to install !
- Run from within Windows, or as a Live CD (I found a Live USB much faster than a Live CD)
- Gnome – has improved a lot !
- Compiz – Extremely powerful graphics, with great window management capabilities. While it has been around for a while, it works pretty well out-of-the-box, starting with Hardy Heron.
- Good File sharing via dropbox, spideroak
- Nice apps for twitter (Tweetdeck, Twhirl)
- Some cool backup apps
- Picasa available via wine, and working like a charm !
- Thunderbird 3 (beta) with *much* better calendaring support (lightning nightly) – freedom from Outlook Web Exchange, and Evolution !
What’s missing :