Saturday, October 28, 2006

Life on Edgy

It looks the same, it feels the same... well, the login screen is updated, and the boot splash. I wish I had recorded my boot time running Dapper, but I timed Edgy at 29 seconds from the boot menu to the login prompt. Not bad. It then takes 7 seconds for my desktop to appear after I login.

I found that Edgy now comes with a generic kernel, ie. it supports SMP, but SMP is automatically disabled when the processor does not support it. This means new installations automatically make the most of the CPU they are installed on.

I found, to my surprise (hough I have to admit I was hoping for it) that my ATI Radeon now works, with hardware acceleration, and OpenGL. Graphics now feel a lot faster than they used to, and a whole load of programs and screensavers that refused to run now move like lightning.

It meant I could afford some customisations, so here is my chance to show them off.

Yep, reminds me of Vista too. Only thing is, it runs faster :)

My windows are no longer inflexible rectangles. When I drag them, they bend, and wobble when I let them go. It had my 4 year-old brother laughing like you've never seen.

Letting go of a window also causes ripples to spread across the desktop:

and my four virtual desktops are accessed by choosing a side if a rotatable cube (yes, that is TuxRacer you see :P):

I plan on writing a how-to for this, and post it the Ubuntu forums or wiki. Currently there doesn't exist one for Xubuntu/Xfce, as it takes some hacking. It's well worth it though :P

EDIT: I just noticed the distortion in some of the images. That's not how it looks, but the tool I used to take screenshots. Use your imagination to know what it looks like really :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ubuntu Edgy Released!

Slow as ever, though this time for reasons beyond my control...

[...]Blogger had a significant number of unplanned outages this last week [...] and a handful of planned ones to clean up from the unplanned ones. It’s been a Murphyesque cavalcade of power failures, fileserver trouble, and wonky network hardware, and I hope you’ll believe me when I say that the Blogger staff is even more sick of it than you are.

Anyway, forgiving Google for that, here is my post, dragged up from a text file on my PC:

A new version of Ubuntu linux is due for release today. Code-named 'Edgy Eft' (an eft is a baby newt) it will take over from the current 6.06 release.

Since it was announced, it was already known that Edgy will be more focused on new technology... 'under the bonnet' so to speak. Not a lot of changes will be present for the end-user. Probably most noticable (hopefully) will the the effects of the total rewrite that has been made of the boot process. Claims of 20-30 second boot times are given by many beta testers of the release. Boot times are something that has previously been cited against Ubuntu (though personally I find it quite fast).

Also in Edgy is a new Xorg 7.1, with AIGLX support. Xubuntu includes the latest Xfce, with a new trash can (recycle bin), accessibility features, and a load of bug fixes.

Reports of Edgy being very erm... 'edgy' are common. In bundling the un-released Firefox 2.0, Gaim 2.0 and a slightly buggy OpenOffice, Ubuntu have re-asserted that users wanting stability should stay with 6.06 Dapper, which will continue to be supported for 3 years (5 years for servers) after its release.

The release after Edgy will be Feisty Fawn, not Frisky Fox (as I had my money laid down on). It will be released 19th April 2007, making it the 7.04 release. Feisty will continue the focus on supporting more technology, while also bringing in additional multimedia and effects into the desktop. I think Feisty will be more exciting for the average user than Edgy so far. Feisty marks the return to the 6 month cycle that Ubuntu is famous for (Edgy was released in 4 months, because Dapper was delayed by 2 months).

For now, Dapper remains my recommendation to people who want to switch to linux with ease. Hopefully Feisty, or Feisty+1 will gove us another stable release like Dapper, that can be used for time to come.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google Buys YouTube

(A bit late on this, the PC was in use :P)

Google have agreed to buy YouTube, the video-sharing site for a large (not too large for them) amount of money. Article here: Google Buys YouTube

Mentioned possibilities include that of Google sharing ad revenues with video producers that contribute to the site. The buying of YouTube seems to be for not much more than the sheer advertising potential (and it eliminates the largest competition to Google Video

PS. I am now on Linux, and plan to post about that another time :)