Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04

Today it is the scheduled date of the final Feisty Fawn version of Ubuntu, 7.04 which has been under development for the past six months.

Ubuntu's website is already under heavy traffic, and, for those who will want to download the distribution right after the release, bit torrent should be the best choice. There will be hundreds of people sharing, so, speed won't be a problem.

I hope that Ubuntu 7.04 is at least as successful as the previous version, and I'm happy to congratulate everyone involved in this awesome community. Thank you for your work. We're all making the most usable Linux distribution out there! Let's keep raising the bar!

It is out, see the release notes, or, go get it.

1 comment:

dmp said...

An Ubuntu Success Story

I have an older laptop, an IBM T40, that I *LOVE*. It was almost 3 years old when it died. I returned it for service (extended warranty) an when it came back Windows would simply not run correctly. Every time you plugged in a USB device, you got the WinXP equivalent of a "kernel panic". It got very, very frustrating because I couldn't get to the root of the problem. The hardware checked out OK but the OS and drivers were suspect. IBM was not a lot of help trying to resolve the issue.

I needed to get work done and ended up with an HP dv6000 that was a downgrade. (ugh)

I had played around with Linux long ago and used it to run a small FTP server. But it was hard to load and run. I had heard all the buzz about Ubuntu and thought "hey, what do I have to lose? WinXP doesn't run on this machine... I wonder if this distro of Linux would work on my favorite laptop?"

Well, I tried out the 7.04 beta LiveCD one evening. By this time I had already put 6.06 LTS on an old Dell laptop and liked it, so I was a lot more familiar with Linux. It worked like a champ. I plugged in some USB memory sticks and it worked flawlessly (confirming my opinion that it really was an OS & driver issue!). I tried a USB disk drive and it worked better than it did under Windows. (whodathunkit?) It even recognized and used the built-in wireless card I added later that Windows could never deal with! Amazing...

To convert over full-time, I still needed to get Photoshop CS2 running. Wine provided no love. I tried Parallels for Linux and it had issues with using the CDROM. (I expect more for $49!!!) I found VirtualBox which allows me to install my old copy of Windows 2000 and run Photoshop (as well as a couple of old games and other stuff I don't yet want to give up since I paid for them!).

The experiment has worked so well to this point that I am planning to convert my main desktop computer at home to Ubuntu 7.04 and run Windows in a VM. Along the way, I will add memory (2GB should be OK) an additional hard drive and a BIG flat panel display! (any advice on which video cards Ubuntu has the best support for would be appreciated -- I want one that will do insanely large resolutions -- 3200x2400? -- for photo and video editing...)

Ubuntu has really moved the needle with respect to how easy it is to install and use. It takes less time to set up a "vanilla" Ubuntu installation than a comparable Windows install. Mark Shuttleworth and Co. deserve much praise for their work. As a software guy (28 years of designing and writing code for a living) I appreciate how things have been thought through and issues that would be problematic for the so-called "noobs" have been reduced or eliminated. I applaud their efforts.

Now for the rounds of tweaking, adding software, finding new things that replace Windows code. I had gotten to the point recently where I was spending more time fixing Windows issues than I was doing useful work with my computer. Ubuntu seems to be offering a way out of the mess and for that I am very grateful. My wife will like the fact that I am no longer swearing at Bill Gates' OS abomination because it has done (yet again) some stupid thing to my USB hard drives or won't connect to my memory card reader or ... !!

PS: I no "fanboy" of anything. I use my computers to get things done. So when I say:

Ubuntu Rocks!

I really, really mean it.