28 April 2008

Now With Hardy Heron (aka Ubuntu 8.04)

At the risk of appearing like someone who is turning into a full-blown nerd of the computer variety, I noted something very interesting yesterday.

I was running the Update Manager function that exists in Ubuntu, and lo and behold, I was prompted to update to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) from what I installed initially, which was Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon).

This pretty much means that Ubuntu 7.10 now holds the record for the shortest period of time that an operating system has resided on a computer that I own. 5 weeks.

That's not the amazing part. After a bit of thought, I was prompted to think that this could be a service that Microsoft users could benefit from - how cool would it have been if when Windows Vista was released, you ran your Windows Update in Windows XP and a message came up prompting you to upgrade to Windows Vista no questions asked?

Mind you, a great deal of Microsoft's bottom line benefits from being able to flog the latest and greatest version of Windows to users who already use it. C'est la vie.

From what I can see, Ubuntu 8.04 has fixed a few annoying issues that I had when I initially installed Ubuntu 7.10. The fonts are sharper and, I think, nearly comparable to Windows Vista. Previously, they were a bit fuzzy.

But there is one thing that is annoying me at the moment and that is the thing that certain little things that you get when you're browsing which were a pain during 7.10 are completely ridiculous in 8.04.

Quite a lot of the blogs that I read contain embedded YouTube videos. These ran badly in 7.10, now they don't run at all. Trying to find a fix through Google is not bringing up anything at all, except that I should be running Macromedia Flash Player 9. The only problem with this is that there isn't a version that exists for the 64-bit version of Ubuntu that I'm running. Nuts.

So my current goal is trying to replicate the seamless internet browsing that Windows offers, but in my Linux environment, which appears to be easier said than done. Any ideas, anyone?

Now the interesting bit is when I get my shiny new ASUS Eee PC 900 which I plan to run on eeeXubuntu. Scary!


Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but I seriously recommend sticking to 32-bit Ubuntu for now. Unless you have huge amounts of RAM it is of no benefit to you to run 64-bit.

Running in 32-bit will solve a lot of these kinds of issues with proprietary apps like Flash and will also be measurably faster in the general case.

Note that I recommend the same thing for Windows too - there are too many devices that don't have useful 64-bit support yet.

Dikkii said...

Well, now that you've said it, I suppose I ought to think about it. Incidentally, I do have what appears to be considered the high end of medium on the RAM front, so I don't have any concerns there.

Funnily enough, I recall I had some issues installing the 32-bit version which didn't seem to occur when installing the 64-bit one. Having said that, I was attempting to install 7.10 at the time, so maybe I need to reconsider this now that 8.04 is available.

It's funny that you mention Windows - when I got my new PC, 64-bit versions of Vista were not yet available in Oz, so I ended up installing a 32-bit version instead. This may possibly have changed, but I don't plan to change it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Taj; there's no point running a 64-bit version at this point in time.

If you really, really want the benefits of your CPU, then you could run the 64-bit kernel with a 32-bit userspace (and then the 32-bit version of flash will work, too). It'll still require a reinstall, though.

Dikkii said...

Well that seals it, I think. Two people who know more about Linux than anyone I know are recommending a reinstall of the 32-bit version.

Looks like I have something to do this evening...