Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)
My geekiness is about to come out in this post, so if you’re not into geeky computer stuff, read no further or you’ll be bored out of your mind.
Ubuntu 8.10, Intrepid Ibex, is set to be released on October 30, 2008. I even added a nifty little countdown timer over there on the right. I’ve recently converted to 100% Linux on my desktop at home. It does everything I need to very nicely.
In a lengthy email discussion with Jon and Brad over at RantsAndStuff, we pretty much decided that Linux is pretty much ready for mainstream use, with the rare exception of specific apps that aren’t available for it yet. Ubuntu is right at the top for ease-of-use distributions available. Out of the box, all of your basic needs are met:
- Full featured office suite
- Firefox web browser
- Instant Messaging
- Photo and Music management
- and tons of other trinkets and utilities
If you want to add something, it’s a simple process to Add/Remove programs and do a search for whatever you want to install. What’s cool is you don’t even necessarily have to know the name of the app – the descriptions are generally very nicely written so that if you search for, say, “word processor”, you’ll get several options to choose from. Simply check the box and go from there.
So enough about how easy Ubuntu is. In just 3 weeks, the next version is set to come out which sports several improvements (here is where it gets even more geeky if you’re still reading):
- Gnome 2.24 – contains several bug fixes and new features. Probably the most touted new feature is that the file browser now has tabs much like Firefox
- Xorg 7.4 – this version of the X server (the stuff that makes Linux have a GUI rather than just a text console) makes it much easier to configure your display adapters and monitor(s).
- Kernel 2.6.27 – this kernel supports more hardware and has several bug fixes
- Encrypted private directory – this allows you to secure an area of your home directory for sensitive documents such as tax returns, etc
- Guest session – this is sort of like the guest login that Windows uses may know a little about. I honestly don’t know why it’s taken Ubuntu this long to implement this feature, but it is a welcome one if you have someone that wants to use your machine to check email or browse the web for a little while, without running the risk of him/her seeing those sensitive documents or changing any system settings.
- There are several others as well, but these are probably the ones that matter most to most users.
So really it doesn’t look like there are going to be any major usability changes, just improvements on what is already there. I’m excited about the release coming up, and plan to install it as soon as I can get my hands on it. I’ll post a review of it as soon as I can put it through its paces.