I have to say, I was really excited to make the switch from Ubuntu to Kubuntu this time.  I had Kubuntu installed and everything, but I couldn’t get so many things to work that I didn’t see the worth in staying with it.  I have too much schoolwork and too many other things to do to make it viable.  I have decided that I would like to try again over Christmas break, and then I will certainly try again with Ubuntu 9.04 in April I believe? Little problems, like adept was not working well (I like having all the update/upgrade things be different programs like package manager/synaptic/software sources is )

Anyway, a few people have asked me what is better about Ubuntu 8.10, and why it is worth upgrading.  There are a few changes, most of them are very subtle though, so I couldn’t think of many when these people asked.

Here are some things that “just work” better in Ubuntu 8.10

  • Power Usage: I believe a fresh install of ubuntu 8.04 used about 17-18W, 8.10 “out of the box” is using 16W.  I should, with any luck, be able to get that down to 11W on a regular basis and maybe even 9W when I really want the crazy 7 hour battery life that I can get at that level.
  • Network Manager Applet 0.7.0:  @jbh showed me that I could install it in 8.04, but it provides many improvements to the old network manager, like not spazzing out when you have 2 or more network connections simultaneously, it is shinier, and there are better configuration options.
  • the panels “slide” in from off the screen on boot:  this is just cool.
  • Updated Nautilus: you can change your pidgin(AIM) status from the shutdown/suspend/hibernate/restart menu, and you can have tabs in the file explorer! (the former is just kind of silly, but the latter is really nice)
  • New The GIMP: is it even called “The GIMP” anymore, or is it just regular “GIMP” now? Anyway, wow the new version is amazing compared to what it has been.  Way more user-friendly, more photoshop-like, better preferences menus, and pressure sensitivity works with my tablet in it now!
  • “Touch” functionality works (after xorg.conf configuration detailed earlier)
  • “Create a USB Startup Disk” menu option:  cool! don’t need to do anything complicated to make a USB stick that can install/liveboot ubuntu!
  • The Wifi and Bluetooth LEDs on my laptop actually work now! not that that was a big deal, but it was kind of weird that the wifi light never worked previously.
  • The “Ondemand” kernel module is loaded and “ondemand” is selected by default! this is great for saving power on people’s computers who didn’t set it up before (meaning longer battery life!)

I keep finding new cool things all the time, so this is not a complete list, you can see the “official list” here.  But many of the things I am noting are the kinds of things that aren’t listed on the featureset upgrade page.