May 4, 2008

Installing Hardy

Here we go with Ubuntu 8.04: "Hardy Heron".

Startup is better. It says "Try Ubuntu without affecting your computer." That is good for the human aspect. They have separated the installer from the liveCD stuff, which is a good idea I think.

The installer is still dead simple. Say which language you speak (this is a hard one). If you live in the US or English Canada, you can just click next for everything, except where you pick your time zone. Unfortunately, a lot of people can't read maps, so this might be the hardest step. My answer? Fuck 'em. If you can't find your city on a world map, that's pretty sad. Especially since when you mouse over the city dot, it says the city's name.

One thing that struck me is that the installer set the resolution to 1680x1050. This was amazing. For Gutsy, the highest resolution I could get before installing the drivers from Nvidia was 800x600. I didn't have to do anything for this. Great job!

The installer is a lot simpler now that it doesn't completely load up GNOME. It gives you the standard dialogs: where are you located, what do you want your username/password to be, partition your drives (if you don't want to dual-boot and just want to format everything, click Next) and then a little progress bar tells you what it is doing. Once that is done, it shows a little thing that says "You must now restart your computer" and voila! It is done.

Now we go into the system itself. Compiz Fusion is not on, which is slightly annoying. This means that I have to figure out how to get it to work again. The completely idiotic keyring thing (who's idea was that anyway?) is still here, so I have to reset my wireless stuff. Then I found out that they have this Unlock feature on the network settings dialog. Not too bad, but after a few times of looking at the dialog and clicking a few things with no result, it gets annoying. Unfortunately it's difficult to tell whether the dialog is locked or thinking. I automatically assume that if things aren't responding it is thinking, so I just sit there and stare at it until I notice the "Unlock" button. Very annoying. They probably (or at least I hope) had a good reason to do this, although it'd be nice if there was some indication that it was locked, like highlighting the unlock button when you try to click things.

Other than that, my first impression has been pretty good. I still think they should update the default GNOME theme so that it doesn't look like you're using Windows 95, but this is merely aesthetics.

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