Inside Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10

After installed Gutsy and play around inside it, heres I see:

New toolbar additions—an indicator for which user is currently logged in and a quick-launch icon for the Beagle-driven deskbar search.

Firefox users should find more to love in 7.10, as certain extensions can be installed in a more system-friendly way, such as incorporating previous Web pages into Beagle searches, multimedia plug-ins and one-click theme integration.

Firefox now gives users a choice of Adobe Flash players: the standard, proprietary Adobe plug-in, or Gnash, an open source model which, thankfully, also supports 64-bit, PowerPC and other hardware not supported by Adobe's player, albeit only up to the Flash 7 level.

One really smart move for 7.10 was consolidating all the basic ways of tweaking the desktop into one menu item: Appearance. The "Fonts" tab offers a simple way of choosing the best-looking fonts for your system, but "Visual Effects" is where you get the good stuff—windows that fade in and out, reduce with the "genie" effect, and other stuff that makes Ubuntu look modern. "Normal" will be fine for most, "Extra" gets up to the "wobbly window" level, but those who want multiple desktops on a cube, flaming windows and other effects will need to install the extensive Compiz settings manager:

  • sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
And this feature that people waited for : Gutsy Gibbon support for multiple monitors now.

Totem, the default Gnome media player, has gotten a lot of polish since its last update. Along with a more slick look, the player has improved its assistance in finding and downloading the right codecs for "restricted" (i.e. not open source) media files, like MP3s and DivX.

Finally, here's a short list of the features and additions:
  • Native support for WPA-protected wifi networks. Even my troublesome Ralink wireless PCI card found its router and connected, and hasn't yet asked for the password again.
  • Printers are surprisingly, actually one-step setup, almost to the point of hidden. I plugged in my HP DeskJet 825c, hit "Print" on an OpenOffice document, and, lo and behold, my printer was available -- without a single pop-up message or hardware "wizard."
  • NTFS-formatted drives are automatically detected and mounted for both reading and writing.
  • The Tomboy note-taking feature now allows synchronization across platforms through WebDAV or SSH.
  • Printing to PDF is now a default option, with the output landing in a "PDF" folder inside your home directory.
  • Power management is supposedly improved as the result of an updated kernel incorporation, although that appears to be up for debate.
  • It might not seem like a revolutionary feature, but users can now change their screen resolutions and refresh rates without having to log out or hack around in terminal.
Wi-Fi support, printing and graphics set-up are common complaints on any system, and Ubuntu's team has made healthy strides in this area.

The bad of all in Ubuntu I think, that still, the partition/install process, the almost-guaranteed quirks of Compiz and the handful of extra steps to get every kind of media playing nicely remain understandable frustration points for new users.


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