"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Test drive: Ubuntu 10.4 (Beta) Netbook Live on EEEPC 900

After so much earing about the latest Ubuntu release I decided to give it at least a quick look. I don't like installing beta versions, if I can avoid it, fortunately now-days live versions and USB disks give us the capability to operate a extensive test on a new operating system without the need of a full installation.

Disk preparation

Preparing the boot disk disk couldn't be simpler: I downloaded Ubuntu ISO image from here (I used Bittorrent as usual). Then Ubuntu's startup disk creator made a bootable SD card in matter of minutes.

First impressions

Boot time is far from extraordinary, about a minute and half, but it will probably be different on a fully installed system. Just after the boot a good surprise: there isn't anymore the annoying message that, in 9.04 release continues telling you the battery is faulty. This alone could be a good reason to upgrade.

Screenshot-Ubuntu 10.4


The so much discussed graphics changes appears a little less important in netbook edition, considered you mostly work with full-screen windows, and the famous left-sided windows buttons aren't so bad once you get used to. There is a little inconsistency with full screen applet (Maximus) that still show the close icon on the right side.

Screenshot-Ooo



As usual many software packages are upgraded to the latest release: Firefox 3.6, Open Office 3.2 (I did write part of this post using it) and so on. I particularly appreciated seeing Gparted among system utilities.

The whole thing runs smooth enough apart from some application error messages that appear now and then (It's still a beta version after all).

Screenshot-Application problem


Conclusions

You can't judge something with the complexity of a operating system only walking around an hour or less. The most important aspects, like stability, will arise only after a long continued use. Anyway I got very positive feelings from this simple test, we'll see how the real thing will be next moth.