A couple of months with Ubuntu 8.04

Here's the thing: I sometimes get so comfortable with the version of the distro that I'm using, quirks and all, that I usually hesitate to upgrade when the latest version does come along. That was the exact same case with Ubuntu 8.04. I was quite content with 7.10 -- how could I think of moving?

Apparently, there were two reasons: first, I bought a new quad core computer to replace my aging desktop, and that one at least deserved a spanking new OS; and second, Ubuntu 7.10 on my aging and severely underpowered Thinkpad was starting to go flaky on me. So over the past couple of months, I've had to upgrade both machines.

In a way, I'm glad I did.

It's not like the shift to Ubuntu 8.04 didn't give me any grief. For one thing, Firefox 3.0-beta meant that I couldn't use the plug-ins I had; but that problem went away pretty quickly. Now that Firefox 3.0 is out, things will just get easier. KVM virtualization also didn't work as advertised, but I found a replacement for that soon enough.

But there are so many other things to like, and now that I've tried them, I don't know how I worked without them before:

Brasero CD burning utility is fantastic, miles and miles ahead of the rudimentary Gnome CD burning client from before;
Transmission, an excellent BitTorrent client, way better than the previous default client;
very smooth eye candy (though it helps I'm running on a new machine);
printer daemon automatically recognizes connected printers so there's no need to set them up (unless the printer isn't in the database);
repositories are all set up, so there's no need to specify 'universe' and 'multiverse'.

The transition to Ubuntu 8.04 has been very smooth, indeed. All the pleasant new extras never got in the way of my work (writing, graphics design, video editing); in fact, they just made things easier. The past versions of Ubuntu that I've used I will always have fond memories of, but Hardy is about as perfect as it gets....

...until the next version, of course.