So we’re getting down to the final days of testing before the official release of Ubuntu 8.04. There are several new features included with it, but we’re only going to take a look at just a couple of them before the official release in just six days!
I have been testing out the Beta version of Ubuntu 8.04 for roughly the past two weeks and put an end to it last night by removing it and replacing it with Ubuntu 8.04 Release Candidate, a preview version of the official release. A lot of performance improvements have been made to this latest edition of my favorite operating system. Firefox 3 Beta 5 and Open Office 2.4 are included with Ubuntu 8.04 by default. Firefox in particular has made major memory usage improvements which translates into faster load times for the user. And overall, Hardy Heron users report snappier performance.
A new feature called Pulse Audio is being ushered in with Ubuntu 8.04 which stands to bring ease to sound card configuration and make obsolete certain hardware limitations of some cards. Pulse Audio is a sound server and you can do a lot of cool stuff with it, such as set one computer up to accept sound from another computer over a network. You could imagine having a Home Theater PC receiving sound from a wireless laptop in the same room. And it is actually surprisingly easy to configure that scenario I just made up.
There are still a couple of small drawbacks about Pulse Audio that I must mention:
- Pulse Audio has not yet integrated any sort of EQ into its mixer, so you can’t adjust bass or treble on your speakers with it just yet.
- Pulse Audio does not support surround sound channel level adjustment just yet, so only your two front stereo speakers will work for now.
For some people, this isn’t much of a big deal. Not everybody has a surround sound system connected to their computer, and two speakers is all they could ever ask for. But for people like me, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Though… they had to implement it at some point. So I’ll stop crying about it for now. I am sure additional mixers will soon be integrated in with Pulse Audio. In most cases, the technical problems it will solve outweighs its weaknesses.
Wubi – What is it?
Wubi is a new installer that is part of the Ubuntu Live CD. Wubi allows Windows user to install Ubuntu on their system in a manor similar to installing any other program.
To start Ubuntu after installing, you restart your computer and select “Ubuntu”. If you want to boot back into Windows, you restart and select Windows. If you’d like to remove Wubi/Ubuntu from your computer, you can go into Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs, and simply uninstall it. Now that’s easy!
These are two of the biggest advancements made outside of Ubuntu’s already impressive boost to system wide performance and stability. All of which are preparation for a dramatic face-lift set to take place when 8.10 is released in October.
Saturday, April 19th, 2008