Geek; Programmer; Pythonista; FOSS enthusiast, evangelist and contributor; Melange developer; opinionated about programming languages; crazy about cars and air-planes; choosy in watching movies; loves Bangalore, San Francisco and Southern California; and most importantly addicted to coffee!
Madhusudan C.S.
map (thoughts) => words;   reduce (words) => this;
April 26, 2008, 4:28 a.m.

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Ubuntu HAS KEPT ITS PROMISE. IT HAS REALLY BROUGHT TO US THE LATEST AND THE GREATEST SOFTWARE FROM FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE WORLD WITH HARDY HERON.

   After I started using Hardy Heron at about 7PM on 24th, I was awe struck by its performance, Tools it provided and many other things. But unfortunately I had reached the limit in non-free hours for April and had to wait for 2AM on 25th when my free Internet usage hours start. Till then I marked the packages that I needed. At 2AM I put them for download. I had marked basic packages like Amarok audio player, video stuff like VLC, some internet utilities like XChat and stuff and few plugins to Softwares like Pidgin. At 2 AM I began by playing some mp3 files. Then a pop warned me of that necessary plugins were not installed and just with a click of the mouse all the multimedia plugins that could play mp3, wma, aac, etc audio formats got installed along with video format plugins like mpeg, avi, divx, xvid plugins automatically got installed. I started tasksel with the following command:

   $ sudo tasksel

and there I selected LAMP Server which installed LAMP Server smoothly without any glitches. Finally I opened Synaptic, Opened the Markings file and clicked Apply for the download to get over. I slept off. When I woke the next day morning, the download was over and packages were installed. So I was happy, I just checked Amarok and VLC with the movies and music files I had, it worked fine.

   Then I started Pidgin and enabled the two plugins I liked the most, the Music Tracker Plugin and Guifications plugin. Pidgin crashed. It simply froze. I could not do anything on Pidgin. I am a power Internet user, rather I would love to call myself Heavy Internet User, He He He. So no Pidgin meant no internet for me and hence no more Hardy for me. I simply did not want to give up, because I loved Hardy the most after Dapper because of all the reasons I had mentioned. I killed Pidgin process and started it time and again, I restarted my system and tried again but nothing seemed to work in my way. One final thought came to my mind, I logged into Launchpad and filed a bug on Pidgin, within an hour I got a prompt repsonse from a developer who asked me to reproduce the bug with another user account, if that was not possible he asked me to simply remove the ~/.purple directory. Phew!, then Pidgin worked for me. A big respite to me and that meant I could stay on Hardy.

   Then I started seeing other features. There was a lot of hype around World Clock Applet of GNOME. To see it I just clicked on the Time at the right top of the screen, I was given options to add new timezones and weather to my clock. I added the timezones in which my cousins stay. It is helping me a lot now. Amazing feature. Hats Off to GNOME and Ubuntu for giving us such an amazing feature.

   Moreover I forgot to mention about FireFox which was the first one I tested on Hardy Heron. Ubuntu developers have included FireFox 3 Beta 5 the latest and the greatest version of FireFox ever. Its infact the greatest Browser one might have seen ever. Its still a Beta version and its much much much better than almost all the other browsers in the market in terms stability, performance, features or whatever. Thats sounds amazing, eh? Thats Free Software.

   I tested the default CD writing tool, i.e Brasero. At the first look we just feel it is a copy of Nero Burning ROM. But it has some amazing features and a very cool interface. It has been made the default CD burning tool absolutely keeping new users who will come from Winblow$ in mind. It just rocks!!!

   I also tried Transmission, the default Bit Torrent Client that comes with Hardy. Its really nice with great interface and features, But I am big time fan of Azureus so I switched back to Azureus. Hardy Heron also ships with Open Office 2.4 as the default Office Suite. Its an amazing upgrade from Open Office 2.3. It has tens of new features that one can easily make out at the first look. The Open Office Presentation now has 3D slide transitions as in Beryl or Compiz Fusion. It turns the cube during slide transitions, He He He and lot more features. One has to use Open Office 2.4 Suite to get to know what they are. It deserves one separate blog post. I will try to do it sometime later.

   Finally coming to the Multimedia part I used VLC, there is not much of a difference one can make out from previous releases, but we all know that VLC simply rocks and we all love it. Also I tried KGet, the downloader I use the most, its just fine, but I could not make any improvements at the first look. Finally coming to the Amarok part. I don't have words to say, it simply rocks. It has been given a small visual refresh. The icons look better now. One amazing thing I observed about Amarok. When we close Amarok when it is playing it minimizes to tray. The tray icon looks dark if any song is being played by Amarok or else it looks bright. Also when the song starts to play the icon gets filled from the top with a small bright white colored translucent layer proportional to the time that the song has played. Amazing!!! Probably that was there in Amarok before, I haven't observed. Also I have never seen such a feature in any other players either on GNU/Linux or on Winblow$ before. Amarok rocks!!!

This is my overall review of Hardy Heron. Please feel free to leave your comments on my review and please share your experiences with Hardy Heron.

-- Yours lovingly
Madhusudan.C.S

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