Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) is expected in about a week here. I am definately going to upgrade have upgraded to it. albiet after about a week or so of the release, since I am pretty risk averse. So, I thought that this would be a good time to do a long term review of Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) which I have been using since May 08.
- Acer 4520 Laptop
- AMD Athlon X2 1.8 GHz
- 1GB RAM
- NVIDIA 7000m Chipset
- DVD Writer
- 160GB SATA HDD
- Artheros Wifi
Operating System Setup: Dual boot. Windows Vista Home Basic (32bit, 20GB) and Ubuntu 8.04 (32bit, Balance Space)
- Internet browsing: Swiftfox
- Word processing: OpenOffice Writer
- Spreadsheet: OpenOffice
- Image editing: GIMP
- FTP: Filezilla
- Instant messaging: Pidgin
What’s been good
In spite of reading a lot about the wifi breaking with every kernel upgrade, I only faced this problem in the beginning. I started with the madwifi drivers and had to recomplie every time a kernel upgrade came in. Then in June 08 I switched to ndiswrapper and since then have not needed to do anything for wifi. It has been on throughout.
My system boots in about 20 seconds not counting the time taken to put in my username and password. Compare this to about 80 second for me boot into Vista.
I get consistently higher download speeds in Ubuntu than on Vista for the same file from the same location.
Since my Ubuntu box is set up just the way I want, I am more productive on it than I am on my Vista box. I log in to Vista only about once a week to update it and in case I want to try out some new Windows software.
What’s been bad
Battery LIfe: Unfortunately, while running Ubuntu my battery runs out of juice in about 1 hour 15 minutes. In Vista is runs for about 2 hours 20 minutes. I have read about and tried various options to increase battery life in Ubuntu, but so far have had no luck. In fact I think the battery itself does not hold as much charge as it used to earlier. The laptop is only about 7 months old and when I first got it, I could squeeze almost 3 hours of battery life out of it. Thats is now a distant dream with either Ubuntu or Vista.
System Backup: I would like to be able to do something like a system restore that is there in Vista. A program that can recreate my current configuration onto the hard drive or to an ISO file that I can use in case I format the system. There are backup tools available, but they are not like System Restore and are more like file backup tools. Also, since I am not a programmer type person, I don’t know exactly which files/folders are required to be backed up in order to save the system.
All in all, I am very satisfied with Ubuntu. I have over the past few months dabbled in various other distributions like Mandriva, Debian, Kubuntu (I hate KDE! Too unclean) and Suse but I kept coming back to Ubuntu because I had already invested so much time and effort into setting it up and getting all the things working just fine. Apart from a dislike of KDE, I do not have any problem in setting up/using any distribution of Linux as long as my hardware is well documented and in use.
So now I wait for use Intrepid Ibex!