Monday, April 27

Jackalopes everywhere.

Over the weekend I spent a little time upgrading my two laptops, a Dell Mini 9 and an Inspiron 9400, to Jaunty. In a word, the installation was flawless, even when things went wrong.

What does that mean? Well, on the Inspiron, after the normal process of "answer 5 questions, hit go, eat breakfast, return to installed system", I found that turning on the Nvidia drivers seemed to crash Jockey... and then when I attempted to restart, X windows failed to come up. While this sounds like a pretty major, but previously common flaw, the error handling mechanisms were easy to use and walked me through the process of giving me back a working configuration. No digging through dmesg logs or anything like that. It all comes up in a dialog and you can revert to a previous config.

While the new features list is a bit lean, you can tell where they've been putting their time. The new login screen looks very nice and, once you're into the OS, you get the expected solid performance that linux users have grown to love.

On the netbook things are even better. As much as I like what Dell did in their launcher for the netbook, Netbook Remix is by FAR superior. The simple addition of putting the title bar for applications in the Gnome panel is a wonderful enhancement for maximizing the usable screen space. I have to admit, this is my first exposure to Remix, so that may have been a part of it before, but I found that to be a subtle enhancement that makes so much sense you have to wonder if they'll ever put something like that into standard Gnome.

Aside from the small hitch with the graphics card. The installation went well as usual. The enhancements, while subtle, are a great improvement to the overall experience. Best of all, everything just works. If only I could use it at work.