Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron

I downloaded and installed the new Kubuntu 8.04 release the other day--if the truth be told, I did it twice. Thank God for broadband.

Being the adventurous sort, the first time I went with so-called Cutting Edge Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 4 Remix (don't you love hyperbole?). It loaded with no problems but alas, after a few days I reinstalled, using the old reliable Rock Solid Kubuntu 8.04, with KDE 3.5.9 desktop.

Why, you may ask?

I confess, I'm basically a creature of habit.

My work laptop uses Windows XP, which I use 8 to 10 hours a day. With KDE 3.5.9, I can set my desktop up to largely mimic the way I've got my XP desktop set up. You can argue whether this is good, bad or whatever, but it's what I'm used to. The KDE 4 desktop, while undeniably cool-looking, has changed a lot of how it organizes things. After a few days, I saw no real advantage in the new way of doing things. I may change my mind, but for now I'll stick with KDE 3.5.9.

Starting with a fresh environment, I've been trying some new stuff, just for fun.

Because I have multiple Gmail accounts, I'm now using Mozilla Thunderbird to manage them using IMAP (rather than POP), which I highly recommend if your mail service provides it. IMAP allows you to access your account(s) from different locations, using different clients, with no issues around getting things out of sync. It does this by managing your mail on the server, rather than downloading it. Of the big free mail services, Gmail and AIM allow it, Yahoo does not.

Sunbird is the stand-alone Mozilla calendaring application; Lightning is a Thunderbird plugin that adds calendaring to your email client. Using Lightning and a couple of plugins for the Google Calendar service gives you a poor man's version of Exchange: email and scheduling. Add ToDoCue and you've got web-based tasks as well.

I'm also playing with VirtualBox, a virtual machine environment similar to VMWare. Chief difference is that unlike VMWare, the free version allows you to create as well as run virtual machines. So far I've installed Windows XP with promising results.

All in all, the same solid environment I've grown to love.

Windows? We don't need no stinkin' Windows!

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