Posted by: Rich Cumbers | April 25, 2008

Upgrading to Hardy Heron

At work I have been using Ubuntu for over 2 years on my laptop (most use Windows XP), I think I have been an Ubuntu user since 5.04 and the upgrade process in the last few releases has been getting better, although never without its problems. My upgrade from Gutsy Gibbon was amazingly easy, a few clicks and about an hour later I had 8.04 installed, so easy and now I am completely up-to-date.

HardyHeron comes comes with the latest and greatest GNOME 2.22, and from a day of using it there are minor improvements, but nothing mind blowing. The biggest change I noticed even as I was upgrading was a change in fonts. I do not know why the new fonts are better, but I feel I like them a lot more, maybe just because they are new and shiny!

My T61 Thinkpad comes with nvidia drivers and, as I like using compiz-fusion, I cross over to the dark side and use nvidia’s properitary driver, which seems to work very well. I still have more issues with external monitors then I would using XP, but overall it is a pleasant experience. Compiz-fusion is improving with every release. With Gutsy Gibbon I had issues with changing effects where they were only implemented after a restart of X, this has been fixed in this release.

The Network Config Manager has changed, mainly for the better. When I want to set a manual config change, I am not initially asked for the admin rights, but have to click a button to ‘unlock’ the admin features. LEAP network authentication has always been an issue, this seems to have improved in this release and I have actually managed to connect to the IBM secure network, although this is still not as good as it was with Windows XP.

Firefox 3 has been bundled in and whilst I am a user of flock (built on Firefox-2), I am impressed with the speed of Firefox 3 and look forward to Flock building off the latest version (they are still only Beta2). Have not had any issues with my plugins unlike Dale.

OpenOffice is now 2.4 (noticed that the splash screen now has the Sun Logo). Comes with ODF (competition with OOXML). My biggest problem with OpenOffice is spreadsheets, specifically graphing data. Having had a quick play, I see massive improvements compared to previous versions, and could potentially use it as a replacement for Microsoft’s Excel.

The biggest problem…..My Numlock does not seem to work with Keypad 😦 It appears that the upgrade changed my numpad to be a mouse pointer, and a quick google search gave me the link I needed. (

All in all I am very happy with the new release!



  1. re: Firefox 3 plugins
    it’s the plugin that I missed the most.

    but I’ve been giving it a try, and it is nicer. I love the new address bar 🙂

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