Upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10, thumbs up

I upgraded on my laptop with no problem using the network update. Since the upgrade I've noticed a couple of things. One the memory usage is much lower, things seem to be hovering around 1.2gig and I have Firefox 3.03 (28tabs), Evolution, Hamachi, Gossip, Specto, RSSOwl (400+ feeds), Gwibber, dropbox, rescuetime, etc all open and active.

Secondly 3g and phone support is much better. I plugged in the Nokia N80 today on the train and it picked it up and suggested using it as a 3g modem. The windows mobile phone is once again simply plug in and go. No settings needed. I've tried to do both over bluetooth but the Nokia ran out of battery (tipical) and Ubuntu for some reason does not see my Windows mobile phone.

Thridly things seem just faster and smoother. I'm using compiz-fusion and the community have added some nice effects which flow along smoothly using Open GL 2.0. But everything seems more responsive that before.

Its not only the upgrade which has made my laptop happy recently. I found a really good twitter client called Gwibber. It works with almost everything including Twitter, Jaiku, Indent.ca, Pownce, Digg, Flickr, etc. No Plurk, friendfeed or Ping.fm support however. But I was thinking if I look into it, I might be able to alter the flickr or digg option to support RSS feeds generally. Or alter one of the others to match the friendfeed api.

Glyn, sent me a email to finally solve my problem with there being no RSS screensaver. This Ubuntu forum has everything you need to get going, but basiclly you install xscreensaver then configure it for fliptext with the url option enable a rss feed. Its like the Tiger screensaver but with less style.

I've also just discovered Pidgin has tons of plugins including a Skype and Facebook one. The skype one only works if skype is also running and the facebook one does odd things to your contact list. For example if you have requests to be a friend it will throw up a alert for each one for you to accept or deny. This is painful when you  Its a nice idea but very buggy in practice.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.