I’ve read quite a lot of more or less negative posts about Hardy Heron (HH) lately. Don’t upgrade yet, let them release a few upgrades first, hardware problems, no major new stuff anyway, the list goes on.
Well I just upgraded on my laptop (the process was completely painless) and was pleasantly surprised, given my rare condition of being an aesthetically sensitive nerd. Moreover the hardware support on the Acer seems better, the details:
1.) The first thing you notice is that you now have background shadows on the windows, this has been something I’ve only been able to access through Compiz/Beryl or a special display setting - both crashing miserably on all my machines to date. However now the shadows are there in a stable fashion, giving a nice 3D feeling. I’ve also noticed a few more minor display related goodies but you’ll have to discover them by yourself
2.) The application switcher (ALT-TAB) now sports screenshots of each application, a major improvement both visually and in increased usability. For instance switching between terminal instances is less guesswork now.
3.) In Gutsy the screen dimmer didn’t work properly, it was on or off, no levels in between. It now works properly. The volume wheel still doesn’t work though…
4.) So far everything works just as well as it did in Gutsy, I’ll post here if I discover broken stuff.
Note that I haven’t installed any custom drivers except for madwifi which is working properly after the upgrade.
Btw, one of the best install guides I’ve been able to find if you are doing a fresh install is Spica’s Gutsy install guide. It will probably apply just as easily to Heron and is probably useful even if you’re using another brand than Acer.
Update 24 Jun 2008: I just installed GNOME ALSA Mixer through Synaptic, when running the application I noticed that there is a headphone control, with this control it’s possible to crank up the volume on the headphones to previously unattainable levels!
Update 28 Jun 2008: I just had problems with suspension which I didn’t have with Gutsy, it crashed when trying to wake up on the third time I suspended it so it’s a random thing, maybe this Heron installation was not such a good idea after all…