Hardy Heron in The House

Ugraded the family media center/internet access point to 8.04 Hardy Heron and absolutely loving it so far. A bunch of new features in the upgraded box.

KVM virtualization supported in the new kernel
I have been waiting to do this (reliably) for some time with Ubuntu – run a vitualized Windows XP box for apps that refuse to play well with WINE. With KVM and QEmu I will now be able to run my wife’s favorite long standing Windows apps within a reliable VM – nice.

PulseAudio integration
I have been using Dyne:bolic for my multi-track recording projects, but the presence of PulseAudio in Gnome will make my on-the-fly recording projects much more frequent and easy to manage using the flexibility of this sound server. To date, my experience with ESD has been problematic and unreliable forcing me to jump between ALSA and ESD depending on the app I am using.

Firefox 3
I have been a Mozilla user since the Phoenix/Firebird days and am thrilled to see Firefox 3. Among the new features are added auto-complete functionality in the location bar, smoother scrolling in tabs, and probably my favorite – the ability to configure site-specific preferences and direct protocols to either web services or installed apps. For example, Firefox can be configured to direct all mailto: links to Gmail within a new tab.

I can’t explain it, but Miro, the wicked PVR-like internet video app, seems to be working MUCH better in Hardy. I was having some significant problems with Miro crashing when jumping to a new video while midway through another. This is especially good for my kids who like to jump between their They Might Be Giants (RSS feed) and Sesame Street (RSS feed) podcasts in Miro and raise holy hell when Miro crashes!

Looking forward to exploring and playing with the new features over the coming weeks.