Archive for April, 2009

Jaunty Jackalope Was Launched April 23

Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope, was released yesterday. The release was right on schedule. If you have not already updated, Update Manager should prompt you to update as soon as you have all of your updates for Intrepid taken care of. (You can only update to Jaunty directly from Intrepid.)

If you need or want to get Jaunty on CD, here are your options.

1) The Get Ubuntu page contains a download link that points you to sources by region, and lets you get the type of Ubuntu you want. The default for computer architecture, 32bit, works best for most computers.

2) You can request a free CD from Canonical. They state that delivery typically takes 6 to 10 weeks. I don’t recall it being that long in my experience, but it was long enough that I will be burning my own CD this time.

3) You can buy a CD or DVD. The Buy on CD option links you to the Canonical Shop or

Jaunty Release Candidate

The Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) release candidate is now available. It is almost ready for general use. The page that announced the release candidate has a list of download sites for ISOs and torrents.

If you want to do an update, on the other hand, press Alt + F2 and type in “update manager -d” (without the quotes) into the command box. Once you are done with any other updates, the Update Manager will tell you New distribution release ‘9.04’ is available. Then you can click Upgrade and follow the instructions.

The final release of Jaunty is scheduled for April 23. Just a reminder if you choose not to update before the final release is available:

Make sure that your Software Sources package is set to download from the best available server for your location. This is done by going to System > Administration > Software Sources, On the Ubuntu Software tab, go to the line that says Download from: and choose Other. Then choose Select best server.

This is advised because, the last time I saw the figures, there were about 8 million of us Ubuntu users. Some will be using the last long-term support (LTS) version, 8.04, admittedly. Most of us will be wanting to upgrade to Jaunty if we have not already done so. I got caught in the mad rush to upgrade from Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) to Hardy Heron (8,04) and could not download the updates for 3 days because I was using the USA main server. I advise seeing if another server will work for you, and looking at ways to avoid the stampede.

Kingdom of Loathing

I am taking a temporary break from reviewing Ubuntu and related packages, in order to bring you one of the finest MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Games) ever to grace the internet. The Kingdom of Loathing is an entertaining, at times difficult but always stimulating game that is platform-independent. All you need for it is a proper web browser – no IE of the latest number, no Windows anything or even Mac anything. Linux will do just fine.

As you will see by the login page, the graphics are comic rather than ornate. Using cartoon figures, magnificent puns and other humorous devices – often drawing upon popular culture from the 1970’s to the present – this game will exercise your funny bone as it also exercises your mind.

The point of the game is to go through a series of quests, each harder than the last, gaining hit points and mojo points so that you can beat ever more difficult monsters. The game culminates in an epic war (between Orcish frat boys and usually filthy hippies), and finally taking on the final boss, the Naughty Sorceress. At the very end, you can ascend as another character, and restart the cycle. The different types of characters have differing abilities, making the game even more brain-intensive.

As you go further in the game, you will find yourself in need of some assistance. Thankfully, there is a magnificent wiki where you can look up anything you might want or need to know. Here, I have looked up the list of quests in the game.

The game is free to play. In fact, one of the things I like about it particularly is that it is not a money sink. You start out with all the inventory slots you will ever need. You can’t get an unfair advantage by piling on weapons and other items purchased for money. The game is all about strategy. That, and having a very good time. 🙂

New Stuff in Jaunty

Jaunty Jackalope – coming out in final release April 23, presuming the schedule holds – has two very fine new packages for people who want to clean up unnecessary junk that may be lying around in their computers.

Computer Janitor comes with the default Ubuntu setup.  You get there by going to System > Administration > Computer Janitor.  It allows you to clean up “cruft” – obsolete files or files that have no repository connection. It learns quickly. If you have a file you got from Getdeb or another source, and not from a repository, you only have to tell it once not to delete the file. After that, it assumes that you don’t want the file deleted (unless you change your mind).

Here is a screenshot of Computer Janitor:

Bleachbit allows you to remove stuff like cookies and form-filling information that you may want to remove if, for instance, you are sharing your computer. Even if you are not sharing your computer, you may want to clean up your caches so they don’t get too large. Bleachbit takes care of cleaning up after packages as diverse as Adobe Reader, Firefox, and even system cache files.

Here is a screenshot of Bleachbit:

In order to fetch Bleachbit from the Ubuntu repository, you need to use Alt + F2, then type sudo apt-get install bleachbit. Of course, if you prefer, you can use Add/Remove or the Synaptic Package Manager.

I hope you find them as useful as I already have!


April 2009

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