Thursday, 29 October 2009

New day ... new operating system

Today is the day when the Karmic Koala debuts, hot on the heels of Windows 7 and slightly cooler on the heels of Snow Leopard. The aforementioned koala is the name for the latest incarnation of Ubuntu ... 9.10 if you're counting ... and completes a triumvirate of interesting changes in the wonderful world of the operating system.

Let's get the big cat out of the bag first. Apple's Snow Leopard was basically a sprucing-up of its predecessor (Leopard ... thanks for asking) and was mainly intended to make your snazzy Mac run a bit better and give you a few gigs of disc space back for all those Lady Ga-Ga downloads you've been hoarding.

Windows 7 is Microsoft's replacement for the somewhat unloved Vista. It too aims to be a nippier and more considerate manager for your hardware/software interface but apparently it will be very different to Vista. All those people who haven't shed their XP yet (or worse) are being encouraged to do so.

There is something mystic about the number seven of course: seventh sons of seventh sons, seven sisters (tube station and stars in Orion's belt), seven judges weighing the good and bad deeds of a dead Egyptian pharaoh ... seven the largest number that can be stored in a byte. When Apple released System Seven back in the middle ages they touted that as a big change to their OS. It had coloured icons for goodness sake!

The Karmic Koala (sorry ... I keep wanting to sing Karma Chameleon) ... is the latest Ubuntu 'distro' of Linux and is one of the most popular. According to the Ubuntu web site ...

"Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'".

It aims to be easy to use and is going head to head against Windows 7 (and presumably Apple) with better user interface, faster start-up and features to make life easier for netbook users and the Linux novice. Ubuntu and their friendly koala image are saying that Linux is for everyone.

More info ... and free downloads ... at

Funny, you wait for ages for a new OS and three come along at once.