You may have noticed that Fedora 14 makes its release next week. Curious to see what was going to be in the new version, and on a suggestion from pyxie, I grabbed a copy of the beta and installed it on my USB flash drive.
I have been booting into this, off and on, for a few days now. And it runs great! One thing I noticed right away (aside from the new desktop artwork, typical for a new release) is that Nouveau now supports my nVidia graphics card (GT218 / NVS 3100M). I get full features, too, including dual-monitor support. All without having to install the nVidia proprietary driver.
That alone is enough for me to upgrade to Fedora 14 next week.
But there are other new features, too. A quick list of some features that interest me:
Faster JPEG handling
These days, I have a huge collection of personal digital photos. I post some of them to share with friends and family, but I keep the original versions as a sort of digital portfolio. Flipping through the photo albums should be noticeably faster in Fedora 14, with the replacement of libjpeg with libjpeg-turbo. You should get about 25% increased performance when dealing with JPEG photos. And since many applications rely upon libjpeg, this should be a global improvement.
In my role, I may not manage servers anymore. But whenever I see a new remote desktop tool, I have to see what's up. Remmina is a remote desktop client written for GNOME, aiming to be useful for system administrators and travelers, who need to work with lots of remote computers in front of either large monitors or tiny netbooks. Remmina supports multiple network protocols in an integrated and consistant user interface. Currently RDP, VNC, NX, XDMCP and SSH are supported.
Integration with GMail
I've commented previously that I no longer use a desktop email program, such as Thunderbird or Evolution. Both of those applications are great and all, but I've grown very fond of checking my email via a web browser, using GMail. All my email lives on the server, so if I go on vacation, or visit some remote office, I can just hop on a web browser to read my email. And it's all in once place. Now, GNOME can integrate with GMail using Gnome GMail. It allows GMail to be selected as the default mail application for the desktop. Unlike other solutions on the net, Gnome GMail supports "To:", "Subject:", "body", "CC:", and "BCC: fields
Support for Amazon's MP3 Music Store
I'll admit it, I have a Mac Mini at home. It's hooked up to our TV, and we use it to watch videos from the Internet. But mostly it's there to act as a gateway to my iPod, which I also own. And here's another secret: I haven't bought much from Apple's iTunes Store in the last year. I've kind of switched to Amazon's MP3 Music Store. By volume, the vast majority of the content on my iPod is MP3, purchased on CD and ripped, or purchased online through Amazon's Music Store. So I'm excited to see Clamz in Fedora 14, a little command-line program supporting Amazon's Music Store. It is intended to serve as a substitute for Amazon's official MP3 Downloader, which is not free software (and therefore is only available in binary form for a limited set of platforms.) Clamz can be used to download either individual songs or complete albums that you have purchased from Amazon.
Sure, Fedora has had music players for a while: Amarok, Audacity, etc. But I am interested in the new Clementine music player. It is a multi-platform music player. It is inspired by Amarok 1.4, focusing on a fast and easy-to-use interface for searching and playing your music. You can copy songs to your iPod, iPhone, MTP, or USB mass storage device. If it works as advertised, I wonder if I'll need that Mac Mini anymore as an iPod music manager appliance.