I've been running Intrepid (64-bit) since alpha 1 was released and so far, it's been completely stable for me (maybe there is still major breakage to come, I don't really know the development process). Anyway, I thought I'd write down some of my observations so far. Why? Hmm... "For your consideration"? Naah... not really. "Because I want to"? Yeah, that's probably it!
The new theme--It has kind of grown on me... I'd really like more contrast between window decorations (mostly titlebar, I suppose) on active and inactive windows. At least this theme is way more usable than most of the see-through glassy goodness everyone is suggesting for Intrepid default!
The dangerously devious developers have put the Administration menu above the Preferences menu instead of vice versa. As a result of this, hundreds of poor, innocent users just trying to change their theme to aforementioned glassy goodness are reported lost in various administration applications! The search for survivors will continue as soon as the resque team stop playing with their wobbly windows.
When I try to change my keyboard layout from the default one (USA), the application crashes (in an enthusiastic display of typographical patriotism, perhaps). Is the problem simply that no other keyboard layouts are included yet? Anyway, I'm starting to get quite used to the USA layout. Subtle brainwashing in progress!
Sound... well, my E-MU 0404 USB soundcard isn't known for working perfectly in Linux (in the same way Dan Quayle isn't known for his eloquence and rhetoric). It kind of works in Intrepid... that is; sometimes, a little. Let me explain:
In the Sound Preferences window, I get a dropdown list of available devices that looks like this:
USB Audio #1
ALSA - Advanced Linux Sound Architechture
OSS - Open Sound System
PulseAudio Sound Server
As anyone who has ever used a computer would guess, choosing the *second* "USB Audio" alternative gives me working sound. When playing music in Rhythmbox. Of course, trying to play a movie gives me completely distorted sound and sometimes it isn't possible to use two programs that use sound at the same time. I vaguely remember reading about this happening because one of the programs isn't using PulseAudio or something similar. Anyway, I don't really understand why PulseAudio is included in Ubuntu 1. in it's current state and 2. at all. It seems to be the cause of a whole lot of audio issues, not only in Intrepid and the benefits it provides don't seem to be of very much importance to the desktop user. But I really don't know enough about it to whine (which doesn't seem to deter me at all) and I guess everything will turn out nice and shiny in the end!
Hmm... that's probably it for now. I haven't bothered trying to get NVIDIA drivers to work, but I got the resolution right (1680x1050) after some messing around with xorg.conf (try to realize the truth: There is no xorg.conf!) and things seem to work quite well. For Flash, I tried Swfdec and Gnash with varying degrees of success... that sound didn't work with either of them did not surprise me as much as one might have expected .
All in all, I didn't expect Intrepid to work as well as it did already, and I think it will be a great release when it's finished. For me, the one big thing that will win me over if they get it right is sound; music and movies as well as Flash movies, and of course support for my soundcard. If any of you know how I could contribute to that, please tell me!