Ubuntu 9.10 codenamed Karmic Koala released in the end of October. I was at college at that time and the hostel LAN was not working due to some optical fiber failure. The only way I had to access the Internet was through my mobile phone. Since I'm not insane enough to try downloading a 700 MB iso on a GPRS connection, I decided to wait until the LAN problems were resolved. It did take quite a long time and I was midway through my exams by the time the LAN started functioning properly.
Thankfully my subjects in the 3rd sem were relly easy and I didn't need to study much. The day before my Digital Electronics exam, when the LAN started working, I downloaded the Ubuntu 9.10 Alternate CD. It turned out that the downloaded iso was corrupt and the upgrade failed when I tried it. Then started downloading the iso again using a different download manager. This time the iso was downloaded properly and the upgrade ran successfully. But that doesn't mean that it would improve my 0% success rate with Ubuntu upgrades because as soon as I restarted Ubuntu, I had all sorts of issues with my display and probably the ATI drivers are to blame for this. Understanding the fact that upgrades never work (for me at least) and solving the problems might take even longer than doing a fresh install, I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.10.
Then I spent the next few hours installing all the applications again. It was much simpler because I had my home folder on a separate partition so my home folder was intact. I got a rough idea of the applications I had installed through the folders in my home folder. And since the application files were intact, I did not to change any settings and make any customizations. This is what makes using a different partition or youfr home folder so useful. So in no time I was using Karmic Koala with everything just the way I like it.
Ubuntu 9.10 has few big noticeable differences from Jaunty but one thing that is easily noticeable is the significantly lower startup time and the new splash screen. Also Empathy is the default IM client but I'm too used to Pidgin so installed it and I didn't care to check out Empathy(its pretty similar though). Also the Add/Remove programs has been replaced by the all new Ubuntu Software Center. Ubuntu 9.10 works perfectly with my laptop. The media keys, brightness keys, wireless key all work properly without the need for any modifications. I'll probably use at least for the next few months though I must say I was tempted to try OpenSUSE 11.2. I downloaded and burnt the CD too but I'm too used to Ubuntu on my laptop the way it is and feel too lazy to try installing OpenSUSE, a distro that might give me problems with drivers for my graphics card. So for now, I'll be using Ubuntu 9.10 on my laptop.