Head-butted by an Ibex

Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) was launched on Thursday. I downloaded the torrent Thursday night and had some time to install it on Saturday. Since KDE 3.5 is gone from Ubuntu with this version, I was hesitant about doing an upgrade. Instead, I decided to wipe a spare hard drive and install there. Completely separate hardware for a completely separate installation, leaving my rock-solid Hardy Kubuntu intact in case things go South.

So I popped in the Kubuntu 8.10 LiveCD and rebooted. Roughly 80% of the way through the boot process (Ubuntu hides what’s going on behind a splash screen, so I can’t say for sure), my screen goes black. Nothing happens for a while, then my screen goes black & white… No graphics per se, just a bunch of seemingly random white lines are drawn on my otherwise black screen. It stays that way. Kubuntu disk FAIL.

Luckily, I anticipated that I would (still) not like KDE4, and so I also downloaded and burned Ubuntu 8.10. Swap CDs and reboot. Ubuntu comes up, everything looks good, so I install. Reboot after installation, install some KDE apps I can’t live without (Digikam, K3b, Konversation), install updates, install Nvidia graphics driver, reboot. All is reasonably good. I’m using pidgin again, and liking Pidgin’s IRC enough that I decide I don’t need Konversation. I leave the computer for awhile, satisfied with my new system.

When I return, the screen is in power saving mode. I move the mouse and…. I move the mouse and…. I click a mouse button and…. I hit a key on my keyboard and the screen comes back to life. My USB optical mouse is dead. Was working before, now nothing. Now I *can* navigate with just a keyboard, but frankly that’s a pain in the ass. So I reboot. I figure, as long as I’m rebooting, let’s go back to Hardy, because I miss my KDE 3.5 already, and also I don’t have time right now to mess around with installing other things, like medibuntu codecs.

Hardy says there’s a graphics problem. WTF? I haven’t changed anything in Hardy. I haven’t even changed anything on this physical drive. How is this possible? Click the button to reconfigure, and my Hardy comes up… in 640×480 graphics mode. Ugh. Barely usable. In fact, not usable with certain programs (DVD::Rip, I’m looking at you here). I struggle with it a bit, but to no avail. Uninstalling and reinstalling the nvidia-glx-new doesn’t help. Nothing helps. I’ve lost my rock-solid standby system. I’m forced to deal with the Ibex.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Haven’t had a repeat of the USB mouse dying yet, but Firefox is running slow. Especially when I try to save a file. And I’m still baffled how a separate install on a separate physical device could possibly have affected my Hardy. Installed the kubuntu-desktop package before bed last night and will see tonight if KDE4 is any more usable than Gnome.

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  • Mackenzie  On November 3, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Try removing Tracker. It might speed up file saving.

  • wolfger  On November 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks. I’ll look into that when I get home.

  • wolfger  On April 14, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Long overdue update: Firefox slows to a crawl when you’re trying to save to a directory that has a lot of files in it. Solved this problem by creating a “download” area, and then moving those files where they belong afterward.

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