Wednesday, April 28, 2010previously wrote about. I'm curious how long it will take for this post to go through, given the general lack of reliability of the publisher that I've experienced since I started this little thing here; how many people are waiting until the last minute and desperately trying to continue to post?
Because it may be awhile before I start posting again, I thought I'd spend a few moments just giving a "final" (I keep using the quotes because this definitely is not the end for my site—just this particular way of posting) update. Decidedly on-topic is that I spent some time this weekend giving teaspoon (please ignore the date on that post!) a bit of rethinking; it's getting a reincarnation in html5lib, which actually solves a number of problems that had slowed me down before—most notably a selector language. I'll be totally honest and say I don't expect a whole lot of progress any time soon, but I'm positive on the direction. So we'll see how that goes.
Since I originally talked about it, I've been singing the praises of Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx release to anyone who would listen—and many who weren't. This release is so much better than the Karmic disaster... so very, very much better. Apart from the little bumps in the road that accompany following a series of alphas, I really just cannot point to anything wrong with it. It boots faster, it's more modern, I like the way it looks... it's all good. Kudos to the team there. Looking forward to evaluating it for my home servers next.
And that's it. It's time to get to work now, but I thought maybe I'd at least try to send the journal into its hiatus with a little substance instead of just a note of administrivia. Thanks for reading, and I hope to be back soon!
MORE: Hey, it published fast! Google ought to shut down services more often! ;)
STILL MORE: I spoke too soon. Adding that last comment is taking forever!
posted by zigg 6:50 AM 0 Comments
Wednesday, December 30, 2009the troubles I was having with Ubuntu Karmic.
I didn't end up skipping it; I left it installed. I felt
ext4was manageable with regular backups,
ath9kwas manageable by flat-out replacing it with
ndiswrapper, and whatever else I could deal with as it came up. One thing I did have to do on a semi-regular basis was issue an Alt-F2
gksudo modprobe usbhidor
usb-storageto get my mouse or USB drives working, but that wasn't such a big deal. Karmic did prove to be one of the worst Ubuntu releases I ever used, but it wasn't catastrophic. It wasn't enough trouble to bother going back to Jaunty.
But what I did get interested in the other day, though, was Lucid. A post on EeeUser's Ubuntu forum alerted me to its presence, and people sounded like they liked it, so—this time opting for a test release than a full-on upgrade—I wiped my never-used XP partition and stuck Lucid in its place.
They weren't kidding when they said removing hal sped things up a bit; this thing boots even more ridiculously quickly than I thought possible. (Which is a good thing right now, because suspending isn't a grand idea with a bug that makes the display flicker and go out post-suspend.) But even though Lucid doesn't have much more to it software-wise right now than Karmic did, it already feels more solid... if that makes any sense.
Lucid, due to its LTS status, is going to get a longer testing period and an extra beta, and it's going to be more conservative than a typical release. I think, too, in the wake of Karmic's (deserved) bad press, there's going to be consideration for concentrating more effort to make Lucid a solid release.
If all goes well, I might just make the jump full-time. We'll see how it goes.
posted by zigg 7:53 PM 0 Comments
Tuesday, September 1, 2009Ubuntu—I think it was in 2007—I've followed every release, many early on. While it's true I've had a handful of problems over the years with various things (though no more than using any other operating system), Ubuntu has simply been the best Linux experience I've had. So much just... works.
I've been testing the next version of Ubuntu, "Karmic Koala", since alpha 4. Of course I can expect an extra dose of issues testing alpha versions of software. But as of right now, I have three very worrying problems with Karmic (and, I should note, these appear to be problems with the Linux kernel itself, not necessarily Ubuntu) that I am not really confident will see a fix before release:
- My Asus Eee PC 1000HEB uses the
ath9kdriver for its wireless chip. Since Karmic (and apparently since Linux kernel 2.6.30), wireless has ranged from "okay" to "horribly unreliable". I'm using
ndiswrapperin the meantime, but I remain unconvinced that this will be fixed.
- This one is far more severe: something happened to the
visormodule in the Linux kernel that is making PalmOS handhelds crash. Unlike the
ath9kproblem, I seem to be on my own here so far. I can use the same handhelds just fine by plugging them into my server running Hardy, and I don't recall having this problem under the last release I had on my netbook, Jaunty.
- Finally, I remain unconvinced of the reliability of the ext4 filesystem. My first experience with ext4 in Jaunty's own testing phase was a disaster; within 24 hours I'd somehow managed to totally destroy the filesystem simply by filling it up. I mean totally destroy, too.
fsck had no hope. I've been running ext4 on Karmic with no problems personally, but I keep hearing isolated reports about similar disasters in various corners on the Internet.
Now, this is something I don't need to bring along for the ride with Karmic; but since it seems going back to ext3 involves a reinstall anyway, I might as well go back to Jaunty at the same time.
I guess I'll ride it out for now and see what happens. But I am genuinely concerned for Karmic, and by extension, other Linuxes that are slated to ship with 2.6.31. The quality question is troubling.
posted by zigg 6:50 AM 1 Comments
Sunday, June 21, 2009N-Sider, though of course it's all games-related. Just been too busy, I suppose.
Anyway, I wanted to drop a quick post to note the solution to a longstanding problem I've had with Ubuntu: getting the console to stay in 132×60 text mode (or, indeed, any other text mode). 80×25 may be just fine for installations or if I had my server connected to a 9" monitor, but I don't. I'm hooked up to a 19" monitor here, and 80×25 is a waste of space.
In the distant past, I used to just add
vga=0xato the kernel parameters, which kicks in the VESA mode for 132×60. This still works in Ubuntu... but only temporarily. During the boot process, a new font is loaded which provides better character support than the old standby ASCII VGA font. The problem is that this font is 16 pixels high, and for 132×60 to keep working, the font needs to be 8 pixels high. So once this script runs, I'm left at 132×30—better than 80×25 but still not what I really wanted.
I did some digging, and it seemed the secret to getting this to stay working lies with the
setupconprogram, part of the
/etc/default/console-setupto select its font, so I tried editing it to select an 8-pixel-high font from
/usr/share/consolefonts. Which failed.
It seems that
setupconactually loads fonts from
/etc/console-setup. In there, there's only
Uni1-Fixed16.psf.gzby default—that's our default 16-pixel-high font. I figured there had to be some way of getting this to work in a standard fashion, so I tried a few more Google terms, waded through some more offhand mentions, and finally found my joy.
It's actually just as simple as running
dpkg-reconfigure console-setup, accepting most of the current values, and then picking VGA at 8 pixels. I was somewhat amused;
dpkg-reconfigurewas always my go-to script for Debian, but I'd fallen out of running to it since I moved to Ubuntu a little under two years ago. But there it was. It reconfigured my current terminal for me; running
setupconin the other terminals fixed those up as well. A quick trip to
vga=0xa(I'd been adding it manually) to the default boot paramters and a
/usr/sbin/update-grubto regenerate the boot menu and I was in business for future boots as well.
The only weird thing, and I think it's a bug, is that I get underlines on top of text. Not a big deal though.
Hope this helped someone. I'm off to Father's Day dinner!
posted by zigg 3:43 PM 1 Comments