Monday, April 28, 2008

"Kubuntu v8.04"

Another weekend working for the computer. Typical deal - you figure you're going to spend a couple of hours upgrading an OS, and that couple of hours turns into a couple of days. There's always something. In this case I stupidly thought I'd do the lazy and quick [sarcastic and hysterical laughter] thing, and do an upgrade install from v7.10 to v8.04. I knew better than to do such a thing (I'd tweaked the system too much for that to work, and it's not a good idea in general to do upgrade installs that (attempt to) take the OS across a major generational line anyway).

The result? It could have been worse. When the upgrade install failed (as I should have known it would), the system was a bit mucked up, but still functioning. I (belatedly) thought "Okay - no prob! I'll plug in an external USB hard drive, drop the files into that, and then do a clean install" - reformatting the hard drive and putting in v8.04 on a squeaky clean slate.

One problem though... the system no longer detected USB devices! "Uuuu......." I think, while looking at my computer - knowing the files are sitting in the steel box, but not knowing how to get them out. I fleetingly considered abandoning everything and just going ahead and wiping the hard drive, but irrational/impatient passion subsided and I decided to put the stuff I really wanted (needed?) to keep onto dual-layer DVD's in 8GB chunks and dump about 90GB of the 100GB of data (stuff that was already backed up - .tif images from Hubble, etc.).

If I hadn't put that DVD drive into the box after bringing it home from the used computer shop, I'm not sure what I would have done (learned command line stuff no doubt), but all's mostly happy that ends mostly happy I guess.

Next multi-hour batch of fun involved a glitch with the Adept Package Manager, which wasn't pulling in the list of available application software like it's supposed to. It just unhelpfully showed the things already installed. To make a too-long story a little bit longer, I finally figured out that was due to it's trying to pull in the file list from a bad source (or maybe not trying at all due to garbled text?).

After that was sorted out (it took me much longer than it should have to figure that one out), I had some setup problems with some applications I use, etc. etc. Now I'm up and running, but there are still a number of things that I want to get set up and so the machine will continue to burn up time over the next week or so I imagine.

So how is Kubuntu v8.04? Seems good so far. I need to spend more time with it to know exactly what's what though.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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