It's been six months. Time to moan and winge about upgrading Linux again

Posted on 8 January 2007 in Computers (No comments)

I've just been reminded why I tend not to bother upgrading my Linux setup very often. It generally causes more headaches than benefits...

Now I have to say that things are better than they used to be. When I was a Mandrake user, it would generally take me a week after upgrading before I'd have my PC up to speed because every single thing would be broken and need sorting out.

Nowadays it's simpler. Being based on Debian's goodness, Ubuntu just goes off, fetches the right files and does most of the hard work. And gets most of it right. Telnet servers, web servers, ftp servers, samba shares... it's all there out of the book. Woo. And indeed woo.

Unfortunately though, there's still the little niggles. For starters my Wacom tablet isn't working properly...

When I first got my Wacom tablet (a Volito 2), I spent literally weeks trying to get it working properly. This is despite Ubuntu's claim that such things just work. It didn't. It took ages just to get the tablet recognised. When it finally was, it had another problem. Every now and then it would get confused and not understand where the boundary edge of the screen would be. The cursor would just stop, quite far away. It wouldn't even do it predictably - it would just be random. One minute it would be fine, the next the cursor is stopping 200 pixels left of the edge of the screen.

Thing is, I eventually got the problem to go away. Unfortunately it was all done by using non-standard Ubuntu code, so Ubuntu comes along and decides "Whoopy do, lets break it all again"...

Well okay, Ubuntu's just re-installing it to the world it knows, and this stuff is outside its world. However it's incredibly frustrating as it means I have to fight all the same battles, put up with all the same frustrations just to solve a problem I solved once before, but actually have no idea how I solved in the first place because the whole thing is real dark magic, black art stuff. And don't get me started on the quality of the documentation...

Still, I think after much wailing, cursing and gnashing of teeth, that I might actually have the confounded thing back up and running, having re-installed the drivers manually from scratch, and waved a dead chicken over some code.

Saying that, I'm wholeheartedly expecting the damn thing to stop working any time now, just to taunt me. And that's after working seamlessly for nearly five minutes.

Now don't get me started on the fact that audio has broken again... Still, be grateful for small mercies Andrew. At least it's just a few hours of pain rather than a few weeks... And the inline spell check thing in Firefox 2 really is nice...

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