So, I’ve been trying to settle in after my PATA drive decided that its job was finished. I thought that a new drive would be a great place to put a new version of Ubuntu. So, instead of going with Version 8.04 LTS, I loaded up version 9.04. As an aside, the numbering scheme coincides with the date of release (8th year, 4th month=April 2008).
I decided to install with the newer, and to some, buggier, EXT4 filesystem. That proved to be an interesting, and frustrating, mistake. I figured that I’d load up Warzone 2100 for Caleb to play at, which, so far, has locked up the screen on every version that we’ve installed. I figured,that with a new version of everything, perhaps this was the time.
It was not. Caleb could only reset the PC with the button, as he didn’t know the “reisub” trick. I’ve been teaching him a few of the more advanced tricks to using a PC so that he can gracefully shut down his PC, even if locked, though, so he will get this, if need be.
The filesystem pooched. I was able to get back into action with a quick fsck from the recovery prompt, but this is an action that only the root user can do, so Caleb and Abby would be SOL to fix a problem like this. This went on for a few too many hard resets and some of the data on the hard drive became corrupted. One of them is my podcast downloader, PenguinTv. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling it and that didn’t work because the filesystem had decided to drop to “read only”, which screwed everything else.
What resulted was a screwed up system in which I couldn’t upgrade any of my packages and programs, as apt decided that it couldn’t get past the failed/screwed up PenguinTv reinstall.
So, I made the decision to reinstall Ubuntu 9.04 on the drive again, but with the EXT3 filesystem for the root partition. I left the /home partition as it was, with EXT4 (by the way, EXT4 is BLAZINGLY FAST – noticibly to the nth), as I became addicted instantly to the speed. Due to some bad package decisions (Warzone 2100) and a few other screwups that I shouldn’t be doing after all the Linux experience that I have, I ended up trying this again.
Here’s where the fun really began. Although I explicitly told the installer NOT to format the /home partition, /home got reformatted anyways. So, all of the data that I had collected over the last 2 weeks had been erased. My bad. Thankfully, I had restored most of the data from my failing drive by pluging it in long enough to transfer what I could to the new one. This is the advantage of having your data files on their own partition. The bad blocks on the old drive were on the partition holding the operating system, but not on the /home partition where the user data was, so I could mount just that partition and grab what I needed.
So, I had to restore the old data once again. Before I did that, though, I decided that enough was enough with Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope version 9.04 and I upgraded the whole thing to the Alpha 5 of Ubuntu Karmic Koala, version 9.10, due out in October 2009. There were some really cool things that I noticed with Karmic, like the S.M.A.R.T. tool that popped up a nice graphical interface that informed me that the PATA drive had failed an integrity check and needed to be replaced. No other OS that I know of has done that by default. There were some refinements over Jaunty that I liked, as well (the themes are getting richer and more chocolaty, as well (yes, I am one of the few that will publically claim that I LIKE the brown themes).
The problem is, though, that sound doesn’t seem to want to wok as it should. When watching a video file on YouTube is choppy as all get out. Watching a movie file of any kind, such as Big Buck Bunny, would result in choppy, horrible sound that skipped. Then, this morning, I tried to boot and the GUI did not show. The X-server took over, as usual, but did not go beyond a black screen.
I’ve installed Jaunty over it and am considering my options. I’m becoming quite disgusted with the state of distributions that use Apt as a package manager. When it works, it works great, but when it screws up, it can screw up royally. Perhaps, if I can wresle the computer away from the kids long enough to fix it, I may ditch Ubuntu for Arch or Slackware. They seemed to be easier to work with than others. But, Fedora 12 will be out in a few months. Perhaps RPM and Presto will woo me. I’m liking the delta merging idea a lot. Who likes to download 100s of MB of files to do a small update?
Wow. So much for the short rant.