Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Return of the Presbyterians, or, Ia! Ia! Ubuntu Fhtagn!

The problems de computers, she does not goes away!

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

Here's my fortnightly update:

  • 1. State-of-the-art SMP multimedia rig: I got a cheap notebook. My aspirations toward uber-tronkie desktop power continue apace. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. (YMMV on which side is the "dark path": notebooks, state-of-the-art desktops, or DELL.)

  • 2. X on Debian: See my problem of the week, below. Ia! Ia! Ubuntu Fthagn!

  • 3. Bargain basement video editor cards and editing software: Dude, I got me a Dell. An Inspiron 6000, to be exact. We'll see if it's any good for vidding. 64Mb ATI, which is twice the RAM (and at a glance, twice the GPU) of the 32Mb ATI FireGL card I got in April, 2002 with Numerramar. That should be about an eighth of the current state-of-the-art, according to Moore's Law of GPU (3 years * 12 months == 36 months == 4 * 9 month doubling rate; 24 == 16). I've found, however, that notebook computer GPUs have a more desktop-CPU-like doubling rate of closer to 18 months. In any case: any idea what I might be able to do with this?

And now, the new problems:

Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Ubuntu Hobbiton wgah'nagl fhtagn: can I get a Lunix?

Six years! Six freaking years and I haven't had a decent Linux installation at home that I have booted more than three times.

That includes:

  • 1999: Red Hat Linux 6 dual-booting with Windows 2000 on Vaire, then an AMD K6/3-400

  • 2000: Linux PPC 2000 on the 6Gb drive of Este, my Yosemite (G3-333) iMac (I also had LPPC2K on Yavanna, a PowerMac G4-350 in my lab)

  • 2001: RH6 on the old 6Gb drive of Vingilot, my ThinkPad 600E (RH7 did work on the hobbits in my lab this year, though P6-180s were already obsolete)

  • 2002: RH7 dual-booting with WinXP on Numerramar - used it only twice (though one of these times was to save my data when my drive had some clusters in the kernel directories of Windows on my boot partition go bad)

  • 2003: reinstallation of RH7, then skipped to RH9 Shrike on Numerramar (meanwhile, RH8 Psyche was working on Anaire in the lab)

  • 2004: Fedora Core on the new Vaire, a P5-120 cobbled together by my students - Banadad used it for two months, but he is even more tolerant of suffering than I am (X on 800x600! It's ungodly!)

  • 2005: Debian, Gentoo 2004.3, and now Ubuntu and Debian 2005.0. Will this be the day?

My Debian installation was a flop. The X server never worked for that, so I gave up after a half dozen tries over the last six months.

My question: I'm trying to make a bootable CD for installing Ubuntu, and Nero is asking for a boot image (on floppy). What type of boot image do you usually use in that case - a Windows system disk or something else? Normally, with Red Hat and Debiana and even Gentoo, I can just burn the ISO, boot it, and lay down the OS. Ubuntu's is not bootable by default. Could this be because I am using a CD-RW?

Dude, Where's My TrackPoint?

The touchpad, or "mousing surface", on this Dell Inspiron 6000 takes a little getting used to. Every now and then I get into a state where "mouse down is set", and I have to tap the pad to "shake" it out of the stuck state. Presently, I have been hooking up a Microsoft USB trackball to get around this. Does anyone know whether there's a general "escape mode" to unclick the touchpad? (Excuse the awkward wording of my question; I am not familiar with the correct terminology for these things. As you may have guessed, I did not bother to check whether this Dell model had a control dot option as do the ThinkPad T30s with both touchpads and TrackPoints.)

SlugOS: WinXP Home Hanging

OK, plugging in USB mice and trackballs on this Dell is all well and good, but it still hangs like Danny Deever every now and again. That is, it just locks out all I/O: keyboard, mouse, etc. and sits there, doing no context switching (change of focus).

I know COMPAQs have a hell of a lot of spyware on them - I had an unbearable amount for the four months or so that I left Telperion with its original factory installation of WinXP Home. Is it so for Dell? The hanging or hiccups seem to happen much more when I'm on the touchpad, but I'm starting to wonder if it's due to Norton Internet Security 2005 or some other non-real time daemon or resident feature. What do you think?

Thanks very much, as always!

Tags: computer problems, computer questions, help

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