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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Computer stuff no-one will care about

I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10 today. I started the upgrade last night just before I went to bed, and it spent about nine hours downloading all the new stuff (more than a gigabyte). I think it averaged about 35 KiB/s, which is slow even for my connection. I guess Canonical's servers are being hammered right now. Anyway it all went well, except when the upgrade finished and I rebooted I found myself staring at a blank background. I eventually discovered that my terminal hot-key still worked (good thing I set up a terminal hot-key, eh?) which provided the means to fix everything. I somehow correctly guessed that GNOME had been removed for some reason, so I used the terminal to open up Synaptic and reinstall it. From there everything was, and is, fine.

I don't know why I'm always so excited about Ubuntu upgrades. I guess it's just because they're only twice a year, so it's like a half-Christmas where the only presents you get are some (mostly back-end) changes that don't really affect you much, and maybe a few new apps you could have installed separately anyway.

Another computer thing no-one will care about: I finally installed the firmware on my Creative Zen Touch MP3 player that lets it interface with Rhythmbox. Ironically the new firmware was developed so people could use their Zens with Windows Media Player, and I needed it to interface it with a Linux audio player. Whatever.

Also I finally learned about piping stuff in the terminal. It's one of those things I should probably have learned when I was starting out with Linux like a year and a half ago, and somehow didn't. So many things make sense now. I love it when that happens, you learn some vital piece of information and suddenly all sorts of other things that were a mystery just fall into place.

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