Lucid Dreams and Death By Techno

Hello, everyone. My name is Marcel and I'm a technology addict.

I stand before you today, naked (figuratively speaking, of course), laying my deepest, darkest, secrets out for all to see. You see, I love technology. All kinds of technology. Computers. Televisions. Cars. Smart phones. Computer programs. Airplanes. Linux distributions. Keychains with tiny screens to display family photos. Bluetooth headsets. Satellites. Video games. Coffee makers. Spaceships. Remote controlled toy helicopters. High speed networks. Model rockets. Timepieces. Microwave ovens.You get the idea. I've always felt that the problem isn't too much technology, but too little and insufficiently advanced technology. I'm also a believer that really, really great tech is what's going to save us and propel us to the next stage of human evolution. I love looking at new technology. Touching new technology.

Trying out new technology. I am forced to admit that I may have a problem.

Don't get me wrong. I still believe all those things. What? Did you think this was an Alcoholics Anonymous style confession? Nothing of the sort. The problem is that I place so much faith in tech that when it fails, I feel personally victimised, as though all those wondrous things I so love have betrayed me. This is especially true when it's something I think is really, really good. Yes, my 2000 Honda Accord blew a cylinder a few days ago, forcing me to abandon it (I donated it to the Kidney Foundation, actually) and forcing me to go out car shopping. I bought a new Nissan Altima by the way. And yes, it's got really cool technology on board -- I can't believe it took that long for me to get a car with a push button starter and no need to insert a key. But I digress . . .

My love for new technology was part of my downfall today. You see, because I so love technology, I might occasionally be a little too trusting of it and perhaps a little too casual in how I deal with it. Consider this foray into Lucid Lynx a cautionary tale.

Of course I knew that Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx was still Alpha, but it really bothered me that that my video resolution went poof with a recent update. It worked in Alpha 1 but by Alpha 3, it was broken. That was on a test machine so I was only so upset. It still hurt, just a bit. A few days ago, Beta 1 of Lucid Lynx, a.k.a. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, was released. This morning, I did my 'apt-get dist-upgrade' and I get a nice, high resolution display again. Ubuntu and I kissed and made up. Figuratively speaking, of course. And I thought, "you gotta love great tech".

Then I decided to upgrade my production, day to day, working notebook. Now you gotta know it didn't all go according to plan. And so I opened up a terminal window . . .

   sudo -i
   vi /etc/apt/sources.list
   apt-get update
   apt-get dist-upgrade

GUI tools? We don't need no steengkeeng GUI tools. Now let me finish before you point out my first mistake. The upgrade started and I continued working. At some point, network-manager crashed and I lost my wireless connection. Inconvenient, but I didn't worry a lot about it, but that's only because I was too trusting.

Before you tell me my second mistake, let me finish. Time passed and the upgrade ended. With errors. Without doing a lot of reading (what could possibly have gone wrong), I rebooted.

I know you're anxious to point out my third mistake, but hold on a little longer.

When the system came back up, I saw the following.

   udevadm trigger is not permitted while udev is unconfigured.
   mission modules (cat /proc/modules; ls /dev)
   ALERT! /dev/disk/by_uuid/8blah-blah-blah does not exist
   dropping to a shell

Okay, now you can start beating me up.

So I took my notebook to my downstairs office where I still have a wired connection, booted into an older kernel, and proceeded to 'dkpg -i' packages from /var/cache/apt one by one until I was able to install the udev package. Eventualy (an hour or two later), I was able to restart the 'apt-get dist-upgrade' which then completed successfully. It's a good thing I know my way around these things othewise my reckless attempt to skirt the system in order to speed my upgrade along would have ended in totally botched system that needed a good reinstall before it would boot again. Nevertheless, I did learn some lessons; lessons I already knew but ignored because I trusted that nothing could go wrong go wrong go wrong og worng . . .

1) Use the proper tools to do your upgrade (Upgrade Manager or Synaptic) and leave the sources.list files alone.
2) Do not do a major system upgrade over a wireless connection.
3) Read, deal with, and otherwise respond to the error messages. Don't just close your session, and your eyes, and reboot.

Eventually, the upgrade finished, in spite of my efforts to help it along. I rebooted and you know what, it's a beautiful thing.

If you haven't already downloaded a copy of 10.04, it's probably time. At Beta 1, it's probably stable enough for those who consider themselves only 'mildly adventurous ' to give it a try. It certainly looks different. Gone is the staid brown (or orange) of old, replaced by a playful, somewhat seductive purple. The new colors frankly made me wonder what Ubuntu was promising with 10.04 LTS. Given that this is a long term support release, I have to think it's meant to be less of a fling and more of a long term relationship. You see, Lucid Lynx could also be called 10.04 SNR; the Social Networking Release. I'll cover that topic and some social networking dangers and pitfalls in my next post when I tell you why being too social can be a bad idea .

Until next time . . .


Lucid Dreaming

The words “<a href=" /">lucid dreaming</a>” and “how to lucid dream” are often used synonymously, but dream control is what I am really discussing here and is where the fun, excitement and the learning happens. This would be so amazing!

Why *only* Ubuntu?

Ubuntu gets more coverage only because of Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth. Otherwise, it is doing only as much as any other distribution out there is doing.

Take a look at PCLinuxOS 2010, which is also in beta at the moment, and is already rock solid. It has KDE 4.4.1 and does everything right. It also hogs the least memory! I have 5 different distros and variants on my laptop, which means the hw config is the same :), and PCLinuxOS beats Ubuntu Lucid (the GNOME one) by over 70Mb of memory for a default dessktop. This, after KDE4 has been much maligned elsewhere for being a memory hog.

So, yeah, keep your Ubuntu partitions but don't fail to see what's happening in the world out there. Many things might surprise you!

A lesson learnt

Hey Marcel,

A lesson learned is a lesson earned.

Me? I'd rather read about you botching it up, have a laugh, point out what you've done to other people and call you a doob, look around to make sure that no-one is looking and then quickly stop my machine to make sure no-one can see I was doing exactly the same thing :))

I've looked at the screenshots of 10.04 and read about the additional bits and pieces. I'm hoping it's not a repeat of 8.10 (which I avoided luckily) and is everything it promises to be.

Just recently I was my local LUG meeting (Sydney Linux Users Group) and we were discussing the changes in the last 6-7 years within the Linux GUI area.

Distros like Fedora and Ubuntu (I name these because they're the only ones I've much experience with - this is not to dismiss other distros) have become so gorgeous to look at that one doesn't need merely to argue about the stability, security of the underpinnings etc, but can point to how attractive they are. They are on par with other OSs and, from my perspective, more so in general.

While glitz shouldn't be a selling point (I'm looking at you, Apple) the truth is it does sell and this is now becoming something which Gnu/Linux distros are doing exceedingly well.

Added to this, installs and hardware driver availability is so much better (and again, improving each year) that while there may not be a 'year of the Gnu/Linux desktop' observable to users, I believe that the future users will look back and be able to see the increase in uptake that is and will continue to occur. As with the rise and fall of empires and the influence of nations, at the time they're not so obvious. I believe this is the same with Gnu/Linux.

So, keep on keeping on.

@ Ned Flanders

Dear Ned,

It would appear that what Homer says about you is right.


Chief Wiggum

you used 4.0, were unhappy and left: youre a moron

>When the instabilities of 4.0 arrive I decided it was time to move to gnome

I was using PCLinuxOS for the past 2-3 years with a dab of Mandriva and Kubuntu and when they announced 4.0 and that it wasnt ready for every day use, you know what I did?
I kept using KDE3.5 until v4.2 when I finally switched out home computers and finally put both my folks and inlaws on Linux.

NO ONE forced me to change my rock solid desktop for one that was changing its whole infrastructure.
The switch was only done when I though 4.x was ready.

Every time I read about people still whining that they HAD to leave 4.0, I have to say two things "Who forced you leave 3.5?" and "Youre a moron."

Updating over wireless. Doh!

Not to be recommended.


Am I the only one who though this was an article about a psychonaut who listened too much techno music?
Anyway, I'm okay with Lucid Lynx ... :)

Lucid Dreams

Judging by the reviews so far, (Marcel yours included) Lucid Lynx looks like it will be a hit.

Ubuntu 10.04: The Perfect Consumer Operating System?



Old Machines Need Love Too

I just took my old Dell Latitude C610 (PIII/1GB DDR) from Elive 2.0 to Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 1. It's brilliant. FOSS FTW!

True but checkout Kubuntu 10.04...

Like you I couldn't resist the beta. It's really nice in spite of the time it would get me to get used to the left buttons... Still, I've decided to try Kubuntu also. I used to be a KDE person. When the instabilities of 4.0 arrive I decided it was time to move to gnome. I got used to nice tools like gnome-do and tomboy, and stayed there. Once in a while I had a look at kubuntu but always had that feeling of something of a child that the parent didn't like so much. Not anymore. Kubuntu 10.04 beta 1 rocks! And yes, it is installed on my notebook since it came out without any issue (well a minor one on one particular wireless network...). It is beautiful and works like a charm. I can still use my tomboy, dropbox and stuff like that. I still miss a bit gnome-do, but I'm getting used the not so full fledged krunner. So, give it a try!

Lucid Lynx: a great advance in Linux OS's

Like you, I'm very "in love" and very impressed with the new ubuntu 10.04. From the change of theme and colors, the upgrade of nearly all the default programs, to the inclusion of music store with Ubuntu One Music and social networking with Gwibber (one of my favorite apps), Lucid is the first Ubuntu version that I'll use it as it comes, no changes made!! Ubuntu 10.04LTS is the best example of a Linux OS that have nothing to envy to Windows 7 or Mac OSX!!

Lucid Lynx posting

Thanks. I'm a non-professional, to put it mildly. Your repeat lessons give me some "good things to avoid" which may prevent phone calls to my pro-level nephew.

The expanse of space surrounding Planet *buntu is getting busier and busier. As a result, achieving a stable orbit is particularly difficult when you're easily distracted. Consequently, Marcel Gagné's blog looks at pretty much anything and everything that orbits Planet *buntu. News, howtos, rumors, opinions, controversy, tech tips, helpful hints . . . you'll find it all here. Oh look! A shiny object!

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