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    G-AVLN in front of her home

    G-AVLN in front of her home

    Mostly Unix and Linux topics. But flying might get a mention too.

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008

    The Dell saga continues

    What a see saw the last few weeks has been. I love my little new dell (some would say it's not so new anymore), and I love Ubuntu. Somehow however, they didn't like each other much. Having search various posts, I strongly believe that Ubuntu 7.10 (gutsy) has been rushed out, and it clearly has bugs, mostly with handling SATA disks and networking.

    After my last post, I was installing and fine-tuning various applications, hoping to arrive at the final (and perfect ;-)), of course) system configuration. Disappointingly, but I hit several re-occurring problems, which put the stop to these ambitions... Most of the issues have been well documented by others - inconsistent wireless recognition, many SATA warnings popping on the console (even though actual disk access was fine), very slow desktop start-up, cupsd taking up to 5 minutes to start.

    The worst aspect of these problems has been the random, unpredictable nature of them, with problems virtually impossible to reproduce. I'm well used to fixing systems - you expect hiccups, and you anticipate having to dive under the hood of any new version or distribution. This is part and parcel of playing with UNIX or Linux. And one of the great historical attributes of UNIX has been its transparency - you can always get to the bottom of things. Not quite so with the new kernel releases. More and more traditionally user-driven hardware manipulation and control is delegated into kernel's functionality. It's great in some respects - faster, more secure and easier to tie down system. But for an average sysadmin, ability to debug and fix is becoming more obscure and complex, if not difficult.

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