Home > Computers and Internet > Entry 10/19/2007 04:26:11 AM – Mentat 364

Entry 10/19/2007 04:26:11 AM – Mentat 364

     Ugh!  You know, I don’t know what’s worst sometimes.  Dealing with the quirks of your current program, or upgrading and pretty much having to unlearn half of what you learned in order for you to work with the upgraded program.  Right now, I’m getting over a hell of a tension headache, and the general nausea of single-minded obstinance trying to figure out what the hell happened when I had upgraded Ubuntu’s Linux from 6.x to the latest version of 7.10.  Bloody hell… 
     Went through the upgrade process when I went checking for updates and was wondering how they were going to push it.  I thought twice about it though.  I knew that there are inherent dangers with any sort of upgrade.  Not so much the learning and unlearning of the program — that’s usually a gimme given that I was sure that there was going to be some changes, given that it’s a major OS upgrade. 
     First, it took forever…  I knew it was going to, a million and a half people rushing to grab the upgrade because the cautious geek community is like that and aren’t necessarily the kind that want to be with the cutting edge folk that have been running the RC for some time now.  So, I watched it start in the morning, with an estimated time somewhere in the 4 – 6 hour range —  the throughputs were all over the place.
     Checked on it occasionally when I woke up…  Or had to wake up because I was having dreams of working some new contract, and ending up dealing with something about security, and laser/lightning self-defense system that was going to activate when I rebooted the system.  And then somewhere in the middle of it, I end up being mostly naked at work.  Yeah — enough of a weird dream to force myself to consciousness, considering the last time I had dreamed like that I was in high school, dreaming of being naked before a test or a class… 
     Get up, sinuses blocked and in the usual pain that I’m in because I had slept on one side entirely too long, see that the download’s completed, and that it’s waiting for input from me about whether I wanted to keep my .conf files.  Told it to keep them all, and went to make my bed, and find something to wear.  Come back and instead of keeping them all — kept asking me to keep them all. 
     I raised an eyebrow stuck around to see whether it would keep the settings or not.  The setup asked a few more times and kept all my settings because I didn’t want to have to reconfigure settings that involved my NIC, TV Card and Webcam.  Then I watched it do something I hadn’t seen it do with Windows — it deleted programs that were considered obsolete.  Beryl got removed, which was sort of a mixed blessing.  And then once the clean up was complete it asked for a reboot. 
     And that’s when it went to hell. 
     No, no…  it didn’t totally break GRUB and I couldn’t get back into Ubuntu. 
     No, no…  it didn’t break when logging in, and it didn’t have any problems with the nVidia settings going to max resolution. 
     What it did was the mounted drives that I was used to seeing on the desktop, didn’t show up.  So I rebooted, and they still weren’t there.  Rebooted it again, still not there.
     I was annoyed.  Very annoyed. 
     I go take a shower, and mull it over.  And stew something awful during that shower.  Even thought about going into the forums finding that "Goodbye Ubuntu" thread because one of the primary reasons why I had dual booted this system was because Ubuntu had inherent ability to read NTFS partitions, and now that it was removed, I saw no reason why I wanted to keep the Operating System. 
     Came downstairs and booted one more time.  Still not there.
     Went to the Forums to see whether there was any news on this.  6 hours before, saw messages involving NTF3-g which is the alpha program in the previous version that allowed reading *and* writing and the usual bullshit that involved the possible corruption of NTFS partitions. 
     That annoyance became fury because while I wasn’t too concerned about the possibility of my partitions getting corrupted, but rather the fact that it was becoming rapidly apparent not only from the messages that I had seen, but the fact that the partitions were unmounted and I was going to have to load a third-party program in order to read the partitions.  And then my mind in it’s infinite walk down all the probabilities, realized that Ubuntu was going to become just like the thing it was competing against, and that annoyed me all the more. 
     The fury became seething because I had attempted to download NTF3-g to fix the problem, and sitting there as it timed out, knew that it was more than a fool’s errand getting the fix because everyone and their brother was still downloading either the ISO for a local burn, or the upgrade from the site. 
     Tried one more time, still didn’t see the mounted drives, decided on getting dressed, and desperately needed iced coffee from the Dunk…  I knew I was in for a rash of shit, and I needed the Extra-Large iced coffee if I was going to figure it out. 

     Started getting pages from Keegs on the way to my caffeine salvation, and ended up getting annoyed because just as I finished keying in my response to his SMS and hitting the send, I end up at the end of Singleton Street which is the biggest black out section of the city.  Tried resending it when I got onto Harris, ended up still being blacked out, and made some snide comment about being put back into the middle twentieth century. 
     I wish it were a comedy of errors if it weren’t for the fact that I was still seething that my dual boot system not working the way that I liked it only the day before. 
     Finally was able to get my caffeine salvation and the SMS page out to Keegs only when I was in Dunkin Donuts. Got a brief moment of satisfaction out of it. 

     I went through the usual bullshit of wanting to fix it, and waiting until I was either conscious enough to handle the problem, or simply call it off for the day until everyone I knew and chatted with went to bed and I would handle it then. 
     Bad move, I know.  Because at this point, my ADD has been set in motion and that I was going want to fix it, or blow away the partitions come hell or high water. 

     Swap out to Ubuntu and find out what the problem is, and voila, the NTFS mounts are now there.  Several boots later, and they’re suddenly working out the way they’re supposed to.  In fact, I checked out the Media Drive and more of the songs that weren’t there in the previous version were showing up now.  However, another problem came into play that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out.
     I had used Skype in Ubuntu when I chatted with Jer a couple of months ago, but when I tried to call my friend Luke, it was working for shit.  In fact, it was worse than I had ever heard it, when I did a test of it locally.  Took me several attempts and a whole lot of flying about the various sound control panels before finding out that I could load up the USB microphone in my webcam to get the sound qualities up to where I wanted them. 
     By that point, Markie woke up and wanted to have a conference.  I should’ve listened to my instincts which were screaming no, because I knew the instant that he figured out I was in Ubuntu, it was going to get ugly.  And it did too…  Because it was "total shit this/total shit that" and adolescent mockery every chance he could get in while I was trying to figure out why the NTFS mounts showed up spontaneously and the microphone which was plugged in directly into the port was *still* showing up in Line-In and still wasn’t getting any power whatsoever. 
     I totally blew up and stormed off because I didn’t need the shit on top of the shit within the operating system and what parts were working and parts weren’t according to all the changes.  Markie messaged me apologizing, but at that point I was too furious to want to deal with any of it, and totally blew him the hell off. 

     I was able to eventually find what the problem was with the NTFS mountings within Ubuntu though.  Seemed that the controls (not sure whether they’re called services within the OS or not) for NTFS hadn’t loaded properly during the upgrade, and upon the last booting, it had finally righted itself by recreating the protocols and the initialization strings, and now the OS was reading the partitions properly.  Not sure whether this is a sign of things to come with it on it not working properly or whether I’m going to be forced to have to reboot a couple of times in order to fix the problem. 
     Like in the last version how the Envy drivers for my nVidia Card would occasionally FUBAR themselves when I pushed the resolution to maximum. 

     So both sides of the dual boot are running properly, and I’m seeing what I’m supposed to be seeing.   Many new changes within Ubuntu, some of it cosmetics, most of it behind the scenes that I’m going to have to look into when I get the chance over the next couple of days. 

     All right, in the middle of all this, I get a page from Keegs asking whether I wanted to talk about the frustrations that I had been going through.  Although I read the message wrong and thought that he said that he wanted to talk about the frustrations that he was going through, as I had been paging him on and off about the things breaking in Ubuntu and how frustrated I was with all the changes and the breaks since the upgrade.  Of course, because of the weirdness of the house and the area, I had to go outside and speak out in front of the house because that’s about the only place I can get a strong enough signal to speak to anyone on a cell phone. 
     So I pop off something else that I’ve been mulling over the last couple of days to him as well.  So let me set this one up as well, as this is something that’s been bothering me the last week or so. 

     Being on the Internet for as long as I’ve been, I routinely deal with random folk either in real-time chat or on one of the many social networks that I’m on wants to either befriend me after a short, but pleasant chat with them, or totally randomly because I happen to either look like some sort of sugar-daddy if they’re from the Philippines, or because I’m within 25 miles of where they live.   In the case of this one man, it was the latter instead of the former. 
     Checked out his profile, pretty handsome, around my age, hell within walking distance given my penchant for walking or public transit, but didn’t know him for Adam, gracefully turned him down telling him that I don’t add strangers as friends, as all the people I know on my friends list I’ve known for a number of years.  Wished him luck in his search and wandered on my way as I routinely did. 
     He ended up apologizing telling me he’s looking for people in the area, and thought I was reasonably intelligent and coherent. 
     I thanked him and told him that he could always make friends the "old-fashioned way" — you know, write and get to know the person before adding them to his friends list. 
     We wrote back and forth a little bit, with it being mainly me making the effort, and him being the routinely terse that I got the impression "instantaneous gratification takes too long". 
     He apologized stating that he’s not much of a writer as he’s long-winded in person. 
     Given he’s in the area, and given that he seemed reasonable, I offered meeting him someplace public…  Told him I knew of several places in the metro-Woonsocket and Providence area, and left it up to his discretion.  As I closed the e-mail after a couple of edits, realized I didn’t send off my cell phone number and sent a second message with it. 
     Didn’t hear from him for or against for several days, and thought that he had nixed the whole idea.  Shrugged it off and moved on not really thinking twice about it.
     Got a message sometime after last weekend, apologizing for his allergies kicking in, and handed off his cell phone number for me to call him. 

     Now I’m normally moderately conventional about manners, but I do have a damned good idea about protocols, but if someone offers you their number to call them, most of the protocols I had learned in the twenty-five years I’ve been an adult have told me, that you’re supposed to call the person that offered his number. 
     This isn’t the first time though that I’ve seen this lazy, ass-backwards approach before.  In fact I used to see it a lot when I was living in Atlanta.  At first I thought it simply the bizarre habits of folk in the South, until I realized that it was only happening within the gay community.  It had been doubly reinforced by many of the friends that I made that explained to me that it wasn’t considered "mannerly" to make the person offering their number make the call as well.  (Although they did stress that it was considered equitable to hand off your number at about the same time as a sign of trust and respect). 

     Have I been out of it so long that this lazy attitude of expecting everything coming to "me" has become that commonplace?  Or is this just another one of the signs that people are forgetting what it’s like to have manners, to follow protocols and be polite? 

     Keegs, and a few others were naturally surprised to hear this, as they would expect that person to call, and when they asked me what I would to about it, shortly after getting that message I thought about calling.  Now though, I think it’s just plain impolite, and lazy, and don’t want to be bothered by it, wash my hands like Pontius Pilate, and move on with the coming holiday season.  The more I think about it, the more I think it the product of rudeness or laziness, and sets a bad precedence.  A precedence that I don’t need in my life at this time. 

     All right, I’m off for the time being.  Between the stress, the ADD, the sinus headache and the stress headache from all this bullshit this evening, I’m going to call this a day.  I’m going to go watch Transformers again, this time trying not to squirm at the horrible dialog in places.  Until the next time.

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