Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Ubuntu 9.10

Earlier I noted that Ubuntu 9.10 reported my laptop hard drive was going
to fail. At first I discounted this as (1) it was reporting a crazy and
impossible 500,000+ bad sectors and (2) the drive seemed to be working
fine and other metrics didn't indicate a problem.

Well, yesterday my file system came up dirty for the second time in a
week and I reluctantly concluded there was a problem with the drive.

I got a new drive and went about restoring from a recent disk to disk
backup. All went well until I was getting ready to edit /etc/fstab and
/var/boot/menu.lst to change the UUID of the ext4 file system and
discovered the vol_id command no longer seems to be part of Ubuntu.
You really need this to restore from a full backup.

Workaround: The needed information is available at /dev/disk/by-uuid.

GRUB 2: Live CD Install Guide documents how to install GRUB into
the MBR... worked for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 vs. Eclipse

After upgrading Ubuntu to 9.10 on my computer at work, I noticed a lot
of dialog buttons weren't working. In some cases I could work around by
hitting return which is the same as clicking on the highlighted dialog
button. Or it was possible to navigate around within the fields and buttons
of a dialog using TAB and Shift-TAB but that was pretty slow and painful.

Fortunately there's a fix.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10

Just upgraded my laptop from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10. Here are some observations.
  • It came up with wireless working. I never had to plug in to ethernet.
  • My X display used to lock up if I left xscreensaver running for long periods. That seems to have cleared up.
  • In spite of MySQL being updated from 5.0 to 5.1, my MySQL databases survived untouched.
  • I was able to load my SlashEM saved game after the upgrade.
  • VMware Player initially didn't work but after I updated it from 2.5.2 to 3.0 it was fine.
  • Glxgears went from around 500 to around 1600 FPS. There's a noticeable performance improvement in some of the OpenGL screen savers in xscreensaver.
  • One disappointment, 'buoh' (application to retreive and display newpaper comic strips) is gone.
  • When I log in I get a pop-up saying that my hard drive is failing. There's a widget in the Gnome panel that says the drive has many bad sectors. When I click on it, it informs me that the drive has over 500,000 bad sectors. The disk seems to be working fine with no errors being reported in syslog. 'smartctl -H /dev/sda' says 'PASSED'.
  • Hibernate works. One time resuming from hibernate the display was so dim I could barely make it out, but I was able to correct with Fn-F10. Since then the display has come up at normal brightness.
  • I expected to have to reload libdvdcss since the upgrade disables medibuntu, but when I popped a DVD in the drive it started playing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009