Friday, September 04, 2009

Geeky Friday

A post is overdue, especially a good post. A happy post, perhaps. I've noticed I write longer posts on here when I'm not in a good mood, and when things are going well I just scrawl notes onto napkins, receipts, and other pieces of trash. These in turn get entered into a Sticky Note on my desktop.
Anyway, I'm home tonight; I went to Mount Hood during the day and even though I mostly sat in a car, it was tiring. I was tired to start with. And I had a tummy ache. Boo hoo. So I'm in this Friday night, relaxing and hopefully writing. In the meantime, I've spent a huge fraction of the evening on a vexing computer issue. Sometimes this computer gets me so mad I wonder if Linux is worth it...and then I remember that I had these same problems times ten with Windows.
Since my last geeky post, I backed up my hard drive (which I had to do IN NEW JERSEY) and upgraded from Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) to Intrepid Ibex (8.10) to Jaunty Jackalope (9.04.) Everything was fine, but then! Hulu stopped working. I think I used it once since the upgrade. So, my guess is some kind of system update was buggy, or I downloaded Flash 10 by mistake and that messed it up...I have no idea. All I know is that I have spent all week annoyed about this. The justification for all of this was that I can do all the productive things on my to do list (like clean) if I have Jon Stewart or Mary Tyler Moore in the background!!!!!
The result of all of this tooling around was that I discovered that there IS a version of Google Chrome out for Linux; it's just very ... well, very POTENTIALLY unreliable. It's the "dev" version which I am inferring is a step below "beta." Like Gamma or Epsilon. Somewhere in all of this, in between wondering how the heck people with Ubuntu have Firefox 3.5, I realized that I DO have it...somehow it got on this computer (probably with the Jaunty Jackalope upgrade) but it's called Shiretoko and there's no icon on my desktop...just hiding in my Internet menu. Huh.
It's still slow and clunky. I don't know what's happened to Firefox. But it's making me sad.
I didn't want to like Google Chrome, but so far I can type in forms (Facebook, Blogger) without the browser mysteriously freezing, and I can scroll through large webpages and emails with...actual scrolling. Not mysterious freezing followed by spastic movement much further down the page than I actually wanted.
I am typing all this for the sake of other sad Ubuntu users Googling away, their progress hampered by a slow Firefox. Because I totally had no idea how to fix my problem and there was little documentation online. It took a lot of trial and error.
I finally got Hulu to work with Shiretoko by getting rid of "gnash." I don't really know what that is or why this worked, but I went into Synaptic and typed "flash" to see what the hell I could find. I marked "gnash" for complete removal and somehow this worked. I might have at some point gotten rid of other "flash" or "swf" type things. Apparently, extra "flash"-y things do something that clutters up something and makes Real Flash not work with Jaunty Jackalope and Firefox/Shiretoko.
OMG this is the nerdiest thing I've ever written. I hope no one who isn't a Linux user is reading this, wondering when Updates From Our Friend Sarah are going to commence. They're not, not in this post.
I can't take any more of this geekiness on a Friday. I'm going to go watch Jon Stewart and wash dishes.

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