Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rebooting Ubuntu

I miss the old, original behavior of ctrl-alt-del, rebooting the system. Once upon a time, kiddies, computers had front panels. Among the buttons on the front panel was a reset button. With the IBM PC and others of its early '80s ilk, the front panel was gone, and often there was no reset button, but there was the three finger salute.

At some point, Windows behavior was to invoke the task manager on a three finger salute rather than to do a system reset. Slackware and other early Linux distros did a reset, which effectively rebooted the system.

Why do I suddenly care? I'm running Ubuntu 9.10 on a 64-bit HP Pavilion desktop. Multiple times per week the system locks up, and ctrl-alt-del does nothing. The GNOME default is log out, but GNOME is locked up at this point. There's a configuration file, /etc/event.d/control-alt-delete, but so far as I can tell the contents of this file are irrelevant and have no effect on system behavior. So my recourse has been to hold the power button down long enough for an abrupt power down. I've been doing this, on average, multiple times per week, when really all I want to do is reboot.

I want my reset button.

Now it turns out that alt-sysreq-b does a reset. Now I just have to remember to try this the next time my system locks up.

Ubuntu: less impressive with every "upgrade."
Hewlett-Packard: less impressive on a year-by-year basis since the merger with Compaq. I guess I could start telling people I'm old enough to remember when HP sold quality products. I worked for a competitor in the telecom instruments segment, and HP was always considered a very worthy competitor. Their laser printers used to be good. Now it's all cheap junk.

1 comment:

J_Archie's World said...

The human spirit is to be admired. So many people attempt to thwart the status quo…Their efforts are to be applauded. Sadly, resistance is futile…you will be assimilated. There is only one collective…we are one…we are Microsoft.

I remember the days of being a diehard Amiga fan. The Amiga possessed great graphics, sound, and awesome video capabilities. Unfortunately, the platform died. I recall the day I placed all of my Amiga hardware in the car, drove to work, and threw it all in the dumpster (it was an impressive haul). Like it or not, if I was going to be productive in the workplace and in everyday life, I had to embrace Microsoft… There is only one collective…we are one…we are Microsoft.

Apple et al are trying to thwart the inevitable. If you want graphics and music, then YES! Apple is the machine (Hmmm this seems familiar). If you want to interface with the world as we know it, you MUST become part of the collective… we are one…we are Microsoft.

Here is the truly frightening part of life today, every company I have interviewed with in the past three months is stressing candidates must be proficient using MS-Office, MS-MySQL, MS-Visual Basic, MS certifications (Cisco Who?), MS! MS! MS! No UNIX, no ORACLE! There is only one collective…we are one…we are Microsoft.

As I stated previously, you are to be commended for your attempted defiance. Unfortunately, “what we have [on your part] is a failure to communicate. Some men you can't reach, that is they just don't listen when you talk reasonable…So what you need is an attitude adjustment.” Resistance is futile…you will be assimilated. There is only one collective…we are one…we are Microsoft.