How hacking Linux is like building sandcastles

OK, I don’t mind hacking stuff to make it work, but once I hack it, it should *stay hacked*!

I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 “Fiesty Fawn” on my Macbook Pro… I am currently dual booting OS X and Ubuntu, and I intend to triple boot Win XP as well eventually.

This weekend, I spent about 2 hours making my NVIDIA video card and my sound card work, and it worked and I was happy and pleased with myself. Today I boot back into Ubuntu and, surprise, neither video nor sound is working! What changed? I used these instructions from this thread to make my NVIDIA card work again… I got pretty clear error messages from X11 when starting up, so it was easy to search teh interwebs for a solution. However, I have no idea what is wrong with my ALSA drivers and I don’t have time to go find someone in IRC to help me right now. It’s hard to fix a problem when you don’t know what the problem is!

Dropping to the command line to fix things is OK, having to fix the same things repeatedly is not. Hopefully the next version of Ubuntu which is due out next month will make everything better…. it is a little unfair to expect Ubuntu to support the hardware on my 3rd generation Macbook Pro out of the box since the version of Ubuntu I’m using was released before my laptop was released.

One thought on “How hacking Linux is like building sandcastles

  1. Not to criticize too much, but I think it is more than “a little unfair” to expect Ubuntu to support the hardware in your MacBook Pro. It is very likely that my next laptop will be preinstalled with some distribution of Linux; despite the fact that my current Thinkpad T43 is reasonably compatible with Linux (although when I first bought it, Ubuntu would not detect the hard drive!), I cannot in good conscience support OEMs do not support Linux.

    I *might* end up getting a Thinkpad or Apple laptop as my next computer, but it would mainly be because of cost (educational discounts) and the fact I intend to provide any hardware support on my own (having been disillusioned by manufacturer’s warranties this summer). Still if a free laptop comes out soon with reasonable specs, I would buy it, same as a free phone.

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