Things are weird around me.

Yeah, stop snickering. It’s because I’m weird…like I haven’t heard that before. It’s pretty well documented that my mere presence will make things start behaving differently. Just like your car mechanic’s presence will stop the car from making that noise, my presence makes computers work.

Well, most computers except mine.

The other day I did some Ubuntu updates and rebooted to find things had gotten weird(er). The desktop needed to be restarted a few times before it would come up properly. The laptop’s X11 system (the graphical interface) refused to come up at all.

I spent a day or so messing around during my humongous amounts of free time and completely failed to make it work correctly. The basic system was just fine — it was only the GUI. I sought advice from the local Linux user group, a coworker, and the Internet. The errors I got were just plain weird, to be polite.

I even tried a live Knoppix CD, which booted up just fine, located all of my hardware, and found a network connection at work. I did this because an Ubuntu live CD wouldn’t boot correctly and Knoppix is well known for its hardware detection.

I decided it was time to do a reinstall, lacking a separate HOME partition. When I got home, I booted with the Knoppix CD. Or at least I tried to. It wouldn’t boot. Tried again — same result. Now keep in mind this is the same CD that worked perfectly four hours earlier at work. I hadn’t changed a thing in the meantime.

Then I tried the Ubuntu CD that wouldn’t work at work. It came up just fine. Of course it did.

I still have to spend some time cursing at the wireless interface, but I’m typing from the freshly installed Xubuntu laptop.

In the words of Danny Glover, “I’m gettin’ too old for this sh*t…”