Monthly Archives: May 2014

I upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04 and it wasn't a total disaster

I'm as surprised as you are. Probably more so. It just worked. Granted, it still has a bunch of annoying problems --- Super-P changes your monitor setup and can't be disabled, which sucks if you're using Emacs and trying to type in the chord that sheds your humanity and allows you to walk among the stars --- but there weren't any new annoying problems. Every aspect is strictly superior to the previous version, thus it is strictly superior.

And it even kept my Xorg config working, which is saying something, because my Xorg config is about as Lovecraftian as anything you've ever had to deal with that isn't sendmail. I have two amazing monitors which I ordered from some Korean vendor on Ebay that is long gone, but now you can get them on Amazon rather than having to smuggle them in. They're the equivalent of the thousand dollar plus monitors you see around --- and there is a difference besides size, IPS monitors are great and expensive while TN ones are cheap and bad.

But the monitors are really bare bones. There are things that monitors have that I didn't even know they had until I got these and they didn't have them. Things like EDID, which is apparently how a computer knows to send things to a monitor, because cables aren't enough or something. Anyway, these monitors return all zeros, which is not the right thing to do, and so I had to extract that value, bust open a mother fucking hex editor, write some bytes, and then write some spells in Xorg.conf to make it use the new stuff.

(Of course this comes from a blog, because no one could ever figure this out on their own, because this is madness.)

So the next time someone tells you you don't need to know how to edit an Xorg.conf file to install Ubuntu, tell them they're right --- you need to know how to edit an Xorg.conf file and hex edit monitor EDIDs.

And also how to go through and make all the things that Ubuntu marks as "--quiet" or "--verbose=0" stop keeping quiet about the various disasters they're witnessing and actually tell you what's freezing. That was the hardest part.

Ubuntu is not for your grandma, which is not sexist or ageist because Ubuntu is pretty much not for any human being, really. But the upgrade did work well enough.