Why did I choose Ubuntu again?

When installing this new machine, I picked Ubuntu as the Linux distro, because the people in LUGOR are all full of praise for it. But after the debacle with trying to get X working (which was solved by discovered a boot time option “nodcc”), I have been having my doubts. And now I’ve discovered a couple of other things to hate about it.

  • Every time I rebooted, it reset my /etc/resolv.conf to a stupid default. Eventually I traced this down to a couple of stupid ppp scripts that were referenced in /etc/rcS.d on shutdown for some reason, even though I’m not using ppp. One of those scripts included the utterly stupid line if [ -n "$PROVIDER " ] – the space after the PROVIDER ensures that the test will never be false. Good one, guys.
  • So I tried to remove ppp and pppconfig, only to find that they’re both required components of ubuntu-base. Why the hell would they do that?

I’m starting to wish I’d stuck with Debian.

And every day you’re in this place you’re two days nearer death

One of the “joys” of working in a large, old, poorly maintained and shrinking chemical plant is the constant barrage of dangerous chemical smells. I used to walk from the parking lot to the entrance under a pipe bridge that carried a bunch of pipes, one of which was labelled “Ketone”. There was often a strong smell of aromatic hydrocarbons under that bridge.

Today, just after I’d posted my previous posting, three company firemen were standing in front of my cube, wearing breathing tanks on their backs (but thankfully not using them). One of my co-workers came by and said he’d reported a nasty smell and something dripping onto his desk from the ceiling above, and they’d come out.

Movie tickets

Our project has a custom of handing out free movie ticket coupons every year as sort of a bonus. In the past, either one of the admins has handed them out, or just stuck them in an interoffice envelope. No ceremony or fuss.

This year, my boss Nancy comes over. She says that she’d had to go through my pimp for this (and I’m suddenly thinking “hey, is this my first raise in 5 years?”) and then congratulates me for a good year and hands me the movie tickets. Sure enough, as well as the usual cover letter from my boss’s boss, there is another one from the pimp agency. Knowing it went through them, I immediately counted the coupons to see if they took 35% of them. But no, it appears they’re all there. I guess there’s a first time for everything.