Nerdin’ out with Kubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”

My venerable old vprMatrix (I think it was a Best Buy house brand) computer has gone through a power supply and video card and I’ve beefed up the hard drives on it a couple times. Now I think it might be time for its second video card. I upgraded it from Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) with the intention of going straight to Kubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” LTS, but alas, the 8.04 “Hardy Heron” release of Kubuntu was not deemed an “LTS” release, so I have to hop, skip and jump my way around here a bit to fully modernize the OS on that box. If I even get all the way there.

The upgrade seemed to go OK to 9.10, but once I rebooted into Kubuntu 9.10, I noticed one thing immediately: the snazzy new (to me) KDE4 environment was not drawing the windows properly – parts of most (but not all windows) were displaying ostensibly correctly, but the title bar of every window was garbled with a repeating pattern of lines — some vertical, some horizontal. So much so, that I couldn’t read the titles of any of the windows I clicked on. I had to rely on my old friends, the keyboard shortcuts, to call up a console session and turn the machine off via command line. I googled around a bit and found this: Window corruption with older ATI graphics cards

The tips there fixed my window display problems, but I wonder if I should just upgrade the video card anyway. Scrolling seems clunky; 32MB of RAM on the graphics card just might not cut it anymore. We’ll see how it looks when I get to 10.04 (another 1500 files have to be downloaded and configured and installed and …).

transferring files from a nokia mobile phone to Kubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04)

I had high hopes for Kubuntu 8.04 (the Hardy Heron) with regard to bluetooth transfers from our mobile phones to our computers. Apparently it got better for most of the world from 7.10 (the Gutsy Gibbon) to the current version, but not for users of Symbian-based phones like our Nokia E50 and E61i models.

Then I noticed apparently receiving bluetooth file transfers from our Mac mini to our Kubuntu Linux machine running 8.04 worked just fine — so why not from our phones? Was it related to our phones or to the software on our Linux machine?

It’s apparently related to the bluez-utils package in the Ubuntu repositories. A user posted on (original post here) that using the bluez-utils package from the Debian “sid” (unstable) repositories worked for him.

So, get the unstable bluez-utils package from here, install it with

sudo dpkg -i bluez-utils_3.30-3_i386.deb

reboot, and that’s it…at least, that’s how I did it. I hope I’ve saved someone some self-hair-pulling and googling.