So I’ve had my new Darter Ultra laptop for about a week. I’ve noticed many improvements in speed for many tasks–still image rendering, page loading, conversion of file formats, copying large files and so on. I’m very pleased.
A very small warning for strangers out there considering buying a System76 machine. They don’t exactly ship out-of-crate-ready. I did have to consult the documentation and their support site briefly to figure out how to turn on the wireless transceiver and webcamera and to learn that there are no drivers yet for the fingerprint reader. But these are very minor and easily figured out things. To be fair, many Microsoft machines don’t ship out-of-crate-ready either. On the whole I’m very happy with this gadget!
The transition being so smooth, I decided to strike out for unexplored territory. I wanted to give WINE a try and see if I could run some old games within it. I haven’t tried this before because most of my hardware is very old and I felt that running games in WINE would be agonizingly slow.
But now that I’ve got the iron, I decided to take the leap.
Perversity in the universe tends to a maximum. Wouldn’t you know it? I choose Torment (How aptly named!); one of the very few old games that recent versions of WINE can’t support. I didn’t discover this until after the fact. In trying to install and run it, I toasted Gnome within my account. It’s probably some bogus instruction in a Gnome configuration file. Now Linux won’t log me into Gnome. I can get into bash just fine so, I figure, if I can find the right configuration file and edit it, I can fix everything. So I sign up with the Ubuntu Forums to post my questions.
Let that be a warning to me in future WINE expeditions: Check reports about applications at WineHQ first!
Has this soured my experience? No. Actually the problem my own impulsive ignorance caused seems very simple to fix if I only knew which line to edit in the configuration files. Configuration files are always text based in Linux. The system hides nothing from you. You can fix it directly, if you know where to look.
Imagine a similar video driver problem hidden within compiled binary in Window’s registry hive. If you’re lucky, you can just replace corrupted files, edit a few keys and hope that registry didn’t assign unique GUIDs to them. Otherwise, you’d have to back up your data, flatten and rebuild.
Posted from my old desktop running Dapper Drake.