Like Linux geeks all over the planet, I was excited about last Friday's release of version 8.10 of Ubuntu Linux - Intrepid Ibex. I had tried pre-release versions on my Dell laptop without any problem and was very impressed by the option Auto GSM Connection in the network manager. This feature allowed me to connect to UMTS/GPRS networks using the popular Huawei E220 3G modem. All I needed to enter was the PIN for the SIM card, and the connection just appeared. Given the fragility of our monopoly fixed-line provider and the fickle network at Big U, where I collect a monthly stipend, the Auto GSM features is a great addition - even to desktops.
With almost no trepidation at all, I proceeded to update my Dell desktop in the office, using a downloaded CD image and updating additional packages over the Internet. In other words, this was not a clean install but a genuinely "hot" upgrade. After booting, though, the monitor went into hibernation after briefly showing... nothing at all. Fortunately the consoles (Ctrl-Alt-F1 and F2) were available and I tried to slowly discover what was going on. After I managed to start a graphical VNC session from my home computer, I was convinced that the problem was not serious. Nevertheless, it still took me about an hour this morning to stumble on the idea of removing all NVidia drivers. Bingo - my desktop was back in good shape, running Ibex.