Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Xorg is ruining my life!

It would be hard to state how much I was looking forward to the Ggaphic user interface for multiple monitors that was supposed to arrive with Gutsy. Since the beginning of the school year I've had a pretty nice VAIO laptop that used to be my principal's machine (she got a new macbook), but I've been unable to use it at all with a projector to show slideshows and the like to the staff during presentations or meetings. Perhaps designing and implementing a reliable GUI for external monitors and projectors is more difficult than I understand, but this is a such HUGE issue for so many people that I'm honestly appalled that it hasn't been addressed sooner.

In any case, all is to be fixed with Gutsy right? I mean I'd seen screenshots of the Multiple Monitors GUI since the beta releases. How great would it be to be able to just connect a VGA projector to my laptop and mirror the output? I mean, under Windows MCE the machine does it AUTOMATICALLY! I just plug in the cable with the projector on and BAM! it's up on the screen. It should honestly be this easy under Ubuntu too. Alas it is not.

I wrote last time about my disappointment with the Multiple Monitors GUI on my classroom computer, but today has been an absolute debacle. Not only did the GUI not work (surprise, surprise) but after doing some command line junk (which again, should NEVER be necessary) and actually getting the setup to work fine, my Xorg server crashed and as I type this, Edubuntu is reloading all over again. Crap.

So I'm sure there's a very good reason the GUI doesn't work. I've actually read about it on the forums and whatnot, something to do with specific video cards or something. Here's the thing though: I Don't Care. This is something that "just needs to work". It's unacceptable that something this necessary requires me to scour forums, sort through a bunch of stuff about changing device drivers, xrandr, my Xorg.conf file and then eventually leads me to try some command line code that appears to work but also crashes my system.

The good news is that bulletproofX is coming with Hardy Heron and is supposed to solve these problems the way windows did way back in the last millennium, namely by defaulting to a basic GUI display set instead of just crapping out entirely. So if you thought I was anxious for this change before Gutsy, you can imagine how I'm feeling right now. Hoping beyond all hope. -joe

1 comment:

Stephen Walder said...

I understand your frustrations! I've been battling with my own problems since upgrading to gutsy. I hope to give a short HOWTO on a problem I had in relation to Xorg - not the same problem as yours but in the same boat. Good luck, Stephen.