Improbable All The Way

I don’t believe this…

Leonard Poeterring is lucky he does not live close enough that I could run into him in-person.  That a-hole’s ‘systemd’ crapware has been adding a heaping truckload of frustration just when I really didn’t need it.  Now, if you are amenable, I shall demonstrate how to cure rectal-cranial inversion disorder in a male through the time-honored approach of percussive maintenance…

I never got around to finishing or publishing my last entry, largely because a cat pushed the laptop’s lid shut, causing OpenSUSE 13.2 to stop responding to input aside from letting the mouse move the cursor.  While WordPress does save drafts while an entry is being written, the system was locking up at least once every day (usually far more often than that), I couldn’t figure out how to view/find relevant error logs to determine for sure what the problem was (I suspect power management issues), and I just didn’t have the will to continue.  OpenSUSE had already frustrated me for days by claiming there were package conflicts whenever I tried to install or upgrade anything, regardless of what I picked.  I experimented for a while in the belief that it was because of the repositories I’d added, then did a clean install of 13.1 and tried to upgrade it to 13.2…only to get the same error.  I then tried clean-installing 13.2 again, carefully added only the repositories recommended, but still ran into the same conflicts.  Aaaarrggggghhhh!!!

You know what’s especially sad about this from my standpoint?  When I first got to try OpenSUSE way back in 2001 (when it was named “SuSE”), it was rock-solid stable, all of the hardware (except the infamous winmodem) was detected & worked flawlessly, KDE 2.0 was awesome in every way, and generally everything was as easy & friendly as an OS could be to a newbie.  Leap forward 13 years: my once-beloved distro has turned into an unstable mess, troubleshooting it is a huge pain, the window decorations no longer honor the user-chosen colors, and the “monochromatic mystery blob” icon design is anything but enthralling. 

Imagined conversation between KDE artists:
Artsy: omg I love svns, no more making multiple icon sizes for lusers that don’t use our screen size
Fartsy: yes! we can make monochrome outlines easy, don’t have to waste time learning new crap
Artsy: and make them look kinda like Android or iOS so they’re “stylish” lol
Fartsy: “if you don’t love this you’re just afraid of change and should just use Windows XP!!”
Artsy: lol, stupid lusers always eat that up…remember kde 4.0?  “it works for me, you’re all just haters”

Fartsy: yep watch em scramble to prove they’re cool by praising it

Somebody over at SoylentNews posted a mostly-useless list of distros that supposedly aren’t using systemd (the source of the instability) so I downloaded a copy of PCLinuxOS “KDE Mini-Me” and burned it to a CD for later use.  It’s not the coolest distro, but when I got home from the movies (saw Interstellar with my father & stepmother) on Christmas to find OpenSUSE was unresponsive, I didn’t hesitate to throw the CD into the drive and install the bugger.  After all, short of not booting at all, it certainly couldn’t be any worse than OpenSUSE, Debian, and their systemd-sucking ilk.

Two days later, I’m still learning my way around when I notice my gamepads aren’t being detected.  Huh, that’s odd, they’ve always worked before… I poked around KDE to find that hardware detection isn’t running at all, and haven’t been able to find any way to change that thus far.  Alrighty then, that’s…messed up.  I opened recently-installed Yakuake (a pop-up terminal program), switched to root, and typed in dmesg to see what kind of errors might be cropping up, only to discover it hadn’t logged anything since day 1.  Ohcrap, that explains why it wasn’t noticing when I ejected or inserted CDs while going through old archives.  This shouldn’t even be possible, should it?

So, that’s where I stand at the moment.  My theory right now is that it’s a result of systemd swallowing so much of the system’s foundation; even if it’s removed and the old programs reinstated, there might be some crucial files or routines missing that would normally call them as needed.  Either that, or maybe the “KDE Mini-Me” edition of PCLinuxOS is itself missing something important.  (Or both?)  I’ll write an update if I figure it out or distro-hop again.
I’ll explain in another post why I wasn’t in an emotional state to handle any of the above gracefully…

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