Frustrations with Vista may have spilled over to the Ubuntu side of the house. My friend said he started to get screen flickers and acceleration problems with his giant Pavilion running 8.04, plus program crashes and some other problems, and out of frustration has reinstalled Vista. Personally I don’t blame Linux, but instead on the machine itself.
Of course, it’s not the end of the line. Without delving into anyone’s psychology, I have a feeling Ubuntu might make a return at some point in the future. However, I don’t think he’s likely to keep that “laptop,” since it has supposedly misbehaved in two different operating systems now.
If that’s the case, I can only make a few vicarious conclusions.
First, I know for a fact that running 3D applications (i.e., Second Life) on that machine with the desktop effects enabled caused flickering and artifacts. To be fair, I also get flickers and artifacts when trying to run 3D applications and desktop effects at the same time. I have a feeling that might have been the problem he experienced. It would be an unfortunate mistake to think the software was failing when in fact it was simply overtaxed hardware or conflicting software demands.
As an added complication, he started tampering with the drivers, and by “tampering” I mean uninstalling packages. Of course, that left him with a 640×480 screen with no options to adjust that, and without the general know-how (he’s very new to Linux), that can be a very dangerous situation. (And with no Internet connection and no mentor around to convince him not to do that, Vista was an accident waiting to happen.)
On the other hand, someone who tweaks that casually is actually a perfect candidate for Linux.
But if all my deductions are wrong, and it is misbehavior in two OSes, then I call trump and blame the hardware. If it really is crashing and it really is that erratic, then my experience would say deficient components. And in that case, it seems like returning it to the HP mothership would be the next step.
Unfortunately it’s not my call. He’s sufficiently frustrated with it to pass it on to a new owner, and that’s not me. I would find it vaguely amusing for a little while, but somewhat overkill. I do better staying in the sub-1Ghz domain. It feels like home. :)