An Affair Gets Serious

2017-10-11

Why would a faithful Windows user suddenly run off with a strange operating system?

Lots of reasons, but anyway,  I did it.  I installed Ubuntu on my new laptop.

Two weeks after making the plunge, I have a bright pink screen with neat little icons along the left side.

But getting there wasn’t easy.

Naked and Afraid in Ubuntuland

Yes, there are loads of instructions on-line, but they were all different. It was like asking a bunch of strangers how to make spaghetti.  Everyone had a different recipe and different ingredients.

After somehow managing to create a ‘boot usb’ I had to figure out how to bring up the boot screen in my new HP Pavillion laptop.

Various sources suggested F2 or F12  or ctr/what?/?!?!? or esc or tap-three-times…. I finally got F9 to work.  A black screen with teeny tiny yellowish text in the left corner came up.

Why is the print so small? Is it because you aren’t supposed to be there at all?

I felt I had infiltrated a top secret government laboratory.

The online advice called for creating 'partitions' - Windows on one side and Ubuntu on the other. Seemed like a safe bet.

But when I finally got the pink Ubuntu screen to appear, it didn’t fit my 13.5 inch laptop monitor.  It was about 9 inches wide with huge black margins on either side.  ACK!

Back to Google for some help.

Maybe a dozen hours later, I realized there WAS NO HELP! No one on the entire Internet had the answer. Whenever I typed in “Ubuntu screen size” all I got was endless repeated instructions on how to change the RESOLUTION.

NOOOOOOOO! I DONT’ WANT TO CHANGE THE @#$%^ RESOLUTION!!!

I WANT TO CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE DISPLAY AREA!!!

A few other people had this problem, but no one had an answer. I went on endless wild goose chases into things like ‘-geometry’, when I hardly knew how to open up the !(@*! terminal to begin with.

Whew! Feels good to get that rant out of the way.

How I fixed my Ubuntu 16.04 screen size problem:

(See above rant) I considered taking the laptop back to the store for help. Or just returning it. As a last resort, I decided to reboot and choose only Ubuntu this time - no Windows partition.

Well, that solved the problem.

The pink Ubuntu screen popped up and completely filled the display area.

After that, Ubuntu was happy. It was as if he was miffed that I was still partially a Windows user. Our relationship is so much better now that he knows I’ve chosen to be with him exclusively.

Of course, no relationship is perfect all the time.  There were still some bumps:   Installing LAMP, understanding ‘permissions’,  figuring out how to use this ‘nano’ editing thing, and the ‘sudo’ command – is that short for something? Why can’t anything be in plain English?

But despite some emotional issues, we are till together, working on our relationship.

There are zillions of new terms in Ubuntu, that everyone seems to already know about: “Gnome” and “Unity” and ‘Mint’ and “kubuntu’ and “Gimp” and ‘droplet’.    Ubuntu and I spend a lot of time talking about his long and colorful past and how he has a lot of 'baggage'.   I try to be understanding, and he is sensitive to my cluelessness.

But now that we are committed to each other, I know we can work out the details.

Category: general

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