It Ain’t Broke So Stop Fixing It!

So this morning I’m looking at a web page when Seamonkey becomes unresponsive. Then I remember that it’s Tuesday, and that’s when I have set up the Xubuntu Updater to do it’s weekly update.

“Oh, fine, just let the thing run,” I think. “I’ll get back to the web later.”

If it’s just updating software, I have it set to just go ahead and put in the latest version of whatever software is installed. But if it’s a system update, then I have to enter the root password and authorize it. And sure enough, like almost every Tuesday since I installed Xubu 14.04, the Updater wants to update the Linux kernel again. Uh-oh. Every time it tells me I need another kernel update, I’m like

No, not again! This is terrifying stuff to me, even though most kernel updates are safe haven’t borked my system, it has happened before. And even though I can reboot to an older kernel, it leaves me wondering what was wrong with the old one that it needed to be updated anyway. If it’s a security thing, well, I guess that’s different. But most of the big scary kernel and firmware updates aren’t addressing some security vulnerability, they’re “improving” some existing feature or adding new ones.

I’ve got a lot of college course work going on and I need a rock-stable OS that isn’t gonna be suddenly slowed or crippled by the next “improvement.” Updates to programs like my browser and stuff are fine, but what “improvements” to vital stuff like the Linux kernel do I really need to keep this ancient relic of a perfectly good computer running? Older versions of Xubuntu were considerably faster than the latest version. I used to be able to multi-task without having things hesitate or grind to a complete halt. While I understand that some updated applications probably use more resources than the older versions, why do the kernel and firmware require more resources? And for cryin’ out loud,

It ain’t broke! So stop fixing it!

So there’s another advantage to using an OS that is based on Debian Stable. It’s stable! It doesn’t get “fixed” unless it needs fixing. Even as I write this post, the computer halts and balks and makes me wait until it finishes with some other invisible process it has going on in the background.

If I had a newer computer I’d probably switch to Linux Mint because the ingenious updater helps technophobes and newbies use it intelligently. But on this old relic, it’s gonna be MX-14, the wonderful AntiX/Xfce mixture built from Debian Stable with “the magic of Mepis” in support.

My distro-hopping days may be over, even after I upgrade this old hardware some day when I have money for that. And this blog may just get really boring after that, since it’s such a trouble-free system.

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3 thoughts on “It Ain’t Broke So Stop Fixing It!

  1. So the latest “improved” kernel makes my mouse freeze (even worse than the previous “improvement” did) for a full minute or so. When it finally decides to let me move the cursor again, it lags behind the mouse, playing “catch up.” Multi-tasking? Forget about it, not happening. Open multiple browser tabs? Sure if you don’t mind waiting for the mouse again. Rawr. I am so done with this. Maybe it wouldn’t be an issue if I had a newer computer with a faster processor and more RAM. But as a starving college student I’m broke all the time anyway. I couldn’t even buy all my books for this term (I’m renting two of them!), much less upgrade this hardware as long as there’s an awesome alternative like MX-14!

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  2. “Follow Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1 other follower”

    Don’t go by that just 1 other follower. I and other read and follow your blog by RSS feed.

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  3. In kernel selection, version/vintage rules. Unless you’re buying new hardware as fast as it comes out, you shouldn’t be changing kernels – lock it down, and monitor security alerts instead.

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