Interview, Heroes’ Day Reissue, Ubuntu 9.10 Gripe List

I did a brief interview regarding the writing process over at The site is new, but growing quickly, and there are already a number of interesting interviews / advice pages available. Worthy of a check-it-out.

Those of you who frequent my blog will already be aware of the demise of Vertigo Alley as a publishing imprint earlier this year (though it still exists as a parent company—let’s just say there are politics involved and leave it at that). This means Heroes’ Day had been placed on the endangered species list only a year after it had been published. But it looks like my new team of irritable office monkeys have redone the novel under the imprint, which is now handling reissues of my previous work. If you’ll check out the Heroes’ Day page, you’ll find a brand spankin’ new cover and, indeed, an entirely new interior layout for the book. Both were sorely needed, as the yellow / black gymnast silhouette cover was a last-minute job after the original artist died unexpectedly before he could deliver his finished artwork. Also, the trade paperback version’s typeface is now readable. The interior text for the old paperback version had mistakenly been taken from the e-book source files—meaning the e-book looked great, but the paperback version looked…awkward. This is no longer the case.

A brief note on the Ubuntu / Linux front: For the first time in a long while a new edition of Ubuntu has actually taken several steps backward for me and my notorious Acer Aspire 5100-5674. Save for the fact that several key programs quickly became out-of-date (OpenOffice, VLC), 9.04 had been bitchin’. The video drivers were fairly solid, sound was smooth as silk, and wireless worked out of the box. I expected 9.10 to be a continuation of this, and so eagerly made the upgrade. The result was a prompt uninstall and this list of gripes:

  • Lousy ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 drivers—OpenGL flickers, and exiting 3D-accelerated games results in the system freezing / locking up
  • Audio playback is riddled with pops and crackles, be it system sounds, VLC or Audacious playback, or OpenGL games (changing the respective programs’ audio output plugins and buffer settings doesn’t help)
  • Under GNOME, locking the screen sporadically locks up the entire computer
  • Logging out of GNOME frequently results in, you guessed it, a system lockup
  • The GNOME panel crashes whenever closing Opera

With the exception of the lock-screen bug, none of these issues were present in Ubuntu 9.04. I suppose I should’ve stuck with that version and used the PPA repositories to update my key programs. The alternative solution, though, has worked with minimal effort on my part. I tried the Linux Mint 8 live CD on a whim, and even though it’s based on Ubuntu 9.10, Mint 8 has none of the issues listed above. I don’t understand it, but I’m digging it. Stupid, spiteful computers.


About jesse

Book designer and formatter based in southern California. Supreme overlord of the SuperMegaNet pseudoverse.
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2 Responses to Interview, Heroes’ Day Reissue, Ubuntu 9.10 Gripe List

  1. Tracey says:

    Hi Jesse

    Thanks for the interview and the link to my site. I’m sure potential writers will learn a lot from all the advice you offered.

  2. jesse says:

    Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I had a blast. 🙂

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