Yesterday I learned something about the new Ubuntu 10.04 release. I doesn’t like to start correctly when applied to a 8 year computer, that has a 11 year old second video card sitting in it.
This is the desktop under my desk in the office that I largely use as a media streamer, irc proxy, and second display (via synergy) for reading documentation while I write code. It turns out that some number of years ago I’d stuck my old 3dfx card (a company that when bankrupt in 2002) in there, I think when I was testing Linux DRI on that machine and the i815 driver wasn’t working correctly.
Honestly, I’d forgotten the card was in there for years. But when the machine did funny things to the display during boot (just about the time it’s trying to switch to it’s fancy splash screen), I spun it around to play with cables and noticed the second vga port. Removing the 3dfx Voodoo3 pci card and rebooting fixed all the issues.
Lesson learned: don’t leave hardware you don’t ever plan to use plugged into machines.