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Okay, so I fucked my pretty, happy, auto-configured desktop configuration by installing Gnome Shell. It wasn’t worth it. I’ve found Gnome Shell to be sluggish, fiddly and honestly less usable to me than Openbox. My experience may not reflect yours, however.
I want to fix it, roll back the changes and generally remedy this situation. To do this I need an Internet connection.
Easy in this day and age, right? Oh Christ no.
We cancelled our UPC Internet and TV package back in May. Since then I have been relying upon an O2 Hotshot for connectivity, and in fairness the Hotshot has been absolutely rock solid. I’ve sworn off torrenting and beyond a wee bit of lag in Stormwind, World of Warcraft runs smooth as a baby’s butt, even when I have Skype or Ventrilo running in the background. All my other services: Web, Dropbox, SSH/FTP work equally well.
It won’t work as a 3G modem with my Linux installation though. The dongle has dual-mode functionality: As well as being a HSPA modem and WiFi router, the dongle also serves as a USB mass storage device, with included Micro SD slot. This has proven to be an absolute bitch under Ubuntu Linux, because the system by default is picking it up as a mass storage device:
[mark][~] # lsusb | grep Huawei
Bus 001 Device 021: ID 12d1:142d Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
I still need to fix my computer as the Linux portion is almost completely inaccessible to a lay user (my wife). I’ve tried, tried and tried Live USB and CD fixes, but the computer utterly fails to boot from them. So, fuck it, I’m attempting the nuclear option: I’ve pulled the hard disk out of the chassis and connected it a Sohousb MagicBridge II. It was expensive and I’ve only used it three times, but on each of the occasions that I have used it I have needed it. This is the aforementioned “nuclear option.”
If it doesn’t work I’ll either hit the wall or buy a PCI WiFi card, whichever is less destructive.