Finally my badly over-tweaked "old" Mandriva's got wiped out by a fresh brand new Ubuntu 10.10. With the advent of a bit more of memory (from 256M to 1G!) I've decided to try again a full featured modern desktop and accept all the comforts of the defaults, though a little bit too much windowsish and even though accepting defaults is usually a bad idea. There will be time to tweak this system too and make it usable just by me...
In the meantime I was disappointed by a really annoying bug I've noticed while watching a flash video on YT. At first the guilty, to me, was the flash player... But soon I've discovered it was not. Submitted a bug report for "choppy audio", ... but recently I've realized it was not about it. The bug is bigger: the whole system is stuck "occasionally".
Today, I've timed the choppiness and surprise, it's very regular: one "stuck" every ten seconds. I've searched the net simply with "ubuntu stuck every ten seconds" and found this link very useful. Then I tried the nomodeset and woah now it is ok. On an Ubuntu wiki I've found how to disable permanently it by adding a file in /etc/modprobe.d containing simply an option for the i915 driver: options i915 modeset=0. Indeed I've not restarted the system yet... however, if the boot option worked, the permanent solution should too.
This is however still an annoying bug. I don't know if KMS is really good, but its problem with Intel chipset should be fixed.
Another thing I did on Mandriva was to kill the tslash from the key t, and put in its place the þ. I don't know way in the "latin" layout (type) for danish, norwegian (etc) the þ is where it should be, while otherwise it is bound graphically (instead of phonetically) to the p key.
After reading here and there about how to use xmodmap, and the .Xmodmap file in the home, I've decided to fix it my way, as I did in Mandriva: editing the file /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/latin (maybe on Mandriva was located elsewhere, I can't remember). Did it and now that I've mapped (this time using the provided configuration tool) the Menu key to the Multi key and the unuseful Windows key to Meta key, I feel better.
The next step will be to fix a bit Nautilus: I don't like the Windows-like behaviour when you double-click on files it "does not know". I was used to be able to open all files (known or not) with a text editor (Emacs usually) or an hex editor (ghex2), but it seems that I have to pass to the "windows-steps" to do it: if a filetype is unknown, pick a program from a list, remember the association (no, never!) and of course if the file is "known", the context menu will show the item to open it with the program that "understands" it. It can be ok, but I want also always the items to open it with an editor (text and hex). How do I do it?
From the packages point of view, I was able to install everything I needed; in particular I was worried about interpreters/compilers I had installed on Mandriva. Luckly I was able to install maybe all what I had, from C (of course!) to Algol 68 Genie, with apt-get or compiling it (MMIX, MMIXX and Algol 68G only, currently, while the rest was all found in .debs in the repo or on the net). Rebol being proprietary is still not installed, but I will; and also fasm (flat assembler) is missing (but of course there's nasm).