Sometimes using linux is exciting; kernel upgrades, for instance, are like log rides at the amusement park: the slow creep of preparation (download kernel; backup files; read documentation), one moment of weightless breath-holding (lilo -v; reboot), and then you're in a dark tunnel, your shirt is wet, and you're not sure what to do next ("CRC error -- system halted").
Having utterly munged my kernel, my next step was to dredge google (all hail) for something that would save me. Fortunately, Mandrake makes a pretty good rescue system, with enough capability to let me get a console, mount my reiser partition, and backup all my needed files to a safe disk. Then, just for fun, I thought I'd install Release Candidate 2 of Mdk 9.0. To make a long story short, the upgrade over my old system didn't take -- too many dependencies, too many irreconcilable differences -- so I went for the full install, which to Mandrake's credit went very well. The big Nine-Oh looks to be a good distribution, and I'm looking forward to the final release.
I spent too much time today trying to sync my Palm Pilot under linux. There are a number of good tools for performing this task; pilot-link and jpilot work fairly well, once the utter mystery that is USB on linux has been solved (does it really take fourteen text files, written in different scripting languages, to mount a USB device?). But those tools weren't enough for me. I wanted to sync with evolution, and that's where things got first silly, and then just anti-climactic. After altogether too much time spent browsing obscure mailing lists, reading terse documentation, and thinking, "I did that. I did that. Why doesn't it just work?" well, I finally got it to work. That's right, I can sync my Palm Pilot with Evolution!