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I just got a very weird error message on my Ubuntu 12.04 laptop:

enter image description here

The only thing I did even close in time before this happened was to eject an SD memory card from the slot. To do so, I first opened File Manager and clicked the little "Eject" button next to the disk label for the card. When the disk wasn't in the list anymore, I removed it from the slot.

Is this a bug, or a problem with my system setup, or with my way of removing the SD card? Obviously there's a problem somewhere - the least you'd expect is an error message that can be read... If it's a bug, what should I report (to Launchpad, I assume)?

UPDATE:
I just got another one of these messages. This time I tried to open a LaTeX source file, but since TeXWorks wasn't among the suggested applications I clicked "Open With" > "Other application...". This is what I got:

enter image description here

Seriously, what's going on here?

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The text is not scrambled, but some characters in it are not able to display. It should say: System program problem detected.

Apport detects crashes and writes reports to /var/crash. update-notifier watches that directory for changes. When it sees a new report, it puts up the dialog that you saw.

See anatomy of a crash for more information.

I don't know how long it takes for a crash to be detected, so it's hard to know what caused the crash. But you can view the crash reports in /var/crash.

The question remains as to why the message can't display properly. You are apparently running your system in English and all of the characters would have the same encoding in ascii and unicode. The primary text ("System program...") is displaying in bold. It makes me wonder if perhaps the bold version of that font is corrupted.

Edit: No applications available to open rapport_utast.tex. Again the problem is with the bold version of the system font.

Try re-installing ttf-ubuntu-font-family and then rebooting.

To re-install use Synaptic Install synaptic or run in a terminal:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install ttf-ubuntu-font-family
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I reinstalled the font package (sudo apt-get --reinstall install ttf-ubuntu-font-family, for future readers...) and reproduced the second one - no change. After a reboot, however, all the characters show up again =) –  Tomas Lycken Apr 17 '13 at 23:05
    
Thanks. I'm glad that was it. I added the fact that the user needs to reboot and the cmd line, which I had forgotten to include. –  chaskes Apr 17 '13 at 23:25
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I a identally the letter " ". –  Andrew Grimm Apr 17 '13 at 23:35
    
Be careful, you could accidentally an important system package –  Ian Carroll Apr 18 '13 at 1:02
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