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Very dark screen in 'normal' mode

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I've bought an Asus Eeeee netbook because I heard they are good with Linux. I'm very much a new Linux arrival after a long time with Windows. I've installed Ubuntu on the machine. If it boots 'normally' the screen emulates a dark tunnel. If I boot from 'recovery mode', then choose 'resume normal mode' (followed by 'exit recovery mode'), the screen is brightness itself. It is, I suppose, 'normal' and how I want it to be. So - presumably - some setting is not how it should be. By the by, I have tried to answer the brightness - or lack of brightness - from settings when in the dark screen m (HowTos)