Apologies for consolidating what may be unrelated issues, in one post.
TF2 refuses to start with the error message "There was an error communicating with the steam servers. Make sure you're signed on to steam and try again later." Steam is up and running and is logged in and connected yet TF2 cannot start. I found an old Mac OSX related thread that says this is probably related to the TF2 process cannot communicate with the Steam process but I don't know how to resolve this. They are both run as the same user.
I don't know if it's related but the game spends an awful lot of time stuck on this screen: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/stuck.png
I'm pretty sure it's unrelated but my steam client does not display text on the settings menus or small popup windows (like the one when steam is first starting up or the cloud sync window at shutdown) and also on the chat-related windows. Also on pull-down selection boxes the box width is only a few pixels and unreadable.https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/pull-down.pnghttps://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/no-text.pnghttps://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/no-text-3.pnghttps://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/no-text-again.png
I tried to access About --> Harware but seeing as there was no text I couldn't navigate the menus, here's the output of my sudo lshw command:https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1474654/jubei-hw-report.log
I'm on 12.10 32-bit with Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 and the 310.19 driver.
Finally if I start steam from a terminal window the console window is flooded with the following message:
surface_opengl.cpp (845) : Assertion Failed: !"Current texture not set"
surface_opengl.cpp (505) : Assertion Failed: GetTextureForString failed