Saturday, March 13, 2004

It's Deja Vu all over again

I'm sitting here reading The other computer in the room is quietly and desperately trying to install Red Hat Linux 9. I can't see the monitor directly because it's behind the hutch on my computer desk. I can, however, see its reflection in the window.

I went through something very similar to this about five... maybe six months ago. I had just purchased Teach Yourself Red Hat Linux 9 in 24 Hours at 50% off and was trying to force RH9 down the throat of a poor little Pentium 100 with something way south of 128MB of RAM.

Needless to say, that didn't go very well. I spent most of the evening glancing at the window only to see that each screen of the Linux installer was lingering for 20-30 minutes... it wasn't a pretty sight.

Well, I've acquired some upgraded - and I use the term loosley - hardware but it still looks like it's going to be a long night. When I initially booted the install CD, I went straight into the installer but it appeared to hang on the second screen. In my inexperience, I thought that maybe it was trying to determine what to do with windows 98 (which was what was installed on the machine). In the hopes of speeding things up (HA!!) I reset out of the installer, booted to a floppy and FDISKed the drive. Now, I glance into the window and see the same old blue screen it was using as a background when it asked me if I wanted to verify the integrity of my CD-ROM.

This has happened a couple of times already this evening. Sometimes it goes right to "Running Anaconda, the Red Hat Linux installer..." Sometimes it takes about 20 minutes to get there but every time it errors out before the installer starts running in GUI mode.

I think my mojo has a slow leak. I seem to be technically challenged for the past two weeks. Last week, I had to completely restart a reinstallation of Windows XP because my flosgometer had become discalibrated causing a vinvectification of the hankle nut that no amount of swizzling could rectify. (basically, Windows update wouldn't run reliably and the machine kept rebooting itself) So... I started over.

A similar technological hurdle happened at work. I asked for a laptop to work on a project and managed to get my hands on a Sony Vaio Picturebook (a sub-notebook computer). Any time I plugged a CardBus card (such as the network card) into the PCMCIA slot, Windows told me that the CardBus controller was not able to run in CardBus mode... go figure.

Eventually, I ended up with a different Picturebook (same model, different unit), reinstalled Windows XP on it and even managed to figure out how to get the screen resolution to 1024x480 (yeah, it's got an unusually-shaped screen).

Usually overcoming a technological challenge will recharge my mojo and I'm good for another 6-12 months. Now, I'm just flashing back to the last time I tried to install Linux and wondering why I bother some days.

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