So here’s how to waste time for a week…
On Monday we had a thunderstorm and we shut off our computers because we didn’t want them to get destroyed via electrical surges. All well and good, but my regular computer (it runs FreeBSD) didn’t come back on after the storm had past.
It hadn’t been destroyed by lightning. We’d actually been having trouble with it for a while. Basically the only way to get it to turn on after turning it off was to let it sit for bit after turning it on. Then after you rebooted it, it would spontaneously boot the operating system.
This time that didn’t work.
So, on Friday I bought a new computer.
Friday night turned out to be a hellish experience. Here’s why: I intended to install either Linux or FreeBSD on the computer. Neither worked.
It took me several attempts to realize that the DVD writer on our other (Windows XP) computer had issues. After that, I installed XP temporarily on the new computer, used it’s DVD writer to burn DVD’s of Ubuntu and PC-BSD (a user oriented distribution of FreeBSD), and decided to keep whichever of the two installed most easily.
PC-BSD gave me a workable resolution for my video, detected the sound card, and failed to detect the network adapter.
Ubuntu Linux gave me an unworkable resolution (800 x 600), failed to detect the sound card, and inconsistently detected the network adapter. It also didn’t allow me to install the Nvidia drivers that would probably have allowed me to use the video card effectively.
I ended up sticking with PC-BSD and scavenging the network adapter from the dead computer.
Now everything works.
Well, sort of. I’m still tempted to buy a separate video card for the computer, allowing me a better resolution and the use of Google Earth (a package for PC-BSD…).
Next up, I plan to install all the applications that make me comfortable on a computer.