Print Story November Diary
By ana (Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:24:29 AM EST) ubuntu, fiber optic, nanowrimo (all tags)
  • Ubuntu stuff
  • [REDACTED] MegaTelCo stuff
  • Nano stuff

So faithful readers will recall that I have an old intel box which has run a number of different flavors of linux over the years. It's a 1.4 GHz Athlon with half a gig of memory and a 20 GB disk, which I called giggles, because of all those gigs flying around. The previous one, a 486DX2_66 was called Meg, just because she was roughly a thousand times smaller in most dimensions.

So giggles succumbed to the Ubuntu craze, back when theantix first discovered it and spread the news to his friends. That's right, /me blames the "early adopter" antix. I forget what-all versions we've been through, but I'm pretty sure it has Bamboozling Bear on it once. I think I missed Crikey Critter, and went directly (through a completely new installation) to Donnie Darko, which was kinda sorta stable.

Along about this time we got DSL, which was an adventure. By holding my mouth right, I got Dipsy Dumbo to talk to the router, but, as is often the case, I didn't know just what I'd done that worked. So I left it on all the time because it didn't boot up with network connection intact. As toxicfur will attest, I pretty much only cuss at computers, and this setup was the occasion of rather a lot of that.

I totally failed it, upgrading that, so skipped another version we'll call Egregious Elephant (long-term-support). I eventually downgraded by reinstalling DD. From time to time I played with the network, and, through the miracle of upgrades, it was able to stably stay on the air, either through the ethernet, or on the wireless, or both.

So last spring, in one of my weaker moments, i upgraded it again to Flockof Flamingoes. Wireless never worked on that version, but by then it was only a month or two prior to the release of the next version, and some poking around on forums indicated that [a] wireless would be muuuuch better, and [b] oh by the way that crashing problem? fixed.

Recently, like late last month, I upgraded again to Gargling Gargoyle. Wireless didn't work, and neither was the crashing problem fixed. Mean time between crashes was something like two days.

Since the crash would take it down hard, to the blinking keyboard LED state, I began to be convinced it was some kind of hardware problem. Memory tests passed, so, like, shrug.

Along came a deal too good to pass up: merging phone, internet, and tv on fiber optic into the house, from our friendly [well, except for the public-contact folks in sales and service, and their web 0.3 website which actually loses orders without a trace] neighborhood phone company, Nifty Neologism.

Totally new in-house network, new router, new DHCP addresses, etc. I wasn't really expecting Giggles to be able to play along, especially as we made the rational choice of putting the router beside Fray (an iMac desktop with snazzy intel processors, flat screen, etc), so she can get info up and down faster.

There were, however, some glimmers of connectivity, followed, after the fashion of networks, by (a reboot and) spontaneous wireless workage. Complete with the router recognizing giggles' name. Woh. And it wasn't even hooked into the neighbors' open wireless network.

Here's the odd part: (if you're still reading) The crashing problem is fixed. Aguably, as part of the same miracle that made wireless comm stable. The only thing I can figure is that there's something very flaky in the "i can't find a wireless network i can hook up to" logic in Fucking Ferret and Goofy Gerbil, which (at least in the latter case) isn't used if there in fact is a stable wireless network available.

Go figure.

13:18:07 up 8 days, 1 min, 3 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

In NaNoNeWs, I'm more or less on schedule (as of last night), and the tale is at least peripherally interesting. The plot is somewhat loosely based on my last two WFC stories, only now I have enough room to wallow around in, and explain stuff. The one reader (toxicfur) seems to like it, but I think she's prejudiced.

And happy giving-of-thanks-day-off, to all my 'Merkin readers.

< Peggy Noonan makes me proud to be an American | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
November Diary | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
#SIGH# My 7.10 install is still hosed. by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:35:43 AM EST
But for me, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WIRELESS! It actually appears to be genuinely broken on my system.

Being the obnoxious git that I am by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:30:06 AM EST
... I have an old intel box which has run a number of different flavors of linux over the years. It's a 1.4 GHz Athlon ...
I'm quite certain that your Athlon was made by AMD, not Intel. Though I'm guessing you knew that and used "intel" to mean "x86".

Heck, my everyday system at home is just a 1.2 Ghz Athon. One of these days I should get a new computer, I guess.

Quite so. by ana (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:00:35 AM EST
And hey, if it works, don't fix it, eh?

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
That's why I like my Mac by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:49:55 AM EST
No hours spent tweaking the damn thing to get it working.  OTOH, I do pay for the convenience. 

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

The actual working computers by ana (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:59:38 AM EST
in our household are macs, yes. And they Just Work, at least mostly. Though convincing the laptop (mine; tf's works just fine) that it should join our wireless and not somebody else's is an interesting trick.

And I'm not looking forward to upgrading Mac OS X. Some of the 3rd party applications I use are just beginning to support 10.4, now that 10.5 is on the street.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
How to convince it to join your own by fluffy (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 12:59:26 PM EST
System Preferences, Network, AirPort.  Click Options.  'If no recent networks are found:' set it to either 'ask before joining an open network' or 'keep looking for recent networks' depending on  your preference (I'm guessing you prefer the second one).

Also, 'by default, join:' - pull it down and select 'preferred networks' and then you can say exactly which networks you prefer (and then those will always take priority over open networks).
busy bees buzz | sockpuppet revolution

[ Parent ]
that antix guy is a jerk, don't listen to him by theantix (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:54:37 AM EST
I'm still having many many issues with Gargling Giraffe.. evolution for 60 seconds freezes every time I respond to mail, it ignores my power settings and auto-dims every time I unplug the power cord, and about 1/10 times it crashes X when I close the laptop lid. 

And the stupid compiz bling didn't work, and brought my desktop to a crawl before I figured out the arcane method of turning it fully off.  And also I've been unable to get S-Video out working, which was a snap in Delicious Dolphin and Frenetic Frogspawn.  And also XV only lets me play 1 video at once.  And Flash crashes firefox way too often.

As you know I've been a huge booster of Ubuntu since Day -1, this is by far the biggest disappointment in any release.  I'm considering reinstalling with Forgetful Flamingo and hoping they don't totally fuck up the next iteration.  Otherwise I'm going to give Fedora another try, maybe they suck less now that Ubuntu gave them a kick in the pants.
mns: oh, dude, join my facebook group!

November Diary | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)