Friday, March 17, 2006

Windows as a reward

My mother ends up with between 30 and 40 new viruses, worms, and spyware programs every week. I have thrown down the gauntlet and said that she isn't qualified to use Windows on her computer.

Ubuntu here we come. I'm a little scared of the Broadcom based wireless card not working right, but am confident that even if it won't work out of the box I'll be able to use that NdisWrapper from SourceForge to get the MS drivers working with it.

Given that she uses Firefox, Thunderbird, and OpenOffice on Windows, well, she won't be seeing much difference.

Except when she incessantly tries to execute attachments that her loving cousins send her.

If there is some key application that she needs to use, it'll undoubtedly be tiny and I shouldn't have much problem getting it to work with WINE, or as a last resort VMWare.


  • Forgot to plug the hard drive into the power supply.

  • 'make' isn't a default package installed with Ubuntu. I need to get that, and possibly gcc to install NdisWrapper to use my wireless network card. Linux without make/gcc makes no sense.

  • I also need kernel source which doesn't come by default with Ubuntu. Just an apt-get, but no problem.

  • There's no way to "log in" as root, so you need to 'sudo bash' or another shell to get a root shell. This is necessary to run things like apt-get.

  • I'm a fucking retard. NdisWrapper is already built for Ubuntu, and I just wasted an hour trying to link the sources correctly.

  • Had to download a certain version of the windows driver, which came in a windows executable, and then run that, zip up the actual driver, and then move it to the new machine.

  • Apparently PokerStars works with Wine, and there's a build for Ubuntu. Go Ubuntu!

  • Needed to reboot to get modprobe to have all the aliasing set up correctly and working. I'm sure it was possible without a reboot, but I don't know all the details I would have needed.

  • Hit a brick wall trying to get a PS/2 mouse to work. I'm going to just use all USB stuff, but this would have made it possible to avoid using the USB ports on the monitor for the keyboard, mouse, and printer.

  • The mouse problem was a power issue. Apparently, the mouse was trying to draw too much power through the PS/2 connection for my motherboard's liking, and wasn't even visible to the operating system. To avoid further troubleshooting, I just decided to use an old keyboard in a PS/2 port (the new keyboard I wanted to use also had issues drawing PS/2 port power).

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