How hard can it be to install Linux?

Ah! see … folks go on and on and on about how lovely and shiny Linux is, and how much better it is than Windows.

So I dug out Jane’s old PC and fired it up with the Live CDs of:

  • Ubuntu 7.10 – didn’t load the Live CD
  • Ubuntu 6.06 – loaded Live CD, but wouldn’t install
  • Kubuntu 7.10 – didn’t load the Live CD
  • Kubuntu 6.06 – loaded Live CD, got bored waiting for install
  • Xubuntu 7.10 – didn’t load the Live CD … and it’s for old, crap PCs!! 😉
  • Ubuntu 5.whatever – installing right now, but won’t recognise the network

Not as easy as these so-called experts make it out to be, ay!

Mind you, it probably doesn’t help that Jane’s old PC is made from twigs and previously ran Windows 98. 😉

Update

00:19 Monday

I really should have added the wink 😉 at the end of the last paragraph — I’ve added it now.

Woohoo! I persevered as Ubuntu 6.06 seemed to get so far before falling over.

So after updating the PC’s BIOS — after much detective work I discovered that the motherboard is a M810L v.7.1a from PCChips — I was able to boot to the Ubuntu Live CD and install from there … once I’d used GParted to manually delete all the partitions on my hard drive.

Thanks for the advice Richard, but I really wanted to check out Ubuntu having used it very successfully before. And I’m not the kind of person who just gives up because something’s not working. That’s how I learn. 🙂

Holiday week

Last week I was on holiday. It was always my intention to blog as the week went along but I got too involved in other stuff, away from the computer.

I know! How weird. Anyway, here’s how the week went:

Sunday: Deacon Blue

Deacon Blue in concert
Deacon Blue in concert, looking more like Deacon Purple.

Sunday was my birthday. I was 36.

In the afternoon Jane and I drove to Edinburgh, met up with my brother Eddie and his wife Rebecca, went out for a meal and went to see Deacon Blue at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

This gig was my first visit to the Edinburgh Playhouse for a gig since I saw Slayer there on the South of Heaven tour in 1988; Nuclear Assault supported them.

The Deacon Blue gig was the oldest audience that I’ve ever been part of — Sunday morning worship besides. They kept sitting down during the quiet songs!! Hip trouble, I reckoned.

It was also the quietest gig. I think Motörhead’s Lemmy probably sneezes louder than the PA was cranked up on Sunday evening. My industrial-quality earplugs stayed firmly in my pocket.

Still, it was a good evening out. Jane and Rebecca absolutely loved the concert, and sang along to almost everything. I even recognised about five or six songs.

6 Day Riot

The highlight for me, however, was the support act: 6 Day Riot, who I thought were brilliant, quirky, folky and fun. They are a four-piece that play guitars, ukelele, double-bass and drums.

Check them out at MySpace.

I’ve already bought their debut album; and singer Tamara Schlesinger’s solo album too.

Monday: cleaning

Boxes of cans and bottles for recycling

Monday was the first day proper of my holiday, which usually means one thing in Chez Saunders: cleaning.

Cleaning and taking stuff for recycling. It was a good, clean start to my holiday.

Tuesday: DIY day

I woke up bright and early on Tuesday. It was day two of my holiday, which meant only one thing: DIY Day.

New strip light in the shed

First up, the fluorescent light in the shed got replaced. Only £9.99 at Focus — bargain!

Shed with brass plaque: Kadesh

Next up, the brass plaque that had been gifted to us for our former holiday cottage, Kadesh, found a new home on the shed door. Welcome Kadesh, Mk 2.

Bolt on gate

The new bolt for the back gate has been sitting around for months and months. It eventually was fixed to the top of the gate.

Garden hose reel

No longer does out garden hose sit tangled in a heap on the ground in our back yard. It is now neatly wound on this attractive, green hose reel.

New bookcase

My favourite job was to create an extension for my CD bookcase, which I fashioned out of a broken bookcase that was destined for the local recycling centre / civic amenities site / dump. I now have 14 shelves of CDs!

In the afternoon, I sorted out the cupboard in our joint study and installed Kubuntu 6.06 on Mum’s old PC. That was fun. I’ve been meaning to properly check out Linux distros for months.

Wednesday: Moving

On Wednesday Jane’s folks moved into their new house in Anstruther. I went out for a cycle in the morning; hung around Jane’s folks’ new house in the afternoon offering a hand with some DIY.

Thursday: Hospital and holiday

On Thursday morning Jane had an appointment at the hospital; a follow-up from an operation she had a few months ago.

Thankfully all was clear and we could go off for a few days to Loch Rannoch on holiday.

Ubuntu 5.10 anyone?

Ubuntu logo

Digg last week had an article entitled Why Every Windows User Needs a Linux Live CD.

Regular blog readers will remember that on 12 September my PC went down in a spectacular fashion, and that I managed to update my blog, check my email and surf the web using a combination of my Psion 7Book and an Ubuntu 5.04 Linux Live CD.

I can therefore thoroughly recommend a Linux Live CD for getting you out of those sticky situations. I have four copies of the official Ubuntu 5.10 Linux Live CD to give away … anyone? dust? no? anyone?

VMWare: geek heaven!

Now, as most of you know, I’m not really one for geeky toys … but here’s a great little application that my friend James pointed me to.

VMWare Workstation 5 allows you to run another operating system within a window (or Virtual Machine) under your current machine’s operating system. If that sounds complicated: it is, but it is much easier to understand when you are actually using it. Check out the online demo for more information.

An example: it allows me to install another operating system (eg Ubuntu Linux) and switch between it and Windows XP, which is my current OS. Ubuntu then has full (managed) access to my certain pieces of my hardware, such as network card, soundcard, USB peripherals, etc. And I don’t even have to partition my hard drive. The VMWare software creates everything within files on my hard drive, and fools the operating system into thinking that it has full control of the hard drive. Quite genius.

I’m going to install a couple of Linux distros — just to check them out, and see how they install — as well as Windows 98, and I may have a go at installing DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11, as I’d love to see how fast I can get that to run on this hardware!

Geek heaven, indeed!

UPDATE @ 23:19

VMWare running Windows for Workgroups 3.11

I installed MS DOS 6.2 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11, which ran phenomenally slowly although I’m not sure why. The screenshot above shows WfWg running within the window on XP Pro.

Linspire 5 Live CD

I’m typing this from within the Linspire 5 Live Linux distro, which (of course) uses a customized Mozilla browser called “Linspire Internet Suite 1.6”.

I appear to have the tiniest display setting ever. It is ludicrously small, and for some reason I also can’t see the whole screen — the “Launch” button is beneath the bottom of the screen. When I tried to adjust the display settings I was told that I needed to reboot for the settings to change … erm, if I do that it’ll just boot the live distro from CD again and I’ll be back at the beginning. Mad.

Ubuntu and Kubuntu recognised my setup far better. Anyway, it’s late. I need my bed. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.