I spent Sunday cleaning…my computer! That’s right, the good old scandisk, defrag etc. I’ve still got to transfer some files to lighten my Window’s load…but basically everything is running smoother now. But I didn’t stop at just cleaning up Windows…I’ve added another hard disk to my computer and installed Ubuntu!
The idea was to try the alternative OS out on another computer. I’ve got a few lying around here which Hubby has restored to proper working order…I just couldn’t decide between an HP portable or dual-core desktop. In the end, as I don’t have a lot of space here in my computer area and both solutions meant taking up more space, I oped to dual-boot Sekhmet!
I don’t know how your systems work or how old your computers are, but my dear Sekhmet is an older model desktop…one of the first dual cores by Packard Bell and last to be sold with XP inside before Microsoft decided to shove Vista down everyone’s throat…just had a look at the old sale-slip which I still have…Sekhmet became part of my life on November 22, 2006!
Now, in the years that have passed, I’ve complicated my life considerably with my system, which has made re-installation a nightmare at times: I created a home lan system, and I made our wi-fi connection static, which means if you want to use my wi-fi you must have a tcp address assigned to you as well a knowing the password to connect. Sekhmet doesn’t have a parallel port, so to connect my printer I found a usb parallel port adapter…so my printer doesn’t connect directly to my computer but goes through this adaptor…just to name a couple of strange things I’ve done. There is one other oddity about Sekhmet. She doesn’t see any extra hard disks I happen to try to put directly on-line, so I have a 500 gb external disk for storage.
I’d forgotten that last part to tell the truth, so when my feet got really cold thinking of installing the second OS, I called a friend of mine, a fanatical lover of Linux and Ubuntu. Knowing me, he came over to the house to help me add Ubuntu to my computer. I’d placed a 320gb HDD to my computer, believe it or not it’s one of the small HDD that you usually find in a portable, and was just getting ready to see if Sekhmet saw it when Matteo arrived. Sure enough it wasn’t there!
“Turn your computer off, and put the installation disk into the drive, Ubuntu will find it!”
And it did. He set down behind my keyboard and took over the game. He installed my wi-fi to Unbutu before even beginning to install…twice because he forgot my system is wi-fi and not wired…then the installation began. He manually wrote up the “grub” boot sequence and then we set back and had a grappa and coffee.
I’ll tell you now, as we’re waiting for Ubuntu to install, that Matteo was in a big rush. He was due back home at 3:00 to watch a football game (soccer for your Americans) and it was 2:00. Everything seemed to go fine. It was 10 ’til 3 when the last file installed, and so we rebooted to see the dual-boot menu…which wasn’t there! No access to Windows! Of course I still have Bastet in XP, so no big problem you’d say, and of course Ubuntu saw the XP HDD’s as well as the external disks. But…I wanted my Windows, with its printer and all my programs which I already know how to use! PANIC!
We disconnected the 320 giga…but Windows wouldn’t boot even without the small extra hard disk…the grub had written to Windows! 3:00…the football match was to begin, and here sat Matteo. We re-connected the 320 giga and he went into Ubuntu and connected into a forum to try to figure out how to solve the problem. Which after 15 minutes he found, so he used a re-pair program and rewrote (actually cut and pasted the command lines) the grub. Than, installed an Italian language pack to Ubuntu…as well as a few programs to navigate with (like Flash) grabbed his motorbike helmet and before he ran home said: “call me if you have any problems….don’t update Ubuntu yet, the dual-boot might disappear again…do a scandisk etc with windows…tell me how it goes!” It was now 3:30 and he had a friend waiting for him out in the rain and cold in front of his house. I invited him and his wife to dinner but I’m not sure he’ll remember the appointment, so I’ll call her today to confirm.
What was the problem…he says there was probably something wrong with my Windows MBR, so that Ubuntu didn’t recognize the other HDD…problem is, it does not only recognize the other HDD but it actually writes to it. I personally think he forgot something when he wrote the grub…but the important thing is that the dual boot now works and the rest is fuffa!
Well…the storm that is Matteo (his name means, a gift of god, by the way) flew out of my house leaving Hubby and I a little breathless. Sekhmet now opens to Ubuntu and Windows, from where I’m writing to you at this moment…but…Widows still doesn’t recognize the 320 giga HDD! I have a lovely 220 gb of free space I can only use through Ubuntu, and I can’t print from Ubuntu because of the strange usb adaptor I have that permits me to get around the missing parallel port. So to all effects, I now have two computers, in a way…one, Ubuntu can borrow and write to Windows, but not the other way around.
Anyway…now begins the adventure of learning a new OS. I’m one of those persons who doesn’t really like change when it comes to my Operating System…but one day, in the not too far off future, I know that I’ll have to replace Sekhmet and there will be no XP to fall back to. So, independence from Microsoft is a goal that I’ve decided to reach asap, before the disaster begins!
As for blogging…well…yesterday I got nothing done at all! After breakfast I started this crazy project. I’d intended to go to the Christmas Market down in Arco, take some photos and do some shopping, but it was raining and cold…depressing really. When I’m blue, I usually try to find something to distract me…yesterday was this renovation. Unfortunately, I now have 423 notifications to wade through…actually some go back as far as the 18th of November! I may chuck the older stuff.
Now, I’ve got to run along and try to post something for my readers and myself…for the moment from Windows, but I hope to figure out how Ubuntu works out and will tell you about this new adventure in future…promises to be interesting!