Lessons Learned

  1. Buy and double-check the hardware before moving the furniture.
  2. Cordless drills are not a good choice when you only need one once a year.
  3. Don’t screw with bootloaders even if they’re technically wrong.
  4. Don’t read the comments.
  5. Reading on a phone is annoying. Using a phone as your tech-support resource for troubleshooting problems is infuriating.
  6. Always have a backup.

I gots a boat…

Screenshot from Euro Truck Simulator of a truck hauling a boat.
I gots a boat, well, it’s someone else’s boat, but still.

So, after a week of prepping a computer to give to someone else, I clear the desk and get on my own system to find a bad hard drive. It’s been one of those weeks.

Readopting Linux: Edimax EW-7811Un Installation

I had some problems with this one. (It gave me trouble on Windows as well.) I found instructions that worked for me here, about halfway down: wireless – Is there a standard WiFi driver for the Edimax EW-7811Un? – Ask Ubuntu

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install git build-essential linux-headers-generic dkms
git clone https://github.com/dz0ny/rt8192cu.git --depth 1
cd rt8192cu
sudo make dkms

Re-adopting Linux: Making the Switch

Choices Choices

One of the things that makes Linux unique is the variety of choices in distribution various groups offered. I had been running various distributions in virtual machines for some time, so I wasn’t totally unfamiliar.

Currently I’m working with Xubuntu, a variant of Ubuntu that uses XFCE as the primary desktop environment. Ubuntu has most of the software packages I want in reasonably current versions, has a large number of people banging on it, and is officially supported by Steam. XFCE is a nice, simple, and clean user interface. I have the hardware to run practically any desktop environment but have a fair bit of experience with XFCE under VirtualBox.

I also considered Linux Mint, but the live DVD didn’t work well with my video hardware (GeForce 750Ti).

Testing

I used a live DVD to test out Netflix before committing to an install.

  1. pop the DVD in
  2. reboot
  3. download chrome
  4. login to Netflix
  5. test with debugging console.

Installation

Installation was very easy. I resized my NTFS partition, then rebooted into Windows 7 a couple of times to run disk checks.

The only real problem I’ve had is that my USB WiFi adapter has been starting to glitch. I’m almost positive this is a hardware fault because it glitches under Windows 7 as well. I’ll get three or four hours of service, then it starts throwing errors. Unplugging and reconnecting the device usually works. A replacement is on order.

Installation was actually easier than setting up the same hardware on Windows 7, where both video and WiFi adapter demanded searching for updated drivers. This included the chicken/egg problem that you need the drivers to have an operating system to search for the drivers. With the exception of the glitchy network adapter, everything has just worked so far.