Hey this will be cool, I think.
I've been using Mandrake 8.2 for a copuple of months, and I've really enjoyed the experience. Everything has worked beautifully...until recently, when suddenly without warning, my printer got possessed.
It went from printing only the first page of a job followed by a blank page, to printing the whole job...in 'landscape' mode, cutting off the tops and bottoms of the page.
Kinda made it hard for my kids to do their homework on the computer.
I wasn't too worried, though, I'd just upgrade to 9.0.
So I downloaded ISO images, and burned them myself, and prepared to do the upgrade. I was really excited about this, because flying the Enterprise notwithstanding, I am a total techology lamer. If you don't believe me, ask any of my smarter-than-me friends about the panicked late night phone calls.
So I power down, bidding a tearful farewell to my uptime (which would have been 14 days if my wife hadn't decided to turn the machine off "because I couldn't print and it pissed me off" the day before).
I put the 1st Cd in the drive, and literally hop with joy when I get the install screen...I choose "Upgrade" and an hour later, it's done.
See, it can't find my NIC, and I am too much of a lamer to know how to use modprobe, or insmod, or "please tell me how to make this fucking work" or whatever the spiffy command is...so I have this cool pretty looking Mandrake 9.0, which has found my USB devices, which was cool, but still doesn't print correctly, and now won't connect to the Internet.
The original Out Of Towners is on TV, so I decide to do a new install, leaving my /home partition alone, so I don't lose any pr0n^H^H^H^Himportant data. I am certain that this will work. I'll let it do the new install, which will take about 90 minutes, while I watch Jack Lemmon put everyone in New York on his list.
90 minutes later it's done...and it still won't print, and it still won't find the NIC. I decide that if I ever see "modprobe: could not locate module eth0" again, I will most likely kick something.
So a few hours later, my toes really hurt, and I decide to "downgrade" to 8.2, so I can at least get online.
As soon as I get back online, I send a desperate plea to Chris DiBona, who has graciously helped me in the past. He offers many solutions, none of which work, and now I think I've broken a toe.
So fast forward to last night: Chris is coming to LA, and offered to come over and help me fix my computer. He's gonna put Red Hat on it, leaving /home alone (ha! Home Alone! That kills me)
My local LUG is also doing a "Linux for lame asses who don't know how to load modules into their kernels or set their refresh correctly" class this month, so between the two, I hope to not be kicking anything anytime soon.
I feel sort of guilty about looking at Red Hat, because the guys from Mandrake have really welcomed me with open arms, and offered all sorts of help and advice...but nobody seems to know how to solve this problem over there, and I gotta go with what works.
Speaking of what works..an intresting thing happened yesterday...this VAIO that I've had forever which has never booted was going to get XP removed, and Red Hat installed. As soon as I put the CD in the drive, and I'm not making this up, it started up! Like it was saying, "No! No! I'll be good!"
So I have it here, on the other side of a KVM, running Knoppix right now, and I'm seriously thinking about taking XP off, like I'd originally planned, and loading either 9.0 or Red Hat 7.3 on it...I also have Debian ISOs for when I'm feeling particularly flagellant. I know that it's got TONS of RAM and a massive HD, so it should be able to handle WineX without any difficulty...so maybe that's another computer project.
Thinking about all these ISOs I have got me interested in buying a couple of beige boxes, and just hooking up different Linux installs in the house, eventually building a network, so I can play with the various distros and learn and stuff, so I think a trip to Fry's may be in my future... ...but don't tell my wife...she thinks I'm going there to get a new vaccuum.