Archive for August 2007
I have an old (nearly 5 years old) PC that has fallen out with Windows. Running Windows on it is slow. Very slow. Over its life, I’ve had to do two fresh installs of XP and battle with a host of malware. Until I got a Mac, it was my main computer, but over the last few months I’ve migrated to Windows in Parallels, so I don’t use this PC at all. Time to install Ubuntu and make the PC useful again. The Ubuntu install was painless and quick. I had a USB wireless adapter that wasn’t so keen on the switch away from Windows. Having gone through a few forums and tried a few things unsuccessfully, I decided to take another tack. I picked up a cheap Netgear WG111 and followed these instructions. To get the modprobe instruction to work I needed to find ndiswrapper.ko and move it to the right location. After that, I added the MAC address to the list my wireless router accepts, used the Network thingy in the Gnome panel to join my wireless network (using WPA2) and, would you believe it, it all worked. It’s worth reading this to get over the Keyring nag.
So, a few hours, a lot of command linery (Ubuntu isn’t for you if you’re allergic to the comand line) and a false start with the USB wireless adapter and my tired, old PC has a new lease of life. It does take a while to boot, but once booted it’s quick as you like.
I thought I’d install Orcas. I have a fresh, clean installation of Vista Ultimate (running under Parallels.) So, I downloaded the Professional Edition of Beta 2. In Parallels, you can connect the CD/DVD drive to an image file, which is what I did. Started up Vista, ran the setup and this happened:
Is it asking too much to have some information in the dialog box about what failed? (Digging through the log file that is squirrelled away in your local user temp folder, it seems to be launching the UI Manager, whatever that may be, that is failing.) The only reference I’ve found to others having this specific issue is Windows Installer 3.1 not being installed. I tried that – the download page seems to suggest it isn’t for Vista. And it fails anyway. In trawling around and wasting a couple of hours, I’ve discovered that there are a number of different ways in which the Orcas install can fail. I see now why the VPC distribution is provided.
Another painful install experience from the people who brought you Visual Studio 2005 SP1.