Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Bloomin' computers (mutters under breath).

Facebook friends will know Ben passed on his old motherboard, processor, memory & power supply so I could build a new base unit for use in the living room. Since my last (free) PC base unit died I've been using the little Philips laptop that I bought cheap in the spring last year as a 'disposable' to take to Africa. It's been sat on the desk with a big mess of wires as a 'quick fix' for a problem thet never got fixed. The little lappy did well considering it's probably 9 years old and was running 1.6GHz/2GB memory, but it was slow for web work.

But the course of new love never runs smoothly. So Moday night I bolted the new bits into the old case, whacked in the drives, spent a couple of hours cleaning up & recabling (much better by the way) and then hit 'go'.

First up was an old 256GB seagate drive with windows 8, and it chundered away for 10min in the new hardware before reaching desktop. OK, but it wanted activation, and of course it won't recignise the old sound card either. Then came the drive (called FAT Store) that had Windows 8.1, and the boot time was much shorter, but had the exact same issues. Finally I went with the drive that had openSUSE and much of my data, and this booted best of all. But alas, it refused to recognise the network hardware, and even using the original openSUSE disc to reinstall over the top (took more than 2 hours of downloading the latest updates :-( ) would not get it working. GRRRRR.

Last night I installed a copy of the now defunct Pear Linux 8.0 on the W8.0 drive, and it whizzed on, working nicely but refusing to update at all because Pear is now closed, David Tavares the developer having been 'bought out'. I'd hope that because it was based on Ubuntu there might still be common updates, but not a chance. Shame really, as it was nice, but when the crowd funding effort failed (wanted to raise 100,000 euro if I remember correctly) the writing was probably on the wall. Would have been nice too, as a reminder of how OSX could have been if done right.

So on went openSUSE 13.1, and that worked fine except there was no audio. I had also changed the wiring on the amplifier I use, so that might be the cause, but to change it back is going to be faffy.

So I guess that there's still work to be done. Ho hum.

Anyone know of any nice new distros that I really should evaluate instead of using openSUSE?

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