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March 28, 2008

Computer woes

This entry was posted in the following categories: Technology

My windows machine broke the other night. Last week I suspected something was off when it wouldn't power up as readily as I expected, but it eventually came up. But on Tuesday, it wouldn't boot at all.

But first some background. I have at home an older Debian system I use as a server, a fairly new (maybe 1-2 years old) Windows box (XP Pro), and an older box running kubuntu Linux. I haven't used the kubuntu box much (most of what I do is web surfing and updating my iPod), but my daughter likes some of the games on it. So I use the windows box most of the time. I also have some ancient computers that my wife threatens every now and then to throw away (and sometimes succeeds).

But the windows box has died. At least it wouldn't power on. I tried the kubuntu's power supply, but it's not compatible, and none of the other systems I have have a compatible power supply. So I held out hope that the problem is the power supply. Meanwhile, I installed some iPod management software for the kubuntu system, and after a day or two, that's mostly working (biggest deficiency so far is that I've lost all my album artwork). I had to upgrade it to Hardy Heron, but that's been mostly painless.

The "mostly" part (I'm drifting here, I appologize -- if you follow this blog then (a) bless you for your patience, rivaling Job, and (b) you'll know I'm not too experienced with blogging) is that every now and then the keyboard goes away. Can't use it from kdm, can't even do control-alt-delete from a command screen. It is a PS/2 keyboard on a KVM switch, but that shouldn't matter. Next time it happens, I'm going to drag out my USB keyboard and see if that's any better. The other issue is that, with only 256MB of RAM, the kubuntu system is woefully underpowered in the RAM department. If I even run firefox on it, it thrashes (and no, I haven't installed 3beta yet). So I only run gpodder and gtkpod.

But aside from that, the kubuntu system is working, and it's now time to deal with the rest of the situation. On the windows box, I don't know what the problem is, motherboard, CPU, or RAM (although I'd rather not suspect the latter). And I may find some time when I want to run windows again, so I may want to get working again.

So at the very least, I need to somehow upgrade the linux box. Maybe I could get a new mobo/CPU/RAM combo for it (I think I can throw in a couple 512MB DDR2 chips from the windows box). Of course I don't have money for any of this at the moment, so I'll have to make do without at the moment.

Michael

Posted by mlv at March 28, 2008 12:05 AM

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