Good Lord, it's been a while!!
Ok.. I'm going to start blogging again. I took quite a large hiatus in November and December while I was interviewing all over New England and the MidAtlantic states. I really have no excuse, except that I am lazy :)
I promise I'm going to be back, although not as frequently as I'd like, since I am now working from a 28.8kbps dial-up account. I'll try to write something at least once a week...
Since I know you are just dying to know more about me, check out my 'Myspace' account at www.myspace.com/med_stud
. I've put a bit of info on there for everyone to enjoy, and several of my friends are from my favorite radio show, Opie and Anthony.
A weekend off...
As the title states, I had this past weekend off. It was glorious. After a week of daily rains, generalized dreariness and fatigue from working almost every day for 3 weeks straight, I had some time to stretch my legs, relax, and sleep past 530 am. As I said, it was glorious.
So, you ask, what did I do with all my time? Well, Saturday Ashleigh and I took a drive up to the Pocono mountains via the scenic route. We drove down the small highways and byways of northeast Pennsylvania and finally arrived at Tobyhanna state park on the shores of Tobyhanna lake. It was really pretty. We took my camera with us and took lots of pictures. Unfortunately, it started to rain later in the afternoon, we we had to head out a little earlier than we may have wanted to. Afterwards, we drove around some more and finally ended up back here in Bethlehem.
That was the good part. The bad part is that after we returned, I was going to look at the photos, but my laptop would not boot up. I did some percussive therapy (read: beat the laptop up a bit) and was finally able to boot it and get everything important off the hard drive before I finally retire the laptop. So, Saturday night was spent shopping for a new laptop. What fun... 6 hours and 150 miles of driving later, I had a new laptop.
It is a very nice machine - it has an AMD Athlon64 processor at 2.6GHz, 1 gigabyte of RAM, 100 gigabyte hard drive, and the usual other stuff - ATI radeon video card, built-in 54G wireless card, 10/100MB Ethernet card, 15.4 inch widescreen LCD monitor, CD/DVD burner, etc, etc. So, I get this monster home, and it is almost 11pm, so I go to bed because I didn't want to be up all night (well- really I did, but it wouldn't be prudent) playing with it.
The next morning, I woke up early (dammit) and messed with my laptop. Ashleigh was still asleep, so I wasn't worried about playing around for a while. I went down to the basement of the dorm, plugged the laptop into the ethernet port and booted up into (shudder) Windows XP Home. Unfortunately, I had to in order to download the boot disk for my linux of choice. Here I had a dilemma - mepis does not support 64 bit processors right now, but many other distributions of linux do (Mandriva, SuSe, Fedora/RedHat, etc); so the question is this, should I run a 32 bit linux on my machine until 64 bit processors are supported or should I go with another distribution? I decided to install mepis again, since I know and love the layout, etc. So, I downloaded the install disc, burned it to CDR and rebooted my machine.
But the machine would not boot into the LiveCD environment. How devastating... I downloaded another version of the OS (the last one that is rated as "stable) and tried again - with the same result. How depressing. One of the reasons I love mepis so much is because it works so well. The only problem I had with my last laptop while running it was that the sound didn't work unless the external USB speakers were plugged in. So, while away from home, no sound, no music, etc. But everything else worked, even the Winmodem, which didn't even work with Windows 2000 professional, only with WinXP. Wireless, ethernet, everything I threw at it worked flawlessly. And now I can't even get it to boot up on this new machine. Ahhhh.. irony.
So, after that defeat, I decided to look at one of the other distributions I mentioned above. Mandriva is the descendant of Mandrake, Connectiva and Lycoris linux, after mandrake bought the other two and changed names. They (as well as SuSe) have just had new releases that officially support the AMD 64 bit processors. Since I've used Mandrake in the past, and they have a network install (so I don't have to download 4 gigs of CDs before I install), I decided to give their newest release a whirl. Installation was easy. Just click a few buttons, answer a few questions about how I want the hard drive setup (I deleted the windows partition, but left the "Rescue" partition intact, just in case), root password, time zone, user creation, etc and I awaited the needed packages to download and install. All in all, the process took less than an hour. Not too bad for installing over the network. I can't even install windows from a cd in that amount of time. Anyways, reboot the computer and voila, Mandriva 2006 up and running. After a little toying around with the OS to get things the way I want them, I start looking at hardware. First off, I notice the sound doesn't work. A little bit of tinkering reveals that the OS recognizes the sound card is there, but is set to use an external amplifier instead of the internal speakers. A click of a couple of buttons corrects that. Sound works, no problemo. Next up, the internal wireless modem doesn't work. I try a few tricks I've learned over the past few months to no avail. I even try to use ndiswrapper and use the windows drivers (luckily I have them on the "Rescue partition" still, huh?) but ndiswrapper will not compile the driver correctly. I do some internet searching and find that broadcomm (the maker of the modem chip) will not release linux drivers for this particular chip and when contacted by a linux user basically told them to buy an external card and quit whining. Pretty nice, huh? Unfortunately, this is how the big businesses tend to be with *nix users - quite rude. So, for the moment, the internal wireless modem does not work.
I have some questions and ideas as to why - I'm not sure if the version of ndiswrapper or the version of the modem driver is compiled to work with a 64 bit operating system. I'm thinking of switching to the 32 bit version of the OS for now and trying to install the drivers again. I've looked at broadcomm's web site and they have 64 bit drivers for linux for a couple of their "flagship" cards, but not this version. I'm wondering if the 64 bit OS might be the problem. I'm seriously considering trying the 32 bit OS for a change up if before I have a lot invested in the 64 bit version.
Ok, I'm on call and I have to go work now.. I'll add more about my adventures later.