Ready to go

I guess it was inevitable that I would follow up a post about slacking with a month-long silence, but my inactivity hasn’t been born of pure idleness. The amount of time I have to spend in front of a computer screen is limited, and for the last few weeks I’ve been concentrating on upgrading my machine to the Second Life specifications.

Putting in the hardware didn’t take too much time. I’m usually fairly relaxed about handling computer components, since my experience is that all the stuff you read about circuit boards being exquisitely sensitive to static is nonsense. Even so, I always feel a bit tense when I hit the power switch after messing around with the motherboard, and this time it seemed that my apprehension was justified, since the machine responded with nothing but the plaintive bleeps of the BIOS error signal.

I soon tracked down the problem though – incompatible memory. I had meant to buy PC133 DIMMs, but had made the mistake of having a few drinks before going on eBay, and carelessly bidding for PC100 modules instead. (I had noticed this about 1 second after hitting the “bid” button, leaving me hoping that someone would outbid me in the last few seconds, like they always do when it’s something that I want, but no luck). Once glance at the motherboard documentation would have told me that PC100 memory wasn’t going to work, but I was in too much of a hurry to bother with that.

Once I had the hardware sorted out I moved on to installing the new OS. I’ve been using the Mandrake/Mandriva distro ever since I started with Linux a few years ago, and have always found it straightforward and reliable, so I decided to go for their latest release. Mandriva, like most of the desktop-oriented distros nowadays, comes in a “live” version that runs from the CD, so I was able to confirm that it would work with my new hardware before I put anything on the hard drive. I’ve installed a few different Linux distros on various laptops and desktops now, and always found it much easier than installing Windows, though to be fair the last Microsoft product that I tried installing from scratch was Windows 98, so more recent versions might be better.

So, hardware sorted, OS installed, GUI (Gnome) configured, latest version of the Second Life Linux client downloaded – I’m all ready to go. I have a couple of hours spare, so I’m going to try it out right now – watch this space to see how I get on.

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