Linux, Part 4

I haven’t been using Linux much lately. But I was still looking forward to the release of the new version, 8.04 Hardy Heron. I had been running 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. I was wondering how they would jump from version 7.10 to 8.04, but I realized today that the version numbers are just the year and month of the release.

Last night I started doing an upgrade rather than a clean installation. My installation has gotten a little more buggy than usual lately, asking me for my password for a keyring when I boot up. I probably should have gone with a clean install, but with all the trouble I went through last time getting the wireless drivers set up, I thought I’d try the upgrade. It went fairly smoothly, but on my low-speed DSL line there were still a couple of hours of downloads. After watching fairly closely the first 15 or 20 minutes, I went to bed while it downloaded and installed stuff. In the middle of the night, as I was letting the dogs out, I checked how it was going. The computer had gone to sleep for some reason and I wound up rebooting. But the installer recovered nicely and this morning, after clicking a couple of dialog boxes, the installation was complete.

Although all of these upgrades had been downloaded wirelessly (the wireless bitrate for G is about the same as my DSL speed), when I rebooted, it no longer would connect with the network. I checked the settings and it was detecting the network, just not connecting, so the drivers seemed to still be working. Eventually I changed the security protocol from generic WPA to TKIP and re-entered my password. It hooked right up when I did that.

I also downloaded the clean installation and creating a boot disk went much smoother when using Roxio at work than it had using Sonic at home. All I had to do was double-click the ISO file and then make sure I clicked “Make bootable disk” and I had a bootable disk. Last time it took me 5 disks to get that right.

I was still having trouble with Hardy getting on to my wireless network. Plus I was getting some odd shutdown behavior. So I thought I would do a clean install and hope for the best. About the only things I had done after the last install was fix the wireless and download a DVD player and First Class bulletin board client.

In Vista I deleted three partitions. One was for the 40 GB partition I had set up for Linux, but Linux had broken off a 2 GB partition from there to use as a swap file. At first I thought the third partition was a second swap file from the Hardy upgrade, but actually I think I deleted the media player partition because when I was done I had freed up 42 GB. This created free space that wasn’t part of a partition. I wanted to put the free space back in my main Vista partition, but when I tried to do that by deleting the free spac, Vista said that by doing so I could make it unusable, so I had always stopped there. But this time I went ahead and the space was recovered. So at least now I know I can get rid of the Ubuntu partition. Then I shrunk the Windows partition to free up 40 GB of space again. However, Hardy seems to have a different approach to partitioning than Gutsy had. So after struggling a little, I went back and deleted the free space again so that Hardy could break off the partition. I had to also boot from the Dell installation DVD to fix the boot record and get rid of the Grub loader.

Once I was done with the clean install, of course wireless didn’t work. I had found what was supposed to be an “easy way” to install a driver for the Dell Wireless 1395 card last time, but I couldn’t figure that out. So I went back to the long way of installing ndiswrapper. Once I did that the wireless card was activated and I could see wireless networks, but I couldn’t connect to my network. So now I’m fed up again.

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