Hoping this Ubuntu lasts more than the last.
The formatting/reinstalling saga started when my dad decided the old tower (with a win7 installation) was slow. When asked about what was the problem with the computer other than being slow – you know, hardware will only get you so far – he said the computer had “too many programs” and it was time for a cleanup.
Why he wouldn’t do it himself was out of my grasp, but ok, if he says the computer needs a format, then the computer will get a format. I could foresee that it would not be a nice task for I hate fixing other people’s computers with a passion, especially if I know why they’re in pain; you know, suspicious websites and suspicious activities will make your computer cry, it’s only a matter of time.
But the win7 I had in my pen was not compatible with the hardware – heck, the computer wouldn’t even boot from the pen as I told it too. So then there were two chances: I could try to grab a fishy win7 of dubious origin on the internets or I could get a free OS and face none of those problems. For once, I even had an Ubuntu lying around somewhere I had once installed on a pen when my old laptop died.
But even the mere mention of an OS that was not Windows would make my dad cranky. Although he said he just wanted the computer for surfing the internets, apparently the OS was a big deal. He got really mad and was shouting for me to get a Windows and didn’t actually stop until I did some Ubuntu Live-CDing.
Having seen that Linuxes aren’t all just command line (though that’s pretty cool too), he was kinda “well, ok, just get it working” and left me to work the old computer away. I did manage to install Ubuntu 11.11 and everything was joy! That’s until it prompted me to update the software to the 12th, which didn’t go too well. Soon enough I was formatting the disk again and trying to reinstall the previous version.
And then the disk went kaput.
Computer would no longer be able to tell where the installed OS actually was. It would boot just perfectly from the CD and I could see the installed system just nicely. But it would not boot with no CD, claiming the OS wasn’t installed. Since this was on the third day of the saga, dad was getting really nervous about not having a functional computer yet and restarted on his rants about how unreliable Linuxes are and how better off he’d be with a Windows. Even if a Windows XP.
But I actually had access a Windows XP, so I burned it into a DVD and did the reinstalling fest again. But the computer would, once again, claim no OS was available. So this was not a Linux problem, neither it was a Windows problem. My guess, the hardware was being faulty. I had run a few scans before and they did hint at such… So I told dad about this – he didn’t believe at first – and he eventually did change the HDD to an even older one he had lying around.
And thus I ran yet another format and installed Windows XP again. This time, the OS booted just nicely, no problems in sight, install was perfect and the computer was functional… Except that my software version was in english – which my dad doesn’t understand well enough – and it couldn’t connect to the internet. So here we have a functional computer that’ll do everything but what it is meant to do!
By this time I was probably four days into installs and reinstalls and formats, during which my dad would pop into the room every other hour to ask me if the computer was already fixed. It was as if I was expected to devote all of my free time to fixing a machine which was broken due to his bad usage and with no reward in sight.
I was talking with Ricardo Jorge about the faulty internet connection and he suggested maybe a driver was missing. I checked the motherboard’s settings and everything seemed proper and searched the web for LAN drivers… With no avail. There were no drivers for said motherboard for Windows XP. What a shame! By now it had been more than a week and my dad was pouting all over the place and mumbling about how I couldn’t get anything done and how I had no interest in getting his things done. By this time, whenever I got home from work I was expected to be working on fixing the computer or be called lazy and unhelpful.
I couldn’t figure out what the problem with the LAN was, so I thought maybe it was the hardware again. Maybe when dad opened the computer to change disks he messed up with something and that I wouldn’t be able to fix with mere software. But dad wasn’t really into the mood of opening the computer up again and said he wanted win7 again on the computer. Since I hadn’t magically pooped a new, compatible version of win7 for him, he pissedly made some calls to see if anybody had one. No avail.
And then I installed the Ubuntu again. This time I turned off version updates and the computer was just fine – and the internet was also again, meaning it wasn’t hardware fault after all! I set up the usual user configurations and thought to myself that the UI was intuitive enough – and similar enough to Windows’ – for dad to figure out how it worked and left the machine alone.
But although dad had accepted to have Ubuntu installed, he wasn’t really into it – he didn’t want an Ubuntu and thus he was determined to find as many problems in it as possible and to pose as many difficulties one can with a system that’s so visually similar to those one’s used to. Since he was to use the internets most of all, he stared Firefox and started to complain about the OS when it was actually just Firefox being itself. The next day he’d be grumpying about having to install plugins on Firefox to watch stuffs on youtube – which is normal even on Windows – and getting pissed everytime the compute had any unexpected behaviour. Did I mention this machine is old? Because it is old. It’s not because it has good software on it that it will stop doing stupid stuff. But althought it was much faster and much safer than before, dad was still complaining about how it was unstable (it did flinch a little with the monitor, that was all). But I guess you just can’t please a person when that person’s commited to not being pleased.
And although the computer is now functional and doing what it is supposed to do, I’m still getting yelled if it does something differently from Windows versions and I was obviously not thanked for devoting so much of my free time to such task. Actually, I’m more like waiting to see what’s today’s problem and what’ll I be yelled for.