Notes from Windward: #69

After the Crash

switching over to Linux


     A few months back, our main computer crashed. With considerable help from our Away Team, we got Windows reinstalled, chased down the needed drivers, and generally got back online. The problem was that the gear was old enough that it wasn't very compatible with the latest version of the operating system, but as long as it was capable of meeting the bulk of our needs, we figured we'll limp along until we're ready to move into our new office space.

     And then it crashed again in a way we'd not seen before. Some searching on the internet revealed that the problem was that Windows had tried to automatically download the latest upgrade and failed to get it installed correctly. When we tried to reinstall the previous "Service Pack," Windows wouldn't allow that since the half-loaded Service Pack had a more recent date than the Service Pack we were trying to reload.

     The site that translated the error code for us suggested the following repair:

  • Format the main drive
  • Install Linux

     We've decided to take the advice.

     A key concept behind what we're doing here is that this is research that we want to share with others so that when people reach the point where they're ready to create sustainability villages, there'll be information and encouragement ready for them to profit from.

     There's a notable learning curve when switching from Windows to Linux, but fortunately George and Oana were running Linux systems, and were able to get the basic installation up and running quickly enough. Now we're tracking down the various codes needed to adapt the computer to the set up we use such as an array of three monitors. That's handy since when working on an article for the Notes, for example, I can open the html editor in the center monitor, open a browser to review the actual page on a side monitor, and use the third monitor for processing pictures to go into the article. Having lots of desktop to work on is great.

     So, if you've noticed a slowing down of article posting recently, it's not because there's any slow down of things to write about. Lots is happening, people are coming and going as they work on personal projects, our garden is doing great, we've got dozens of newly hatched chicks coming out of our incubation project, and we're constructing the third (middle) mount for the solar boiler up on the top of PowerLab.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69