Fun with Technology

Having a Windows XP computer up and running at a good speed kind of put paid to my Linux experiments for a while but now I have news of technology for you to digest. I still haven’t managed to download and install Fedora 5, due to some issues relating to my own incompetence, but my dual boot schemes may come to fruition soon. However, I have been playing with Red Hat 9. The reason for this is so: my new house has a cable broadband network. My new computer never needed a network card so I never actually bought one for it. This meant that the only computer I could connect to the network was the one that had the PCI ethernet adapter I installed way back when I was living in a halls of residence. This elderly little model runs a little slowly, I must admit. Anyway, my original installation of the card required me to find drivers on a CD for Windows’ use, meaning that I approached my hardware configuration in Linux with trepidation. I need not have worried. Clever little Red Hat 9 detected the card and had it working without my having to do anything more than switch the computer on and shove a LAN cable in the socket! Furthermore, Mozilla did everything I wanted it to do without raising the slightest protest. I was browsing the web in minutes. Then I used a text terminal to make a firewall that didn’t let anything near my computer without my say so. I felt more comfortable that I knew what my computer was doing then than I ever have with a Windows setup.

Now the joke starts. I bought a new ethernet adapter for my new PC, on the basis that my browser would load things faster. The instructions for installing the driver as given on the CD and the instructions Windows XP was giving me seemed to be in conflict with each other. Then the hardware installation wizard gave me a choice of two drivers which the hardware’s documentation gave no clue about to me as to which one I should use. Now the blasted system refuses to let me change my homepage – I am stuck with MSN UK – and I had to install four different ActiveX controls just to browse my usual websites. The final score? Open Source 3, Microsoft 0.

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~ by Scary Rob on 12 July, 2006.

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