After selling the flat, I decided it was time to replace my old faithful laptop, which I had called alcedo because of its blue colour.
I ordered a big Dell laptop with two harddisks, a wonderful 17″ monitor and a bright happy yellow cover.
Because of the colour, I decided to name it helianthus.
The laptop arrived with Vista preinstalled on one of the harddisks. (I had considered buying one of Dell’s Linux laptops, but the hardware configurations available for these are quite restricted; also, it is useful to have Windows installed in order to run programs that aren’t available yet for Linux.)
One of my first actions was therefore to install Ubuntu Linux on it. I burnt a CD with the standard distro (after a few problems with finding a Vista program that would burn an ISO image correctly), booted from it, and failed: It took me to the first menu, but it then refused to boot up Linux. Strange. After searching a bit on the internet, I found out that my Dual-Core Pentium is a 64-bit processor, and the standard distro was 32-bit…
Fortunately, it turned out Ubuntu also has a 64-bit distro. So I burned that onto a CD, and this time it booted. However, when I tried to install, it failed. It turned out to be an error in the image I had downloaded, so after downloading it again from a different server and burning a new CD, it worked.
Linux was up and running, and it seemed to work – until I discovered that the wireless internet connection didn’t work.
After searching the internet for a bit, I found out that this was a known problem with the Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN MiniCard, which Vista was reporting as installed in the laptop. 🙁
Fortunately, there also was an Ubuntu howto that explained how to fix it. I followed the instructions, and now I can blog this, sitting on the couch, using Linux! What a wonderful birthday present from myself! 🙂