Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   the rough road to 64 bits
Thursday, May 31 2012
My main computer is named Woodchuck and runs 32 bit Windows XP. Woodchuck has changed hardware down through the years: here a motherboard, there a hard drive, etc., but the OS has been XP since April 2005. It's generally pretty reliable, experiencing weeks of uptime at a time. But it has been a little less reliable of late, particularly when running various web browsers. In the Window environment I mostly use Chrome and Firefox, with a little Safari when one of the others (usually Chrome) goes into a pout. These "pouts" seem to correspond with situations where my computer has run low on memory, usually (but not always) caused by having large numbers of open windows. So one easy solution, one that would give me more overhead with which to work, is more memory. But that's not as easy as it might normally be; Woodchuck is already outfitted with four gigabytes of RAM, the most that is possible in a 32 bit operating system. To use more, I will need to move to a 64 bit OS such as Windows XP 64, Windows 7 64, or some flavor of 64 bit Linux. I had the idea that maybe now would be a good time to transition to using Debian Linux and only using Windows within the confines of a virtual machine running on that Linux beast. But to do that I'd need more disk space.
I'd been postponing the purchase of a larger main hard drive since even before the massive floods that disabled the Thai hard drive industry back in the autumn of 2011. After that, prices were far too high. They've only recently come down to something vaguely similar to what they were last summer.
I'd had four more gigabytes of RAM ready to install for over a week and today I took delivery of a new Western Digital 3 terabyte hard drive, which had cost about $170 (more than I usually spend on a hard drive). And so this evening I installed Debian on it.
That installation didn't actually go very well; it turns out that if you try to do anything custom during the partitioning stage of the install you almost will certainly fail when, later in the process, you attempt to install the bootloader. And then if you reboot the computer and try to use the installation DVD to install just a bootloader you will fail because the installation DVD is as dumb as a bucket of disarmed hand grenades, insisting that you go through the partition stage and software installation stage that you've already spent hours doing. Eventually I gave up and let Debian install a stock Debian OS on my new hard drive. All of this took hours of my life that I'll never get back. I'm sure Gretchen could hear me off in this distance muttering and pleading with my inanimate equipment.

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