It just works on Linux

While at Sun, while developing the CEC Messaging Platform, one of my colleagues put part of the platform on Linux, because “It just works on Linux”. I was reminded of this today while repairing one of my desktop computers, which had suffered an HDD failure. The system runs Windows XP and after the hardware repair, Windows was hanging every time the Drive was referenced. This was despite mounting the disk on the e:\ mount point.

I rang Dell who support the UK today from Germany and was advised to create a Linux Live CD and see if that could mount the file system.

It could.

Also it browsed the networks, found the file server, mounted a folder and I am now busy copying the files to a remote disk.

The Dell and Alienware people who have helped me over the last two months have been both helpful and knowledgeable. There was some reticence from the Alienware people since my system is pre-merger and they classify it as “legacy”. They  diagnosed the original disk failure and guided my through replacing the disk and rebuilding the OS. They stated that fixing windows explorer was a software problem and beyond them, so they passed me over to Dell software support. Again great advice and it looks like I have recovered the data.  Now to see what happens if I format the disk.

Thanks to Linux, Dell and Alienware.

NB. Both these services were chargeable, so having to pay for two incidents was a bit poor, but I got to talk to people who know what they’re doing. Alienware gave me reason to believe that it was going to be OK, and Dell reminded me that Linux just works. …

Defeat ripped from the jaws of victory or what do you call two ex monopolists?

After last night’s triumph in replacing my home hub with a third party gateway,  I was musing about BT’s ability to support their Hub and my suspicions that there is a DHCP bug on the home hub and how large organisations really need to understand the software they use and how open source products make skills acquisition easier; although  BT have no excuse, since the hub is a Linux derivative, hence open source but they outsourced the development, and for months have denied any knowledge or responsibility for its functionality. …

Laptop Diaries

Just building up a new laptop for the family, but this one’s MS Vista. I bought a copy of Norton, of course, but had a couple of problems installing MS Office and transferring data. Most of these seeem to be firewall problems, but it does seem that Vista/XP networking might not be as easy as it should. It would seem that Norton (and Microsoft) now have a new version of ‘Secure by Default’, which borrows from the good old security guru’s axiom, ‘if no-one can use it, no one can abuse it.’

On a more serious note, when adopting W95, Microsoft left the 3.11 program explorer interface in place, with XP you have ‘classic’ look and feel themes, I can’t find the retro interface on Vista and I found trying to get it to ‘see’ the exported devices on my home network exceptionally frustrating, and I still don’t know how we got it to work.

For more, see New Laptop, Studio 15 on my wiki. …