Friday, 22 April 2011

New computer

I got a new computer the other day, a net top one. Quite cheap, just the base unit (although a mouse and keyboard came too which was handy). I set it up to connect to one of the two monitors I use for my other computer, which luckily has two input ports so I can switch screens if I have both on (although I confuse myself with both on as I have to remember which keyboard and mouse to use). 
It came with Limpus Linux I think it was (yay, no Windows tax :D ), which is the same OS that came with my netbook (its from the same manufacturer and range, Acer Aspire). I went and found the USB DVD drive I had to use with my netbook, and plugged it in to use a recently torrented and burnt Ubuntu disk. I gave it a try and it seemed to work, so I went to install it. It had some problems when configuring the grub (bootloader), which I put down to issues with the DVD drive, so restarted and tried the installation again. It worked this time (hooray). 


Forgetting that it had built in wireless, I went and found a network cable, considering the router is on my desk I may as well make use of it. The network cable I found that I ended up using is one I got to trim and wire up the end bits when I was doing a CISCO course a few years ago. I spent a bit of time sorting out software and what not, updating files, installing a few other programs and moving my bookmarks over. 


When I went to turn it off, it seemed to be taking some time and wasn't responding to anything. I left it for a bit but nothing was happening so I had to shut it down manually. This kept on happening for a few days, and as it was when I was shutting it down, it was not clear why. 


Off to Google I went to see if there was a solution to the not-shutting-down-problem. There was a range of potential solutions, I decided to start with the easier problems (such as shutting down from the command line and without the splash screen), but that didn't seem to work. Some of the issues seemed to hint at problems with network devices (for example, not disconnecting properly and hanging until there is a timeout). I thought I would disable the wireless before shutting down to see if that would help, but the system froze when I tried to turn it off. I researched this a little, and found this, which was quite helpful:


http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1615068

The jist is that it was using the wrong driver, and I tried to see if I was using the same one, but had some problems with the command line (it wasn't displaying anything for some reason, very odd). I eventually found another command that seemed to imply I had a similar wireless card and driver, and the solution was to add the name of the faulty driver being used to a blacklist file, which I did and it seems to be working now. I can even turn off the wireless if I want, and it actually shuts down properly now, hooray!