Tuesday, February 5, 2019

elementaryOS, Again, But This Time, It Works

I went into a rant here.


And, yes kids, ALWAYS do your "testing" on a different computer; NOT THE ONE YOU USE AND RELY ON EVERY DAY!!!

Don't forget that, EVER!

Anyway,

I still had the hankering to see if I could get this elementaryOS running. And, willing to take some of the blame in that maybe something was amiss, somewhere in my hardware, I thought I would "start over".

A wise man once told me, he never had trouble with his computer that wasn't hardware-related.

My experimenter machine is inherited from my business, one of the HP Envy "Build to Order" desktop machines. It came to me with some weird hardware issues that looked like they needed a BIOS update to fix. If you have ever made the mistake of trying to update BIOS on an HP, then you full-well know that they "brick" very easily.

Kids, if you ever have to update BIOS on your HP desktop computer, make sure it is when you are on the phone with customer service and you are still under warranty. I'm serious. HP is real good about getting their customers brand new computers to replace one under warranty.

Unfortunately, the one I had was NOT under warranty, and I was the guy who was supposed to fix it, not brick it.

So, next step was to replace the motherboard. Unfortunately, this was not a mass-produced computer, it was BTO (build to order). You don't just look up a model number and order a board.

After searching the world via the internet, I found the guy that bought the crate of remaining motherboards. The next sad step in this series of unfortunate events, the customer was unwilling to pay what it cost to repair the computer. I pulled all the hardware, installed it in another machine I had, gave him a whopper of a deal, and he was happy. I then ordered the board myself to fix the computer anyway.

In the process of breathing life back into it, I found "a" hardware issue, might even have been "the" issue from the start. The motherboard mounted wifi card was working intermittently. This was not a full-sized card, but the same card you would find in a laptop. And, I don't know why, but I have replaced a whole lot of wifi cards in HP laptops over the years. Other brands seem to last as long as the laptop itself, but HP laptops always seem to need a replacement during their lifespan. It was easy enough to fix; I just pulled it and tied up the wires.

After all that, it was a flop for a "dual-boot" machine - when it booted Windows, it lost GRUB and the subsequent Linux operating system (this is a common problem with HP, from experience). It was supposed to be a backup for my wife's daily driver. In the event of an unforeseen Windows snafu, it was supposed to be at the ready. I had resolved myself to just install Windows only, but the whole experience made me less than confident in the whole setup, so a trusty backup it would NOT be.

But, a side machine for experiments? Yep, it just might work.

After all that, I had 3 hard drives in this machine. The first was a small SSD with the EFI, boot partion, and what I called the "primary" operating system (deepin 15.9). The second hard drive was for whatever distros I was playing with. The third was basic file storage for any and all distros.

The original elementaryOS install failure and subsequent recovery failures made me pull the first 2 drives and replace them with a single 500GB drive. This drive was wiped, dressed with a new partition table, a 100MB EFI/boot partition, and 10 equal partitions for distros.

Elementary went right on. No issues.

Well, none with the install.

What a "blah", meh distro.

Boring...

And, where the heck is the software?!

There's nothing there, but "GNOME browser"?!

What is that?

Where is my Firefox?

No office suite?

What kind of minimalist turd is this?

I mean, if they threw in Firefox, Libre, and a few other common things it would not cause the demise of any rain forest or cause the death of any baby seals.

Being 'buntu-based, even the club-fisted can easily find the software center named "AppCenter".

I was able to get the nVidia X Server doohickey and get the drivers for my gfx card pretty easily. My oddly mispaired, mismatched monitors configured easily enough.

Firefox, Libre Office, but no Google Chrome.

Oh, and they don't just install like apps/programs usually do, you have to restart the computer first before you can use them. But, there is no notification, screen prompt, or anything to tell you to restart. Maybe it's by osmosis and my head wasn't against my computer...

So, there it is; elementaryOS installed, and I'm not impressed.

No whistles, no bells.

It's the kale diet of Linux operating systems.

If you want a lego/erector set for an operating system, try Arch or ArcoLinux.

Try debian.

They even have a minimal iso 'buntu so you get the sensation of building it yourself.

 Next distro, please.

 - -

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