Over the weekend, with my brother’s help, I dug out my two old Intel machines from storage, along with a monitor and keyboard. I set up the spare desk in the unused bedroom and my plan is to use it hold a Linux server and a Windows XP workstation. I want to play with Linux to learn it better, and I’d like to have an XP machine so I can run the same development software at home that I use at work on the same platform.
At first I thought neither of my two storage machines were going to work. The slower 600 MHz machine gave me a “disk boot error” when I turned it on, and the faster 1000 MHz machine made ominous clicking noises and gave me a cryptic disk failed error. I took apart the 600 MHz machine (“roo”) and vacuumed it out. There was considerable dust collected on every surface. After re-seating all the connections and hooking it back up it booted into Fedora Core 1, the last OS it contained. W00t!
I then promptly installed Ubuntu Linux, perhaps the easiest install of Linux I have every experienced. Other than taking a while (maybe 40 minutes end-to-end) the install worked flawlessly, recognizing all my hardware and the network without any work on my part.
I suspect the GHz machine has a bad primary disk drive (the odd clicking sound) and so I’ll have to take it further apart to get it working again. It has two drives (30 GB and 20GB) so I am hoping I can use the other one as the primary and get things working again. Of course this means finding my Windows XP install CD and going through whatever hoops Microsoft has put into place to re-license it on a new drive. Maybe next weekend…
For now I’ll play with Ubuntu and be content at having 3 operating systems at my disposal (Mac OS X - 10.3.9, Windows 2000, and Ubuntu).