It’s been a little over a month since I was last able to update this blog and a frustrating time at that.

It started with the arrival of my new motherboard.  I got it all installed and double checked all connections, dropped in the cpu and a 128Mb stick of memory and powered it up.

And then…. nothing.

After several more tries I noticed that the num lock, caps lock and scroll lock lights on the keyboard were all flashing in unison every time I tried to power it up.  A little time spent asking questions resulted in the conclusion that those lights flashing like that indicated that the cpu is dead, which I confirmed by trying one time with no cpu plugged in.

It’s not a dead memory stick, since a lack of RAM nets an insistent beeping from the system speaker.

After resigning myself to having to wait and buy a cpu, I replaced the original board and reverted to the way things were before trying to upgrade.

That’s when things started to *REALLY* get aggravating.

In the re-assembly process, an IC actually came off of the 3Com network card!

I wasted no time in ordering a replacement network card and ended up getting a set of three Mercury c39 10/100 PCI Ethernet cards for a really good price on ebay.

When they arrived I installed one and used my wife’s computer to locate and download drivers for it.  I booted up, ready to resume life as usual and restart my mail server which had been down for over a week because of this.

Windows found the card, installed it fine and in ‘network neighborhood’ I could see my machine, but I could not see the Windows ICS host machine.  No amount of trying to get this to work has helped.  I re-worked network settings at least 50 times, trying every arrangment of settings I could think about or find reference to.

I tried connecting directly to the ADSL modem and seeing if it could get online that way so that at least a semi-shared access would work. no soap.  The thing would not connect to either the other machine via crossover cable, or to the modem via straight cable.

Then, not being able to do anything online I booted the linux side of a dual boot I had recenetly created to learn my way around linux…

…and IT connected to the modem!  I saw the DHCPDISCOVER output in rather verbose boot output where the machine was assigned an I.P.  address 192.168.1.3 from the server at 192.168.1.1

Anyone with a Centurytel flavored Netopia 3341 ADSL modem will know that the modem assigns itself 192.168.1.1, and the addresses it assigns to machines conected to it get addresses starteing at 192.168.1.2 and incrementing from there.  My wife’s computer (connected to it by USB cable) is assigned 192.168.1.2 and the modem is set to keep that assignment.  My machine is connected by the straight through LAN cable.  Centurytel says it’s not supposed to work with two computers on one modem, but it does.

I tested this by starting mozilla and trying to load a web page.. blam!  There it was.  Ok, it loaded slowly because the modem is not *supposed* to do the router thing, but apparently Debian Linux can convince it to where windows cannot.

So since then I’ve spent the last two weeks learning the world of linux and finding that I like it a lot more than windows.  A lot of things seem to be easier to do, and in the case of the internet connection, it actually works in linux where it doesn’t in windows

This makes the choice a lot easier.  I’m migrating all of my online activities to linux, keeping my windows partition for games and a few non-internet things that I haven’t got a linux equivalent for.

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