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Jul 30 2009

I have an ambitious plan for Sunday

Big plans for this Sunday, all of which revolving around one particular computer. First, we go over to Sara’s mom’s house sometime in the morning. Sam, Sara’s sister, wants to upgrade their Dell Dimension 5150, and also to reinstall Windows to get rid of some long lingering issues. My plan is, first I’ll assess the computer situation, make a quick backup of everything on their desktop’s hard drive, then get caffeinated while this is happening. I’ll also check out the RAM specifications, and make sure that the computer’s capable of installing more, and figure out exactly what kind. Sam and Jodi will likely make a trip to Staples to obtain some replacement / upgrade RAM; I may or may not come with.

Then, the plan is to repartition the 230 gig drive. I plan on setting up XP on about 80 gigs, and porting over Sam’s documents and programs (as much as I can manage anyway — with particular focus on World of Warcraft). Then, I’ll be setting up a roughly 100 gig drive for all the Documents and Settings folders for the various users on the computer. This drive will be separate from her Windows drive for a very good reason — Windows needs to be reformatted very often in general, and it would be nice for her to not have to worry too much about losing documents in the future. Also, I will be setting up a Linux on another partition.

Yeah, that’s right. Ubuntu, of course. And this is at her own request, as Jodi did a brilliant job of proselytizing and sharing the Good News about open-source software, winning us another convertee who will no longer go to Blue Screen of Death when she dies. ONE OF US, ONE OF US.

Ahem.

So yeah, Linux. Separate home partition, will also set up WINE and try to get WoW working under it. Back when I played, I had to recompile WINE with a tiny bit of hacked code, to compensate for a minor bug where you couldn’t click on monsters and have the focus follow them. By minor, I mean pretty major. Luckily this is long since rectified, as it’s been about three years since I played WoW and WINE has since had its 1.0 release and subsequent bugfixes even after that.

As I understand, this new WINE even has good enough DirectX capabilities that you no longer have to set it to OpenGL mode, as I did back when I was hooked. Which is good, because OpenGL apparently can’t do the shadow effects in WoW presently. I’m guessing those effects just haven’t been coded for yet, as the same issue exists when running WoW on a Mac. Why they didn’t just code it for OpenGL first, I don’t know. Oh wait, I DO know, it’s because Microsoft makes their toolkit for Windows the de facto standard by making it the best one, and implementing only a very very old OpenGL standard. But I’m not bitter.

So yeah. Ambitious plans. Reformat, back everything up, reinstall Windows, partition, install Linux, and get WoW working on both sides. And all I ask in return is food and caffeine. It’ll be fun!

6 comments

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  1. 1
    CyberLizard

    Have fun. I gave up working on friends/families computers a while back. My stock answer now is, “I don’t do Windows.” I’ve found that no matter how many times you explain something to them or show them how to find the answer, they end up calling you to troubleshoot over the phone. I do enough of that for work, I don’t need my free time filled with that crap.

    My father-in-law’s computer is the worst. Since he’s blind, he’s got this screen reader program called JAWS. Not only does it complicate things, but he’s got that damn computer voice set so fast all I hear is this incessant monotone blur every time I click something or change focus. :-P

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Heh. I tried the “I don’t do Windows” thing a while back. It keeps me from making money on the side. And my family is not really terribly nearby for them to make unreasonable demands on my time, so I’m a bit less put-upon than most. Also, I’m not hogtied (yet) by work into doing Windows exclusively, so I have a bunch of Linux stuff wherever I can manage to shoehorn it into our local infrastructure. Including my work laptop, so I don’t feel particularly “unclean” after a full day of work.

    I’ve done work on computers with screen readers. I found there was a very simple solution to the annoyance — turn it off, or turn off the speakers. Sure, it annoys the blind person wanting to “look over your shoulder” (so to speak… heh), but what can you do. I just can’t deal with that kind of racket while I’m trying to concentrate. And FSM forbid I open Regedit with that crap still on.

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    Yea, go me!

  4. 4
    Clifton

    WTF is WINE?

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    This is wine:

    Or, in Linux terms, WINE Is Not an Emulator. It’s actually a Windows compatibility layer. Hilariously, it’s also the very first link when you Google the word “wine”.

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Hilariously, it’s also the very first link when you Google the word “wine”.

    Where I work in a vineyard, this offends me slightly.

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