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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Passed my uni course, dual booted and killed WinXP

It’s been a little while since an update, mainly because I’ve been very busy working on the new matthewwilcox.com. I have had to rebuild and generally mess about in the depths of the database in order to get things how they should be, and then re-code a lot of PHP and make it generate decent XHTML. So far I have the welcome page, about page and half the diary display page converted on my local machine. Anyway, that’s not the ‘weyhey’ bit of the diary. The ‘weyhey’ bit is:
I have passed my degree! With a ‘Upper Second Class Honours’ ; a 2:1 !!
I’m rather pleased with that, I was only expecting a 2:2 and would have settled for a third knowing how apathetic I was for 90% of the course. So there we are, education over (well, official education anyway), time to move on and get a job. Incidentally, no, I still haven’t heard anything from creation" about whether I got the job or not, but thanks to all the people who keep asking smiley icon: smile

This week I’ve not really been up to much at all, Mike’s ridiculously busy doing college work he’s left too late to do (I sympathise dude). Matt, Kath, John, Carm and myself did go out Sunday night which was enjoyable, but contained the usual organisational farce. We went to Stone, had a singular drink, went to Uttoxeter and had not a one before making it back to Tean where we had a couple. It was a good night regardless.

Now for the oopsie and the reason this entry is so short (of events, not content).
Earlier today, for some reason which I can not fathom, a thought crept into my mind. This thought was disguised in a cloak of maturity and bravado, telling me that it was time I grew up. I’m always using Open Source stuff these days, PHP, MySQL, Apache, Firefox, Thunderbird… Wasn’t it time I went the whole hog? Wasn’t it time to really get my feet wet in the sea of none-profit computing? Linux was my thought.
And lo - I did download a beginners version of Linux called SuSE and with great speed it was burnt onto a CD. As the download progressed I gave closer scrutiny to my Big Thought. Dual boot? Could it really be done? I researched and found that yes indeed, Linux and Windows could happily sit next to each other, either on the same drive or separate drives. I dug around some more before inspecting my PC set up. I have my main drive, a 120Gb Maxtor which is partitioned in two: a 30Gb partition upon which WindowsXP lives and all the programs which run on it, and an 85Gb partition which houses all my files, and only my files (the remaining few gigs are taken with allocation tables btw, it’s not just poor maths). I also have an older 30Gb IBM drive partitioned into three: a 7Gb section used as a scratch drive for WindowsXP, a 7Gb partition as a Photoshop CS scratch disk and the rest as a partition for back-up files.
I thought about it. I knew the risks. I backed up all my most important files onto the back-up partition and cleared the Photoshop scratch partition with the intention that Linux was going to live on it.
I installed Linux.

Linux wouldn’t install where I wanted, as it could not re-partition that disk (Linux I find out needs two partitions to install on). Fine - I throw my ass to the wind, say a small prayer to the Open Source Community and tell it to go ahead with it’s own suggested procedure. My WindowsXP partition is altered. Linux lives.

I was impressed with Linux’s install, all high res and customisable and a fair bit faster than WinXP’s install. I re-booted and selected ‘Windows’… and got an error.
Since then (some four hours ago) I’ve been trying the few fixes SuSE support can offer (this, apparently, is a known issue). It sure looked like I had the ‘common and fixable’ problem of an incorrectly written boot sector. Sadly when I followed the instructions to fix it Linux tells me that the boot sectors are all fine.
Today sir, I killed WindowsXP

So here I am, writing this entry on Linux, with (I hope) all my old files unhurt but utterly inaccessible for the moment. Let me tell you - WinXP is a damned site easier to set up than a Linux install. It took me hours to get my Internet connection up, and I have no understanding why it’s working now and not 2hrs ago.
So what’s the plan? Well, I -do- want to keep playing with Linux, it’s impressing me just as much as it’s frustrating me: but I need WindowsXP. Tomorrow I am likely to be getting an 80-120Gb HDD (they’re cheap these days) and I’m going to make this PC a dual boot system which Linux won’t kill.
Anyway, that’ll be a days work and no doubt something will go wrong. Wish me luck, until I get XP back there’s very little I can do. I’m a Linux n00b.

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