East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Goodbye Ubuntu, welcome Mint

And so this morning my PC refused to start. It took about half an hour to get it going with an emergency disk, and it turned out my Ubuntu system was completely crippled.
It was possible to save the data, but everything else was gone – time to re-install the operating system.

Now, this is not a tragedy, actually, it’s more of an opportunity – I have been postponing the necessary updates to my OS for weeks now, and really, had I waited for the right moment – a free afternoon, no urgent work to do, no pending projects, I would have never done it.
But necessity pushes everything out of the way – I need my PC to work.

And this is also a great opportunity to move away from Ubuntu, that I love dearly but has become bloated and slow, and to try a different distro of Linux, to wit, Linux Mint.

And here I am, six hours later, exploring this different-but-familiar environment. Everything seems to work fine, my PC is faster and so far the only problem is getting Scrivener to work properly.
But I’ll work on it.
A minor catastrophe turned into a nice opportunity.


Playing with the Puppy

Acer-Aspire-One-Netbook1My old netbook has been with me through many years of freelance lecturing and then for four years as a PhD student.
It’s an old Acer Aspire One and it has served well – it gave me problems with its battery and HD, but I was able to solve them pretty easily.
I used to run Linux Mint on it.
Some mishap with my luggage during one of the more recent trips caused the solid-state HD (basically, an USB drive) to finally kick the bucket.
The machine is still working great – but the HD is broken.
Replacing it is beyond my tech skills, and having it replaced by a technician would cost me little less than buying a new netbook.
I can’t afford it at the moment.

And yet, the machine would be pretty damn handy for writing on the road – it was before, it would be great should it be again.
So, I looked around and tried to find a way, at my skill level, to fix it. Continue reading