For good or for bad, I happen to be one of those people who usually can do or think about two things at the same time. And so in between all the drive-swapping, CD-booting and system installing that’s been going on with my new 100Mhz laptop, I also erased my old Arch installation on my battered Thinkpad, and replaced it with a fresh test run of Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix.
The purpose was twofold — first, I wanted another test case for that remix, aside from the 1Ghz system I built it on, and the 550Mhz spare that I tested it against. Something alien and in the middle was called for.
But more importantly, I’ve been grinding my teeth over the fact that my network speeds on that machine are pitiful — still just 60Kbps or so, on hardware that should reach a hundred times that speed. So this was an opportunity to see if there was something wrong with my installation or my hardware, and make it work right.
And … it didn’t. Ubuntu Hardy ran just as slow, seeding and downloading torrents at rates that were barely any different from Arch. Whatever slowness is affecting that machine, it’s happening at the hardware level, and probably isn’t software-related.
Even worse though, I started getting those mystical Hardy system lockups that some people talk about. I always thought they were the fault of unique hardware conflicts or strange system modifications (or maybe just hyper-aware Ubuntu fans), but this is a laptop I’ve been using for the past six months, and aside from that crappy network speed, it’s not unusual in any way I know of.
Except it doesn’t have a Windows key. Lucky!
Anyway, I’m putting Arch back on it since I will occasionally come back from work and find the Ubuntu system sitting there with a dead screen, the hard drive light on (not flickering, just on) and the system unresponsive. Basic triage says the dead and dying are tended to last, and the salvagable get first priority.
The trick, of course, is installing and configuring Arch with only the upper half of a console screen …