RIP Laptop

My Inspiron 6000 died this yesterday morning.

I woke up just in time to watch the display fade to black. Everything else works; I hooked it up to a monitor and am using it right now, but its days a portable are over.

Dead Dell

I back up all the important stuff regularly, but I made a current backup this morning, so that, when I get a new machine, I can import my configuration–mail, newsgroups, preferences, and the like–directly into my /home folder without missing a beat. (“Home folder” is sort of the *nix version of \\Documents and Settings\[username], but much simpler to understand and manipulate.

For example, once I get my new box, I can recreate all my Opera browser settings by copying my Opera settings folder (which is a hidden folder) into my new home folder and starting Opera. Bingo! Everything is there–mail, rss feeds, newsgroups, bookmarks–right where it ought to be with just a drag-and-drop.

I went to the local secondhand computer store, which I’ve patronized for years because they are honest, reliable, and skilled (I have three computers from them), but the owner couldn’t match this new Dell.

As soon as I get it and verify that it works, I’m going to replace the Ubuntu with . Yes, I know that Ubuntu is based on and that they are very similar, but I don’t like Ubuntu’s sudo; I’m happier with Debian’s su, so I can log in and stay logged in as root, rather than sudoing whenever I need to do administrative stuff.

This has been my workhorse computer for a long time, five years or more. It has lived through Windows XP SP1 and SP2, two iterations of Slackware , and is currently running Debian .

Nothing lasts forever, and, to paraphrase my old mechanic in New Jersey as he delivered last rites to my van several years ago when I still had a mechanic in New Jersey, that computer doesn’t owe me a dime.

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