19 Oct 2008
Computers in Flight (Part 1)
This post first requires a little bit of background. The most important thing is that I tend to tinker with technology. Where software is concerned, I tend to play with applications until they break. And when I have Ubuntu on my machine I tend to play with my core operating system until it breaks. This is all fine and dandy as long as I have a functional machine to get my actual work done. Up until this past September I always had a working machine in either my desktop or in my laptop. I would break one (temporarily, in software only) and still have the other to write that crucial paper. But when I left for school I decided to start with only my tablet, the Lenovo X61t. While it is a wonderful machine, some parts, such as the touchscreen and the fingerprint scanner don’t work quite perfectly out of the box with Ubuntu. This leads to more tinkering. Because of its lack of an optical drive, the Linux Kernel 2.6.27′s e1000 flaw that took out my ethernet card, and my school’s wireless network that crashed most versions of NetworkManager 0.6/0.7, it was very difficult to recover from a broken system. I had to ask a friend to create a bootable USB key with the OS installer on it. It took almost two weeks for me to have a working system again. So when I had the chance to bring my desktop back with me when I returned from fall break, I decided that it was worth it to lug a heavy computer on the plane.