...the dang things do have a way of showing their age. This one is an HP Mini 5102 running Win7 *solely* because I have a very few applications that genuinely require it, and it runs like a sloth riding a particularly pokey slug. Hooray for 2gb RAM and an Atom N450... or, rather, for Windows' absolutely INCREDIBLE propensity for making a perfectly decent and reasonable machine into something only really practical for filling a spare space on a shelf.
Why am I not using Steampunkish Too? Because the install of Feren OS absolutely CRATERED within three days! Lovely thing, I've always had Ubuntu's network manager act doofy around me; every few weeks, something goofs with its wireless profiles and I have to delete them and re-make them because they stop working otherwise -- it will connect but not pipe data. No idea. That said, this is the first Linux I've had where the programmer managed to make it so that screwing up the network profiles rendered the entire networking system ENTIRELY UNUSABLE UNLESS AND UNTIL ONE REINSTALLS THE ENTIRE FREAKING OS NO THANKS FOLKS I'M LIKE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THE NOPE IN THE ROOM or in the words of South Park (which I neither watch, nor condone, nor endorse) -- "Screw you guys, I"m going home."
The *next* problem, of course, is that like everything else I compute with, the NUC box underneath all that steaminess has a delightful combo of a 32bit UEFI bootstrapping a 64bit everyFREAKINGthing else... which means that nearly anything other than VERY SPECIFIC Ubuntu-variant installers (such as Mint's) install right up to the point where they're supposed to plunk down GRUB2 and that's when, even *with* the BOOTIA32.EFI file in its proper place so that the ISO will boot and run -- which the installer is SUPPOSED to be able to detect and copy so that this doesn't actually happen -- instead of actually doing that (copying the BOOTIA32.EFI file and installing GRUB2), it *fails* to do the copy for some reason (dunno, I'm not a programmer) and so the GRUB2 install fails hard and the installer crashes like it's that one scene in a Blues Brothers movie... you know the one ;) OF COURSE the brilliant folks over at Canonical think that the bootloader somehow shouldn't be the absolute last thing you do in installing an OS (lolwuuut) so even if you do a manual GRUB2 install later, you're still stuck with a box that won't boot, go figure >_<
So, between that and a hundred other things and an absolutely MASSIVE heap of IRL drama-fest -- I mean my life occupation is generally drama-queen catherding etc on the level of "I'm a career professional drama llama shepherd with 10+ years experience, I should be making waaay more than this, somebody get me a resume generator" but this is just WTF-level "I'm being buried in s***!"ness material.
[Tumblr Snowflake types, people too young to be here in the first place, and others who are far too easily offended or those for whom advancing their resident knowledge of less-than-polite vocabulary might upset someone else (presumably, thus, someone falling into one of the other categories I just mentioned) -- please scroll past the image without reading the text that's in it; I promise you won't miss much :)
Yeah well that's pretty much what my life is like right now. [The following short remark is meant extraordinarily sarcastically...] "Hashtag-accurate."
...all that to explain why I'm about to say the following...
SETEC Astronomy is on ice, and withdrawn from the "Making Tech at Home" contest, both effective immediately. I don't have the time or interest to play around with this right...
Breaking from my typical theme here for a brief moment, because I believe in honesty and transparency when s*** gets real and hits the fan.
I'm sure the fact that I haven't done anything in a considerable while here has not gone unnoticed. I've had some rather significant IRL drama (which I do not wish to discuss with *anyone* at this time -- seriously -- don't offer, don't ask) which came to a head last night. I will be spending, as a direct result of that, roughly the next week mostly away from Hackaday.
I didn't want that.
I didn't want the drama.
I didn't want the mess that happened last night.
I didn't want any of this.
I didn't get that choice.
Hopefully, sometime around Monday the 22nd, I'll be able to start going again on this project and a few others.
My first task will be yet another OS reinstall on Steampunkish Too, as this morning the Feren OS install cratered, badly. While Ubuntu (on which Feren OS is based) has always given me issues with its network connection/management utility -- I almost always am using WiFi, and every few weeks "something happens" (probably mild filesystem corruption, but I don't actually know) and I have to delete and rebuild the profile for that connection, or it won't work any more -- I have to say, this is the first time *ever* that I've had it Humpty-Dumpty an entire OS install to the point of rendering it entirely unusable. Manually unplugging-replugging my WiFi adapter presently results in a temporary OS freeze on the order of 10-15min+, and even with a freshly-rebuilt connection profile, I get no Internet *at all* -- the adapter connects to the network, I *assume* it's getting assigned an IP address, but no data ever goes through. All webpages 404 out or report "No Internet" in Google Chrome. Mind you, this is after reinstalling Chrome and rebuilding my profile within it -- prior to that, just *opening* Chrome was sufficient to lock the system up solid.
Screw you, Feren OS, I'm going home.
Right now what I'm planning to do is vent my spleen, rather pungently so, on the XUbuntu support forums about how the XUbuntu 20.04 LTS installer, unlike the 18.04 LTS installer, does not handle 64bit systems with 32bit UEFIs -- it essentially reverts to the behavior of the 16.04 LTS installer, which is to work just fine until it tries to install GRUB2, and then -- even if it was given the BOOTIA32.EFI file in the appropriate place (which is supposed to bypass this issue) promptly s*** the bed, completely crashing the installer in the process, which results in an entirely unbootable system, even *with* a manual GRUB2 install later on.
Considering that this behavior implicates all Intel NUC systems, at least of the appropriate era (Intel Bay Trail), and considering that every other system I've encountered that's Intel Bay Trail- or Cherry Trail-based has the same configuration, including *ALL* Atom SoC systems, most notably those with an Atom Z3735f or Atom x5-Z83xx chip, and probably *everything* out there (although I haven't tested my one Celeron N4000-based system in this regard yet) with 2gb/4gb DDR3L and some kind/quantity of eMMC for OS/userdata storage, I don't think it'll take much to get this fixed fairly quickly.
[Whoops, pressed "Publish" before I should've.]
After that's taken care of, I should be returning to SETEC Astronomy, and bringing in a few other projects that are presently on ice, fairly shortly. I have quite a few interesting surprises and such, including one I started late last year but paused because Life Stuff and then never wrote up, and something fairly small that started as an afternoon-livener and soon grew slightly larger that just needs a little attention and some last-minute buffing and polishing to be considered completely finished... and something like *five* new computer builds, all of which are in the planning stage, that need attention in some way -- and all of them deserve to be broadcast loudly.