So, interesting thing about self made resolutions that leave you accountable to no one aside from yourself… Sometimes it’s just out and out difficult to keep yourself motivated.
Shocking, I know.
I had set aside some time last night, after work, in which I intended to do a little coding. Nothing overly complex, interesting or in any way shape or form useful but something to help cement some of the concepts and syntax I have been learning in my mind. You know, just some lame little program to help me remember things like using %hi format for variables specifically defined as low numbers which I mean, just makes all kinds of sense.
Funny thing is, somehow, after working all day I was having a little bit of trouble getting juices flowing. For whatever reason I could just not get myself interested in pumping out some code. It just seemed daunting and soul crushing which is odd as thus far i have found it to be for the most part fun even if a little frustrating at times. My day at work had once again ruined everything.
With coding out of the question I was faced with a predicament. I could either go ahead and spend an hour or so playing Comix Zone (the greatest Sega Genesis game ever released) or I could come up with some other, easier, task to set my mind to, something where I could still feel as though I was working towards my eventual goals without really having to exert actual effort.
What about trying out another operating system? One of my goals was to gain more experience with a wider variety of Operating Systems after all. I even still had the wife’s old laptop kicking around somewhere, the one with the screwy fan, sure it overheated all the time but I could probably rig something up with the fan. Heck, I even had a FreeBSD disc burned already.
After a little bit of improvised shimming and unkind case modifications to allow the loose fan to spin freely and unobstructed I was feeling pretty good about myself. The hard part was done, in record time no less, and all that remained was to install FreeBSD on the laptop’s old Windows partition. I mean, I’ve installed various Linux distros dozes of times, this was going to be a cake walk. I was going to pop in the disk, run through the install, get X working nice and call it a day.
Don’t get me wrong, the install process was great. Kudos to the hard working and gifted hackers of the FreeBSD project. Hell, even if you had NO idea (compared to my partial idea) what you were doing you could pretty much keep hitting enter and have everything turn out fairly well. The only issues is, well. I probably should have invested a minute or two in actually R-ing TFM. A little factoid for you BSD folks out there, we Linux people are spoiled, spoiled absolutely rotten when it comes to dual booting. As such, perhaps you can all imagine my confusion when my freshly installed Unix-like operating system did not pop up as an option in grub. Perhaps you can picture my surprise when I realized that there was no grub at all!
Looking back on it now it is a little difficult to figure out exactly why I would have just assumed it would aside from being a moron. At the time it seemed to make sense, though, what with the being a moron and all.
I any event, not to worry, there was no real need to dual boot the laptop to begin with. Why not just do it the lazy way and let BSD have the run of the hard drive.
FreeBSD fans, I offer you my apologies. Having just run through the install process for FreeBSD I was a little curious about other flavors of BSD and their install process so I went ahead and burned myself a OpenBSD install disc.
Once again I was fairly impressed with the fairly intuitive install process, even if it did (like FreeBSD) seem surprisingly slow. All in all, the high point of the installation was definitely trying to figure out why the hell it wanted to create eight separate partitions, one for each major branch of it’s fire tree. Not to be rude, it just seems like a lot of partitions, right? Eight.
Long story short, about two and a half hours after digging my wife’s old laptop out from under the bed (which yes, I apparently do consider a completely acceptable places to store unused goods) I had fully and freshly installed OpenBSD!
There is some bad news however…
Remember that little comment I made earlier about the installer for both Free and Open BSD being a little on the slow side? That’s a little something writers like to call foreshadowing. Apparently leaving a laptop that has been allowed to overheat dozens upon dozens of times laying under a bed for a couple years doesn’t actually make it perform any better.
Honestly, I had forgotten how bad it had gotten before we finally replaced the damn thing. My fresh installation was completely useless. Logging in to the system took several minutes, loading the message of the day took several more. In the end, I can honestly say I learned three and only three things.
1) I’m a moron.
2) I apparently will not buy my wife a new laptop until her existing one is really, really broken. Cheap bastard.
3) For some unknown reason OpenBSD wants eight, seriously, eight separate partitions. Did I mention that? Eight. It just seems like a lot. Eight.