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But wait, there's more.

There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?

Join codebastards, I dare you. Remember, codebastards are us.

I'm baded and jitter. So are these people. (And why not follow the previous, next, or random links?)

Need a band name?

Doug vs. Japanese Snack Foods: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

rant is where the heart is

diaryland: sirilyan.diaryland.com: entry for 2001-12-28 (02:35:00)
In which our plucky young hero went "sunrise, sunset" one time too many.

Special Footnote-Enhanced edition! Footnotes: they're not just for Duck-Shaped Pain anymore.

Congratulate me, folks. I have just managed to destroy my first hard drive.

The day's first, and most important lesson: do not upgrade glibc from 2.0.7 to 2.2.4 on your own, unless you absolutely positively have a way to revert to a known good state at any moment.[1]

There's nothing like watching every single binary on your system, including /bin/login, /bin/su and /bin/ls report that it cannot find libc.so.6. This is pretty much the Linux equivalent of that well-known jape involving your ass, both hands, and a map. When it happens, you are doomed. Dooooooooomed.

Oh well, I think as I shut the computer down. At least I can reboot to Windows, which is still--

The boot loader can't find Windows.

The boot loader can't find Windows.

So at this point, I have a completely nonworking Linux system. And I have a Windows system which I cannot even boot.

Panic, having begun to settle in about an hour ago, now starts measuring for drapes and bringing along the furniture from its old apartment.

I flail madly around the apartment, looking for something, anything I can use to somehow bring my poor computer back to life. Finally, my eyes light upon an old CD-ROM set of FreeBSD 4.0.

Aha! FreeBSD has a boot loader! And I can boot from its install media! The manipulator arm! Ah, the manipulator arm![2]

Warning: the true geek crap follows.

So I stick the CD-ROM in the drive and watch the fascinating FreeBSD boot process, followed by the equally-fascinating FreeBSD install menu. Feigning interest in the operating system itself, I designate the DOS and Linux partitions of my hard drives as bootable, and install the FreeBSD boot loader. I reboot, and see a blessed choice:

F1 DOS
F5 Drive 5

I press F1.

Windows loads.

At this point, I begin to realize that I am not, in fact, Doomed. I am doomed, yes, in the sense that Linux partition is so screwed that there is no way I could justify the time it would take to just learn how to repair it, let alone repair it.[3] What started out as a day of interesting productivity turned into a night of walking dread and fear. But all is not lost.

All the files and bytes on the treacherous Linux drive are still there, and I have just downloaded a neat little add-on for Windows that lets me read (though not modify) those files. I have enough money socked away that I can go out and buy a nice fat new hard drive tomorrow, dump it in the box, and install a piping hot FreeBSD on it.[4]

Not the best day I've ever faced, and a large chunk of why it screwed up was my own willingness to jump in with both feet before testing the water. But all in all, there are worse disasters to face. I've lost nothing but time, and have gained a valuable learning experience.

Sometimes you get in the face of the space coyote. Sometimes the space coyote gets you. It all works out in the end.


[1] Guess what I didn't have.

[2] But if anyone had been singsonging "Mike broke the Hubble!" around me, I'd have bashed in some heads, I tell you that now.

[3] Yes, I'm aware there are update mechanisms for Linux. I was not using any of them. Thank you for your information.

[4] Going over to the daemon side of the Force will actually solve a whole chunk of problems I've been experiencing. Not for nothing is it said that Linux is only free if your time is worthless.

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