So yesterday and the day before I spent a lot of time getting the latest version of Ubuntu Linux installed on my old Compaq Presario 700AE. After a lot of trials and some very long upgrade trajectories, I finally had Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex installed on the old machine. Only to find out that I needed to upgrade my Cisco Aironet 350 PCMCIA card to the latest version to allow it to connect to WPA protected networks (which is what most people should have these days). And the only way to upgrade the firmware on the card is... from Windows... which I had just deleted to install Ubuntu on there. Happy happy, joy joy. The story continues today.
The machine is old, which resulted in me trying to boot from a (official) Windows XP about 50 times. No exaggeration there. I heard the CD spin and then it just didn't take. But as we say over here, the one who persists, wins. So eventually, the machine booted. Installing Windows XP takes a long time, longer than the usually Linux installation. I had to search a bit on the Cisco site, but I found the tools and the v5.60 firmware (sorry, no link, I was under Windows and wanted to close that as soon as possible). I updated the firmware and reboot a Kubuntu CD that I got at my dad's place this afternoon.
For some reason, if I boot with the PCMCIA card in the slot, the CD doesn't want to boot onwards without problems. After answering the questions, the installer started "Checking the hard disk" (I wish installers would just tell me what they do, makes it so much easier to debug) and stalled at 15%. Rebooting again without the PCMCIA card seemed to solve this.
It's still installing, but I need to go to bed. So, I will continue this tomorrow.