Finally, after several hours of troubleshooting, loading up the Ubuntu alternate cd installer and having it fail to install the linux kernel, I got the bright (late but bright) idea of replacing the default dvd drive on Maia’s Tiny PC with one of my old cd-rw drives. Hindsight wags its finger at me, should’ve known right from the start that this PC which arrived on our doorstep in a huge box all the way from Seattle Washington did have Windoze 98 installed on it. It was my Aunt’s PC until her husband bought her a laptop a year ago, and into the box went this old but still shiny PC for a trip to the islands.
It had 128mb of ram and 32mb of video running (I think) on an ATI graphics card. It also had a 20gb hard disk and a dvd drive. Perfect for running Ubuntu, or so I thought. Turned out that the DVD drive wouldn’t play any of the cd installers I had downloaded and burned with Nero or K3b. I had also taken for granted that the PC ran on 110 volts (stateside eh) with both CPU and speakers plugged into the 110 outlet on the AVR. So, after three goes at the ubuntu text installer cd, I pulled out the DVD and replaced it with a Taiwan made CD-RW drive and the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 cd the folks at Canonical had sent me a few weeks ago. Joy of joys, the graphical installer worked! I remember having read somewhere that your installation can only be as fast as your CD drive can read the installer. Should’ve known that as well.
Short story is, Maia had a working Ubuntu PC a little over an hour after that. While she sat on my lap grinning at her new desktop we installed Automatix2 for the video drivers and browser plugins. We gave Ate Bebing a crash course in managing Ubuntu which she absorbed in a few minutes, she who used to be in charge of 20+ PC’s at an internet cafe in Iligan City before she joined our household. I haven’t yet told her that there is no webcam support in Gaim, but she will be happy to note that I will be tinkering with GyachE (a linux client for Yahoo Messenger) which may be able to run her Logitech webcam.
I left the two of them happily watching the Disney Princesses sing-along VCD, as prelude to bedtime. I will spend the approaching weekend finetuning the installation to suit an impatient 3-year-old, but the zippiness with which Firefox runs in Ubuntu is heaven to her compared to that on her Ama’s machine.