Biting and dodging bullets

So this happened:

Error! Error! Error!

Wherein I managed to get a pic of the boot-up error on my laptop. I tried three times before I got this far, and the screen above what you see here was the initial hardware error repeated three times before it got down to the business of saying anything important.

Important like “Machine check: Processor context corrupt” and “Kernel panic – not syncing: Fatal Machine check” and “Kernel Offset:” (with range relocation. You don’t have to be be too computer savvy to know that’s bad. In essence it’s saying the microprocessor is hooped. That pretty much explains the random problems starting, running, and shutting down.

But that’s nothing compared to the pain caused by the solution. The solution being a new computer. I found one at 80% off which sacrifices processor power, memory, and worst of all storage space but at least give the higher resolution screen.

A bitter pill.

The biggest problem is it runs Windows Spyware 10. Getting to this screen you see took the better part of an hour, with an awful lot of twiddling about and prying into my personal affairs. Starting with “Cortana” coming on as if having some brain-dead AI talking to me was a good thing followed by a lot of intrusive questions, the “need” to set up a Microsoft account (never needed one before) and a lot more “set up” functions which even saying “no” to only protects you from the depth of their intrusion. Would I like them to tie in to my smart phone so they can sell all the data they find there too? (Okay, I translated; that’s not how the question was asked.) Well guess what: I don’t have a stinking smart phone, so there!

Now I have to figure out how to change the BIOS to boot from USB so I can wipe Gate’s spyware off this computer and install Linux. Strangely Linux doesn’t need to know anything about you, it starts faster, and it doesn’t have massive security flaws. (Hey let’s face it: MS discovered the way around hackers breaking into their systems was to do it themselves and sell all the data they find there. Hackers go along because it’s easier and no more expensive than buying credit cards on the dark web.)

Seriously Windows OS 10 and 11 should be outlawed throughout the entire world. It is even more unbelievably awful and intrusive than the barely-function version on my wife’s old Win10 laptop. It’s no wonder some people think Gates is tracking everybody; one encounter with their OS set-up procedure and you’d believe it too.

But now I have more important things to deal with so this new machine gets to take a rest until I can spend hours canceling the corporate crap ware.

That wasn’t fun

It’s complicated

My computer was becoming ever more erratic. Not a chance of replacing it due to financial constraints. What was more, I’d have to spend money for Win10 – and then delete it because it’s crap. Win11 is even worse as it is specifically designed to lock out old hardware and force sales of new machines. Imagine that: you just bought a Win10 machine and then you ‘upgrade’ it to Win11 and the next thing you know it doesn’t work worth a damn and you’re told you need to buy a new computer. Oh some will take the change, but better find out before you make the switch.

Anyway I’d just delete Microsoft’s bloated Spyware System and install Linux. Which is sort of what I did yesterday, except it was install Linux over Linux – or rather alongside it.

See here’s the thing: there was a program I wanted to use which would not work on Mint 17.3. There is no upgrade path from 17.3 to 18.3 except either deleting and starting over or doing a dual-boot install. As it is I had to backup everything anyway, so I did the dual-boot thing in case I didn’t like 18.3. That took all afternoon and into the night. I can only imagine it’s worse with Windows.

(Comic Note: in Star Trek: Lower Decks one of the characters has a cybernetic implant. In one episode it needs to be ‘updated’ and so it keeps rebooting as it installs progressive increments of the update, causing the character to black out and not know what goes on during that time. It is so much like the Windows update process … The funny line is: “Installing Klingon Fonts” What?! Why do I even need that?!)

Anyway after getting it up and running I then installed the updates and then installed the updates and then began updating it … That is to say transferring the massive number of data files and making sure I had the same programs. Whoops. After the solitaire and mahjong games that got a little dicey. Seems Chromium (the open source version of Chrome) is a bit different. In fact it’s better but hey the included outdated Firefox had to go. Then I need the extensions. Then … Well, you get the picture. (In fact over 20,000 pictures). It’s a good thing Linux does not itself consume massive amounts of drive space. I now have two versions of it with duplicates of my data files – on a 500GB drive with plenty of space leftover. I hear Windows alone can eat that much space.

So the look is slightly different but not so far off it’s unusable. I haven’t had time to fully test it of course, and no I haven’t got to installing that one program which started me down this rabbit hole. It does appear that the video has stabilized and possibly the computer itself (it had developed the habit of locking on boot or shut down or just mid operation). We shall see if it remains so.

There is one tiny little annoyance, though: for some reason the [@] key and the [“] key are now transposed in operation. So far that’s the only glitch and it doesn’t make sense as I thought ASCII codes were standardized decades ago. Yes, I tried changing the keyboard language designation but it isn’t any different on any version of English. If anyone can explain this weird deviation I’d like to know what’s caused it.

Note to self: check and see if the printer and/or scanners now work.