In an attempt to rescue a couple of files I fired up the “old” PC today. It’s about 3 years old now, so not what you’d call obsolete by any stretch of the imagination, and when it was new no OS would recognize the Gigabyte SATA RAID drivers. I tried Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Redhat, Knoppix, and Windows XP all to no avail – the hardware was just too new and no drivers existed. So I tried Windows Vista, and it worked. Yes, a success story that involves Vista.
On boot today there was a problem with one of the aforementioned RAID disks, and the machine failed massively. I dutifully went and found the Vista installation Disk as suggested, but hmmm, when I tried to use the “repair computer” option, it couldn’t find the disks to repair them! Total failure. My prefered option now is to resort to the latest live Linux CDs and access the files that way. I just hope todays builds are support the RAID hardware.
I’ve assembled and maintained several PCs over the years, but after 15 months using a Mac I’d blithely forgotten all the crap that building windows PC entails. Yes I paid a little more for the Mac, and I’m limited to pretty much the hardware that Apple choose, but the beauty is that it works, solidly, day-in day-out. Since my goal is not “to build a working system” but “to do something with the system, and not always wonder if I could do it faster with a different driver or kernel tweak” I’m happy to pay that small premium for a machine that works reliably.
So that’s it, my last Windows machine is dead. Fifteen years after I was forced to start using Windows for commercial purposes, I am free of it. Normally a dead machine is a sad day, but this marks the first day of a Windows free life. It’s a good day.