Failing to convince

I’ve been banging on at Sam for ages about moving her to Linux rather than Windows, for a number of reasons; easy administration for me, not using Windows, stability, etc, etc. Eventually she acquiesced, and I bought a new machine and installed Debian Linux on it, dual-boot with Windows (for playing games). KDE on the desktop, because it’s all about non-experienced users (I use ROX myself). So all should have been rosy.

However, there was immediately a problem. Half the time, on booting, the network card doesn’t work. It’s an Intel EtherExpressPro, and it’s fine; it works perfectly well when booted to Windows. The kernel detects it on bootup fine, but when /etc/init.d/networking tries to start up networking, it’ll just hang for a bit and then give up. No network. It doesn’t do this all the time, just sometimes. Obviously, though, this is a showstopper. I can’t work out what the problem is at all; it works some times and not others. She was unimpressed with this, but I made “I’ll fix it” noises and she agreed to wait.

Second problem: Palm Pilot. I gave her my Palm IIIx when I bought my Zaurus, promising that it would make working out the monthly money and whatnot a lot easier in comparison with doing it all on paper every month. I installed KPilot for syncs. Now, I had some trouble with KPilot back when the Palm was mine; it would sometimes hang during a sync, and it would (often) drop the connection during a sync. I assumed that this was because I wasn’t running a proper KDE environment — I was, sort of, but I’d had loads of window managers installed and thought that I might not have KDE set up right — and that it would be better on this machine, as it was KDE and only KDE right from the start. And, guess what? It hangs during syncs, and sometimes it drops the connection during a sync. Today’s was the best, though. KPilot scragged the data during a sync. It ate the data on the Pilot, causing the spreadsheet program to crash when it opened the spreadsheet. So, I thought, I’ll just resync, with “Local overrides Pilot”, and that’ll put the good data back on. Nope. And the most recent backup hasn’t got the data in that she needs. So it’s completely buggered. Now, maybe you’ll say that this is my fault for not taking backups. So, tell me, what’s the difference between a backup and a sync? Why would I want to only transfer my files to the PC some of the time? I expect, when I sync, that it will back everything up. I also expect that it won’t irretrievably scrag the data!

So she’s lost that data, which took her ages to put in, and is rather upset about it. She wants to switch back to Windows. I think I’m inclined to agree, and I’m thoroughly pissed off that it has to be so.

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