After much shuffling and learning of hardware, and much software shuffling, and much waiting, the Plucked Chicken is back. The fan I mentioned in the last post, which went up on the very day that my hard drive crashed, has been replaced. That’s the third power supply fan in that box. (Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth replacing just the fan. You just have to replace it before the old one quits entirely, leaving the power supply and other components to cook.) The stodgy old hard drives in that box have all been replaced with the somewhat newer ones that were in my desktop machine. They’re so much bigger that I’ll be able to use this as a file server after all.
The new hard drive is a(n) SATA drive. I was delighted that my desktop motherboard has a built-in SATA host, but it turned out to be old enough that it couldn’t communicate with the drive at first. I had to configure the drive (with a jumper that didn’t come with it) to limit its transfer speed. But finally, all was well and we’re up and running.
I also decided that, since I’m starting with a fresh, empty drive, I’d give the AMD64 architecture a try by using that branch of Debian. I’m glad I did. It’s the quickest computer I’ve ever had. As usual when you increase the speed of a machine, the desktop feels instantaneous. I’m even using all the glitzy bells and whistles in KDE, which I’ve never done before. Give it a few years, and it will feel like I’m waiting again, but for now, I like it. The disadvantage is that this install of Debian doesn’t automatically include any support for “legacy” 32-bit programs, and there are a few things that are only made available that way. One appears to be Macromedia Flash. Another seems to be Opera. In time, I hope to use a 32-bit chroot environment to run those things, but for now it’s a small irritation.