sometimes linux sucks

I've been using Linux exclusively for over three years and though I'm comfortable with it, every now and then I don't have a clue what's going on and I get the fear.

I bought a new hard drive, backed up what I could access and reinstalled Gentoo. Everything went fine up until I tried to configure the network. When I first got DSL, my ISP only had one option; the Alcatel USB DSL modem. It's actually a very reliable modem and the setup under Linux is a breeze, but there's never an option to install it during the Linux install. So you have to install the system, then hope you have the drivers backed up (which I did) and install the modem later. No problem... usually.

Between going to the firing range, shopping and going out to eat with my dad, I somehow accomplished installing an older version of Gentoo and building a good kernel but, unfortunately, KDE needs the tiff libraries and portage kept trying to get them off the internet and just wouldn't listen when I told it that the stupid file was right there in /usr/portage/distfiles. I edited the .ebuild and did everything else I could think of, but it still wouldn't listen. I know there's some simple answer that I'm just not aware of, and in fact I think I've had that problem before and found a solution, but I decided to install the modem, figuring that would actually work best since I could update the system before installing KDE. No problem... usually.

I tried to install the modem but I needed something online, I don't even remember what now, to get it to work. So... I decided to go with my last-ditch backup plan; install Suse. Suse was the first distro I used way back when I was a newbie and as a result I have installed and broken it so many times that I'm like a Suse 7.3 master. I can install it and be on the 'net in just a few minutes then I can then get the files and answers I need to solve my Gentoo problems (which I never had the first time I installed it from this CD). Sounds simple, and it is... usually.

In comes Bellsouth to round off my evening.

First, I got the Suse and the modem installed only to find out that I had lost my password. I laid my old hard drive next to the computer and hooked it up and finally retrieved it with a little hacking. Then I spent two hours trying to get my modem to work only to finally remember that my ISP, bellsouth.net, decided to change the system a couple of months ago. It was "to make your internet experience more secure" or some such BS. The result is that you can't simply sign on with your user name, you have to use "your_name@bellsouth.net." I, for one, feel so much safer now that anyone trying to crack my ISP account will have to know the name of the ISP. I mean, that'll get 'em every time. (oddly, as part of this upgrade, they discontinued the use of numbers in your password. Now only lower and uppercase letters work so there goes any illusion about more security).

Anyway... once I finally remembered to use my user name in conjunction with the ISP domain name, I had my netizenship restored. Tomorrow is Gentoo-fixin' day and hopefully I'll have something to blog other than my bitching.

Boy, blogspot sure looks like crap while using Konqueror 2.2...

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