There was another auction at my work last week. There were a few laptops for sale but not as many as last time. Surprisingly, a Toshiba Portege 3490CT was in the lineup. There were like 7-8 of them at the last auction back in June so I thought this particular model must be all gone. The one I bought last time is visibly worn out, especially the dirty rubber nub mouse. This time around, the laptop appears in better condition. The rubber nub looks almost new. The expansion port cover opens and closes nicely. Aside from the Toshiba, I also had my eye on a 17-inch Apple PowerBook G4 that was marked “Acts up.” I am not good at repairing computers so I put a bid of $10 for the PowerBook and didn’t keep my hopes up. I am sure the Toshiba will have a good competition. I bid it for $80 although it’s $10 less than what I paid last time. In the end, I got the Toshiba while someone else wants the “Acts up” PowerBook more than I do.
The plan for this laptop is the same as last time – replace the OS with Ubuntu Linux. Since I documented my previous experience on this blog, I opened my old blog post and got to work. The Tftpd32 program and the Ubuntu image files are still on the Wintel machine that I used last time. I hooked up an Ethernet cable to the laptop and everything sailed from there. One mystery from the previous install was that the Ubuntu desktop was not installed in the first place. I think I know why. This time around, when I saw the screen about selecting the desktop software again, I instantly know I didn’t press the Space bar to add an asterisk for selecting Ubuntu desktop. I made sure to do it right this time.
But this move turned into a long pause. The next screens showed the process of the desktop software install and the progress bar was stuck at 6% for a long while. The hard drive made a click noise every so often but nothing changed on screen. This experience is awfully similar to one of the comments I received on my previous post. One person was stuck at this screen for over 2 hours and still nothing.
I don’t remember how long I waited because I was killing time by loading and editing photos in 23 on my Mac. It’s probably about 10-15 minutes later, I reboot the laptop and started over. I wonder if it’s something to do with attempting to acquire a lot of info through Tftpd32 and it’s super slow. I decided I wouldn’t select the desktop software in this new round of installation and that was likely what happened to me with the other laptop. The base system installed in about an hour. The laptop restarted and the command line showed up. I checked that Ethernet was working on the laptop and used the same commands I used before to install Ubuntu desktop. At this point, the laptop was connecting to the Internet on its own, no longer going through Tftpd32 on the Wintel machine. This took about an hour and a half, just like last time. I typed in startx and Ubuntu appeared.
I am so glad I blogged about my first attempt at Ubuntu. Based on page views, that post gets regular visitors. Now I even feel better knowing why the way I did it was a two-step process.