Damnthing: The Days Of Wearing The Hat Of Red
I spent time in the United States Navy while I was younger, and I have been working in IT since around 1996 or so, and words fail me when I try to come up with the profanity needed to accurately describe the ordeal involved with just getting this goddamned computer to work correctly under ANY operating system.
Red Hat 7.2 was an unmitigated disaster. Bizarre, random, flaky displays of unreliability I had not seen since Windows 95(A) showed themselves on Damnthing in the Red Hat days.
Me: Good morning, Damnthing.
Damnthing: Good morning, Trent. It is good to see you.
Me: Will we be booting this morning?
Damnthing: Ah. No, sir. I am afraid not. C*$@S$CKER! BARFBAG! I think we’re– BEACHBALLS! TEQUILA! HAMSTERS!
Me: Uh. Excuse me?
Damnthing: Oh my. Pardon that. Yes, we’ll boot. Oops there, you didn’t say the correct incantation. And there is no more pig’s blood. Shutting down for no apparent reason now. Goodbye.
Damnthing: And wait until you see what’s missing the next time you turn me back on!
Me: Wait… what?
Damnthing: Ah ah ah… let’s not ruin the surprise. Buh-bye! *powers off*
This kind of thing went on all the time. KDE would work. Then KDE wouldn’t. GNOME would work. GNOME won’t work. KDE now does. Now X-windows doesn’t work at all. Whoops, you don’t have ANY fonts installed. Reboot. Oh my, there they are. But now X isn’t working again. And those shortcuts on your KDE desktop? Those are gone. I mean they’re back. Your video card isn’t supported. I know it worked yesterday, but today it doesn’t work.
Damnthing was so flaky under Red Hat I simply couldn’t find it in my heart to bother Red Hat’s support team. It was a constantly moving target and I couldn’t even BEGIN to know how to troubleshoot this illogical pile of crap.
I decided that a fresh install of Red Hat 7.2 was in order. I blew the old installation away and completely reinstalled from scratch, reformated and did badblocks and everything.
The result was… well, nothing. Red Hat 7.2 refused to function on Damnthing forevermore. To this day I have no idea why it “worked” (and I use that term loosely) the first time I installed it, but the second fresh installation of it wouldn’t even boot. Not a clue. So I moved on.