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back to article Ubuntu man says Microsoft's about to 'swallow a hand-grenade'

Well, here I am just a few miles from Yahoo!' headquarters and Microsoft's Silicon Valley residence. It's Sunday, and I've yet to hear screams from either camp. So, it seems that Microsoft's call to action deadline around the Yahoo! buy is passing with a lack of fanfare. Yahoo! may surprise us yet by leaking something to the New …

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Flame

"Okay, hippie." ?

That's all you got? You're not a very convincing journalist. Getting quotes from a source and making snarky comments does not a column make.

More crab juice please.

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Jobs Horns

Geeze Ashlee

Did Shuttleworth run over your puppy or something? You don't have to agree with the guy and I don't particularly care if you make fun of him, but at least give us more reason as to why other than the fact that he's rich.

Regardless, the whole thing was worth reading just for the mental picture of Ballmer swallowing a hand granade for breakfast. =D

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Geeze Ashlee

You've lost me. I thought I was making fun of you.

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why talk to him?

So he got his money by hanging onto someone elses coat-tails. So why are we listening to this person? Does having lots of money make your opinions valid?

If someone wants to talk to someone about Ubuntu, lets talk to one of the guys that programs the thing, not the lotto winner with the fat wallet who bankrolls it.

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Dead Vulture

Re: Geeze Ashlee

Well, *I* don't remember running over your puppy either but I suppose it's possible. It's just so difficult to keep track when you run over so many...

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Thumb Up

Very interesting

I thought it was a good interview. Short and sweet. And I didn't think that Ashlee was making fun of Mark.

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We all make money off other's coat tails

This article has to be the Reverse FOTW, if there is such a thing.

Unless you single handedly invented fire, melted silicon, made some ICs, invented programming, the internet etc etc, you're hanging off someone's coat tails. At least Shuttleworth acknowledges this and is doing a lot of karmic account balancing through Ubuntu.

Even His Holiness, the Grand Master Journalist, Ashlee didn't get his esteemed fame and fortune by inventing the English language and the web.

I'm not a Shuttleworth fanboi (Ubuntu fan maybe) and, like C-Fox, I don't mind seeing the big boys getting a ribbing, but at least make it clever and worth reading. Pissiness is not enough.

Stolen: Shuttleworth might be wrong or right here, but he is technically astute and can talk pretty well on a wide range technical issues (go look on youtube for some of his talks). At least he does not need to revert to endless repetition of a single word (developers,developers,developers,... etc) like Ballmer and other mindless drones do.

The bit of magic in Ubuntu is that it takes the geeky stuff and gets it to the "just works" place where OSS needs to be to become usable by Joe Average. Identifying this, and actually driving hard to make this happen, gives Shuttleworth some pedistal to stand on regardless of his wealth. He's not competing with geeks but is helping to make the geeky output more valuable for the user community.

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Does having lots of money make your opinions valid?

We,, I'd argue a limited yes... if the money was made from developing a piece of software and then a business around it that was bought out by a megacorp for way too much money.

Then that person might have some useful opinions on software, megacorp acquisitions, and the ways in which they can go wrong.

Having got rich, that person might also have the humility to concede how much getting rich is basically down to luck.

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Unhappy

My vote on the style

Shuttleworth can be pretty astute at times, that in itself is reason to talk with him, nevermind his money or Ubuntu. This interview, however, didn't seem to go so well ... or maybe it's the way it was written. I like Ashlee Vance's writing better when he doesn't try to sound like Orlowski.

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Anonymous Coward

Couldn't care less

For the record: I clicked on this article ONLY because of the Yahoo-MSFT angle, I couldn't possibly care less about any news/gossip/interviews related to Shuttleworth. I am confident there are quite a few others who feel the same.

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An alright piece

An interesting read IMO: given that Shuttleworth has put his money where his mouth is to heavily promote Linux, his views are worth hearing.

Rather an odd journalistic tone, however. But this is El Reg - I expect odd (in that sense). If I want strict "impartiality" or "NPOV" I'll turn to the BBC or - heaven forfend - Wikipedia.*

@ Crimson Fox ... Yeah, I do it too cos I love that squelchy noise ;)

* No I won't.

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Anonymous Coward

Shuttleworth? Who is that?

Let me give you guys at the Reg some names of people an interview with whom would indeed be interesting ...

The Dalai Lama, Richard Dawkins, Kishore Mahbubani, Muhammad Yunus, Hans Snook, Masayoshi Son, Helen Alexander, Anatol Ugorski, Eugene Drucker, Hilary Hahn.

Shuttleworth? Can't find that name on the list of people who have interesting things to say.

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Alert

@Mark Honman

Remind me again of how writing the world's first commercially available 128-bit encryption system in your parent's garage is luck?

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Paris Hilton

Just works my arse

> The bit of magic in Ubuntu is that it takes the geeky stuff and gets

> it to the "just works" place where OSS needs to be to become

> usable by Joe Average.

And that, laydeez and gennellmen, is the sort of self-delusion which explains why linux is still bumping along at < 1% (http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8).

If Ubuntu 'just works' my arse is the king of Prussia.

Paris, because her grasp on reality is just as strong ...

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Yahoo/BSD

"Yahoo!'s doing the FreeBSD thing.". That's still true on the server side (AFAIK) but they're transitioning their BSD desktop boxes to RHEL.

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@Matthew

Writing it isn't luck... getting rich off it is!

There are loads of brilliant products developed by gifted engineers that were before their time, or too late to make a difference in a crowded market.

That I think was Shuttleworth's point about being lucky to be rich - he had the right product at the right place and time... and the business sold to the right buyer at the right time, too.

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Happy

@Wasn't he in life of Brian?

LMBO!

A very astute observation IMO....

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Anonymous Coward

Errrr

I think some of the posters have had a funny bone transplant and/or an axe to grind which they will grind regardless. BKB is prime example, Shuttleworth is already incredibly rich, and Ubuntu is giving something back. Its not supposed to make him more squadillions.

Read it again and this time actually process the words without your usual filters in place.

The whole get rich or die trying angle, that some of the more rabid capitalist poster children on this site aspire to, just make me want to buy a shotgun.

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@What's Shuttleworth's plan?

"How is Shuttleworth going to avoid swallowing handgrenades with Ubuntu?

Paying a lot of money to develop an operating system then giving it away doesn't seem like a "moneyspinner"." .... By BKB Posted Monday 28th April 2008 07:27 GMT

If you can be Lead Host of Killer Applications and/or Provision Immaculate Sources of Addictively Attractive New Content, IT will be as if Printing Money which you will be Lucky enough to be Able to Spend as Quickly as you make it so that it doesn't clog up the Currency Flow. But that would have nothing to do with Lady Luck, that would be by IntelAIgent Design.

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Pirate

Microhoo

Or maybe Yahsoft. Either way, I'm beginning to hope it happens, thus relieving MS of a decent chunk of their ill-gotten gains before realising that it equips them no better for dealing with Google, and puts BT in an awkward spot over their current tie-up with Yahoo. Sounds like they all deserve each other.

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Ubuntu 'just works' ?

Even the latest "Hairy Hardon" version of Ubuntu doesn't seem to detect and configure dual monitors (with dual video cards) properly.

Other than that, it's great. But telling people to go look at web pages to figure out how to manually edit x config files just to get a monitor working is something that I thought Linux had grown out of years ago.

Jolyon

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Bronze badge

An Interesting Perspective

I appreciated the interesting alternate perspective on Microsoft's acquisition of Yahoo! and other matters in this article.

The part about Oracle and Red Hat made sense to me. With Yahoo!, I take what is probably the common perspective: Microsoft's plan is to use its own resources, with help from Yahoo! now, to build "a better Google than Google", by combining Yahoo! and MSN Search.

I don't know how they will avoid a horrible, ignominious failure, but since they have people there who know more about running a business than I do, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume they have some plan that they think might work

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Flame

@Just works

So I installed Hardy Horseshit at the weekend.

First it picked an impossible resolution for my monitor, so that I couldn't even _see_ the Start button (or whatever it's Gnome equivalent is) to go about fixing it.

Then the sound wouldn't work in YouTube and another app simultaneously. Any ideas, anybody?

And then I couldn't boot back into Windows, possibly because the boot loader choked on an extended partition. Cue Windows reinstallation (after trying to fix the MBR).

So, "just works", eh? Christ, Mark, I _want_ it to work. How about you get the devs to focus on making it work for everyone, instead of three dollops of FAIL?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

p0wn3d

http://tinyurl.com/3nh3w2

Not quite "obsessive", but getting there ;-)

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Paris Hilton

You're all missing the point here...

... I thought 'Ashlee' was a bird's name?

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Bronze badge

just works

Give PCLinuxOS a try. It's the only distro I've ever tried where everything (well, pretty much) "just worked".

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Go

'Just works' clarification

I found a raw nerve with my 'just works' comment.

'Just works' is a goal that has not been fully achieved yet. It is still work in progress, particularly for the more complex setups requiring non-OSS drivers. My point was that Ubuntu has made 'just works' a major goal and this is where they are really adding value. Most Mom&Pop PCs (single display etc) will 'just work'.

The point I failed to make is that 'Just Works' is the niche that Ubuntu tries to fill. Addressing the problem of making Linux usable without having a caged geek onhand is something that will be work in progress for a very long time.

I have been using Linux for years and know of no distro that is fully 'Just works'. Ubuntu is about as close as it gets thus far. The laptop I'm using right now is running HH with no tweakery. This setup has a wart or two (microphone does not work, wifi hookup only works on second attempt) that I'm sure I could fix with config file hackery, but they are trivial enough that I don't care.

Even though I have quite a bit of Linux kernel programming experience does not mean I like to drudge through configs and have to help family members etc do trivial things on their Linux PCs. Stuff that a distro should get right. Ubuntu clears this up (for most people anyway) and no doubt will get better with time.

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Oracle -( Redhat, Not Going to Happen

Because the wind direction vis a vis antitrust enforcement in the U.S. is about to take a very sharp turn in about 9 months and Oracle is going to wind up penned in just like IBM has been for nearly a generation. Red Hat will stay independent (sorry RHAT shareholders). To stay alive they may actually have to go private though.

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Re: 'Just works' clarification

Heck, "just works" isn't done on Windows. OS X is having problems with "just works".

Yeah, Vista "Just works" if you have the right drivers, the right hardware and don't stray from the fold. Do any of that and you find it just don't work.

Ubunto has the same problem.

As to the dual monitor, the use of dual monitor is basically a function of the driver (doesn't have to be, but no manufacturer seems to want to design a standard way of talking to the card for it), but you can use, if you have a GeForce card, their application for turning on dual monitor support. And dual monitor on UNIX platforms is a DAMN sight more useful than under windows because UNIX uses "Window Managers" to manage them, where Windows does it's own thang.

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Re: 'Just works' clarification

My spleen-venting about "just works" is mostly based around the install.

It picked a screen res that could have been damaging my monitor, and it left me permanently locked out of Windows.

I can easily accept that there are many things that won't work straight away, but the install _must_ work flawlessly. It's a showstopper.

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Linux

Works Fine here.

So far Ubuntu has worked perfectly on everything I tried it on INCLUDING my Macbook Pro.

And on my Dell Laptop it even configured the 3-D. "The wireless setup was flawless btw" I had to do exactly ONE apt get, to get all my media codecs and such. And I cut and pasted it in. "Yes I"m lazy"

I have built home office machines for people using Ubuntu, no problems. With most stock hardware setups Ubuntu is FAR easer to set up than Windows ever was. Most of the people complaining have pretty obviously not touched an Ubuntu distro in at least four versions. I have not even seen a piece of unsupported hardware in two years.

And the ones whining about seas of command line are either years out of the loop or just fudding.

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Stop sprouting "extreme porn" or you will be arrested !!

Call you local PETA representative ??? That is an extreme act of masochism !! She looks like a demented gorilla in drag !! I'd far rather call those persons of a female persuasion that pose nude for their anti-fur campaigns !! A sight for sore eyes, them !!

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RW
Paris Hilton

"Just works"

Well maybe. but as someone who's been trying Linux (Ubuntu at that) since last fall, I've gotten real tired of several doesn't-just-work aspects:

1. The endless necessity to edit config files.

2. The endless necessity to issue terminal commands.

Points (1) and (2) are facets of the pervasive lack of GUI interfaces to many configuration options.

3. That technical and how-to-fix info is scattered over an infinity of blogs, forums, and such, so trying to fix *my* issue involves looking for a needle in a haystack. In particular, so far I have not found any site that gives a reasonbly detailed overview of how Linux's parts all fit together. I have to look in ancient Linux bibles to find some of that out, the rest I remain in ignorance of. Example: spelling dictionaries: where are they? Are they user specific, app specific, or system-wide? The answer doesn't matter, but one's inability to easily find the answer is a serious drawback. Sadly such Ubuntu books as I've looked at assume you've never seen a word processor before so they waste time on "and here's how to embolden your text ."

4. Complete lack of uniformity in UI specifications. E.g. some apps require that you hold down the ALT key while pressing "F" to get at a file menu, other do the Windows thing of press and release, then key "F". There's nobody in control. Say what you will about MS, at least Windows' surface is well-polished for the most part.

5. Bugs! Wine is particularly bad, though it's understandable. After a while, you just get fed up with malfunctions and keep using Win98 on an old junker for those programs that require it.

Paris, just because I like using the Paris icon.

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Tail Wags Dog

Well, there you go. The man whose product has a dismal sales record is telling one of the world's most successful corporations how to run their business and stay afloat. Idiot.

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Silver badge

A classic phrase

"Microsoft swallowing a hand grenade"... I suspect a lot of people in the IT business would pay good money to watch that event.

And I'd hate to blow a hole in RW's arguements, but I've never met an OS that did'nt need tweaking, altering, or downright hitting with a hammer to get it to work.

From a windows re-install(caused by dll hell) that borked because I'd installed another HDD so the setup file could'nt find the CD drive, to a a fedora linux installation that got completely borked by a numpty(me) picking the wrong options in the setup.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Missing the Point

Wasn't it specified there on the Reg Standards Soviet that Ashlee shall be refered to as "he/she/it", or just as "that ladyboy hack/hackette"?

Or was it just a dream? I am confused now.

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Anonymous Coward

thoughts on Shuttleworth

Say what you will about the guy, he is what Linux/F/OSS has needed for the last decade or two. The camera loves him, he speaks eloquently, he doesn't bog you down with technical details (though he gives the impression that he's good with that, too), and doesn't look down on you like he's an elitist techno-nerd. Torvalds is close, he's very likable and eloquent, but he's still highly technical, and (forgive me, but I speak for pudgy, nerdy guys everywhere) doesn't exactly look like the spokesmodel type. Shuttleworth is the complete package. And that is why the media loves him so much. Personally, if I was filthy stinking rich, I'd put my resources to all of my favorite causes, too.

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Gold badge

@AC & @RW

@RW:

1&2) Windows instead makes me keep going into the registry.

3) Found the same thing for Windows and OSX for that matter. I just look until I find a solution. If the solution was that easy, it'd be fixed after you ran an update.

4) Agreed! UNIX overall is 40 years old, and X is over 20 years old. Apps don't look very consistent.

5) It does keep improving though, and seems to me much better than Windows or OSX. Bugs do suck though.

@AC

"Let me give you guys at the Reg some names of people an interview with whom would indeed be interesting ...

The Dalai Lama, Richard Dawkins, Kishore Mahbubani, Muhammad Yunus, Hans Snook, Masayoshi Son, Helen Alexander, Anatol Ugorski, Eugene Drucker, Hilary Hahn.

Shuttleworth? Can't find that name on the list of people who have interesting things to say.

"

Gotta be honest, other than the Dalai Lama and Richard Dawkins, I haven't heard of anyone on that list. I seriously doubt they are related to IT in any way. Shuttleworth, on the other hand, is the head of Canonical; I guess what he had to say wasn't too earth-shattering but I found it interesting to see what he had to say as a largeish IT player. The Reg is after all an IT site.

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Products vs collaborative projects

@ Doug Glass

"The man whose product has a dismal sales record is telling one of the world's most successful corporations how to run their monopoly and stay afloat."

There, fixed it for you.

It could do with a couple more edits too. Ubuntu is not Mark Shuttleworth's "product". The Ubuntu project's success is not defined by its "sales" (and neither is it defined by how effectively it practices extortion).

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Alert

PulseAudio

Funky Dennis wrote: "Then the sound wouldn't work in YouTube and another app simultaneously. Any ideas, anybody?"

That is almost certainly due to Ubuntu's switch to PulseAudio in Hardy; e.g. note https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/192888

Specifically:

---

Seppe vanden Broucke wrote on 2008-04-25:

Confirmed - without libflashsupport Firefox doesn't crash and Flash works. However, when playing sound in VLC/Totem/... I cannot hear sound in Flash without first closing down these programs. When playing sound from Flash (e.g. Youtube), I cannot hear sound from other programs without first restarting Firefox.

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Seppe vanden Broucke wrote on 2008-04-25:

I've also installed nspluginwrapper and installed libflashsupport again. Flash sound now work together with other apps... As of now Flash has not crashed (yet?).

---

Note that not everyone has this problem though...

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Joke

Video of Ballmer swallowing a grenade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB_yDmxhtVc

Note Cosmonaut Shuttleworth feeding them to him ^_-

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Linux

Just works

Well, what can I say - I slapped it on a Dell T3400 straight out of the box, in 20 minutes the install was done, and everthing *just worked*. Two-click install for Virtualbox so I have Windows on hand if really needed for good measure as well.

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Another 1928

The throw away at the end should be of great importance to all who watch our current economy.

A technological revolution that started 30 or so years before and brought forth the small personal engine and other such delights, caused a paradigm shift in how food was produced, how goods were produced, how money was made, how work was done, how workers were trained or retrained, how people were entertained and how they were kept healthy.

New ways of doing all these things put control and capital into the pockets of new players, while changes in processes made existing workers poorer or redundant, enhanced health practices and more available food through mechanisation, created population growth. Demand for food outstripped supply causing inflation. Housing became less affordable, superannuation lost adequate value, the new rich got richer and the others poorer.

Old players tried to stave off losses by investing in new ideas, and the stock market started a pattern of rises and falls until 1929 when it crashed.

Today we are 30 years into another technological revolution, and all the events preceding the '29 crash are repeating. No wonder Shuttleworth wants to bring one of the significant pointers to your attention. If there is a crash, the winners for the next generation will be the ones whose products are really cheap, like those of Linux vendors.

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Linux

Re: 'Just works' clarification

> As to the dual monitor

Well, I dual boot XP and Mepis on my laptop, run a couple of 7.10 Ubuntu guest VMs to play with an open source PBX, and have several XP, W2K3 and Ubuntu machines at work.

I installed HH (fresh) on a box that had run GG 7.10 flawlessly. The monitor is connected to an old 3dfx Voodoo card and the on-board vid is unused. The HH install had me pulling my hair out as it put me in 800x600 vid with no way to get out of it. The Screen Resolution control was worse than useless, couldn't detect my Viewsonic CRT, and was stuck showing "cloned" with no way in the control to manually select monitor or vid drivers. Utter trash.

The XP box on my desk at work has three video cards, mixed ATI, NVidia, and 3dfx AGP and PCI, and FIVE monitors (mixed LCD and CRT)! The XP display properties control "just works"! Forget dual monitors in HH: good luck getting one monitor to work. Yeah, I finally got it working, having to run the old display control on a GG box to see which prog it was in sysmon and calling it from the CLI in HH.

I enjoy using Ubuntu and sticking it to the Redmond monopolists, but its sound and vid configuration is many years behind that of XP.

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Coat

@Boris the Cockroach

From a windows re-install(caused by dll hell) that borked because I'd installed another HDD so the setup file could'nt find the CD drive...

After you install Win2K or WinXP, copy the I386 directory from the CD to the root of your C: drive. (Yes, I'm assuming that C: is your boot drive.) Then run regedit, search for the drive from which you installed the OS, e. g. D:\, and modify the drive letter to C. Keep hitting F3 until you can find no more instances to modify.

After you reboot, Windows will "think" that you installed it from your C:\I386 directory. Thereafter, whenever Windows needs an installation file, will will find it in the C:\I386 directory. Adding or removing drives or changing drive letters won't phase Windows at all.

Finally, you can give your installation CD the, er, boot!

(I'm SO ashamed)

Mine is the one with the hair shirt lining.

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@Power Pentode

So basically you had a bad problem on an old piece of kit and no problem on a new piece of kit.

Now, did you try running XP on your box with the voodoo card?

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