In this festive season, my wife and I were making our last minute preparations of gifts for our two boys; ages 9 and 13. Both have their own desktops (my hand-me-downs). One is an old computer, and the other calls that one Sonny. For Christmas this year, I decided to upgrade them to laptops. Through the generosity of a friend and fellow worker, and a well timed bid on Ebay, I was able to obtain two very nice laptops.
Now, what OS to load? As much as I preach the wonders and advantages of Linux (now exclusively Mint), they are most familiar with XP. They use it at school and like playing games that work best with XP. Besides, all their friends use XP!!! For those reasons, and because of the fact that I had a couple copies of Academic XP Pro lying about, the decision was made for for me.
OK, so there we were, the boys were fast asleep, Mama just finished baking Christmas cookies, and I'm doing the final setups so on Christmas Morning they awaken to working laptops...
When what to my wondering eyes don't appear,
Flashing lights on the PCMCIA wireless cards. They don't work (OH DEAR)!
I have three PCMCIA wireless cards, one for my Linux...ah...Mint Box, one for one of the boy's laptop, and a spare (the other laptop uses a USB wireless). For whatever reason, XP didn't see the one reserved for the XP, or the spare, so of course, I thought they were broke
In fairness to XP, I could have done some last minute scrambling that would have involved hard-wiring the laptops to my wireless network in hopes of finding drivers (at least that was my theory as to why they weren't working), but I was just plain running out of time. Another option was a very last minute mad dash and purchase. However, since we live in rural USA, more specifically Minnesota, I didn't know if I'd be able to find a PCMCIA card in time for Christmas morning on such short notice.
It was at this point I made the supreme sacrifice...I pulled the PCMCIA card out of my Mint Box, in hopes it would work in the XP, and presto...it did. Now at least my boys will have fully functional laptops Christmas morning; even if I wouldn't:(
...And now for the Christmas miracle. With nothing to lose, I took a non-functioning, wireless PCMCIA card, plugged into my Mint Box, configured the network, and boom, it worked...NO!!!...that's not correct...they both worked, I'm convinced, thanks to an angel named Clarence (and the open source community).
Now, not only will our boys have a very Merry Computing Christmas, but so will Dad (by not being denied my Mint Box). I'm convinced that the future of personal computing lies with open source Linux.