So I have been slowly learning how to do things the “Arch Linux Way” these past couple of days. I am really impressed with the way it is set up. I still haven’t run into a package that I want that isn’t already in the repositories, so I haven’t had occasion to compile my own software or make any packages yet under Arch. I hope that process is as smooth as everything else so far.
My brand new Nova Tech mini PCI card arrived today, and I was really excited to try it out. I got the kernel module installed and gave it a go. It couldn’t see anything. So I started doing some research. It turns out that the Dell Latitude c600 requires an additional tiny little hirose u.fl cable. You’d think a thin little 4-inch long cable would cost maybe between $3 and $5, but that’s not the case. Dell seems to have forgotten that people might actually need this part and have kindly removed any mention of it from their website. Reports I read stated that calling tech support results in stupefied silence. The item has become a wonderful specialty part that some companies are selling for as much as $40! I found one on eBay for $7.77 plus $3 for shipping. I was hoping to just pop into Fry’s and grab one, but now I have to wait another week for one to come in from Rhode Island.
Speaking of Fry’s, I wanted to check out their prices on 256MB sticks of PC100 SODIMM RAM. So I poured over their confusing grid of memory prices until an associate finally acknowledged me. I asked him what the cheapest price for the RAM I needed was. He punched i up into the computer and then called someone else. I couldn’t hear the conversation. Then he turned back around and said they didn’t have any! I thought he might tell me that all the good priced RAM was gone, but not that I couldn’t get it at all! I only have 64MB right now and I get programs dying for lack of RAM.
One last thing… I was all set to get this ultra-portable laptop ready to go today because all I needed was the proprietary Dell IDE connector that arrived in the mail today. I had to preload the OS onto the hard drive because the laptop I was installing it into has no drives but the single hard drive. I got everything set up to the point where I could connect it to the network and transfer the rest of the files onto it that way. I went to install it and it was too thick! I hadn’t even considered that that old laptop would use the slim form factored hard drives found in current systems. So all that work was for nothing. Now I’m looking for another hard drive.