Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Linux is Lovely

My Linux box crashed a little over a week ago and it upset my whole mental apple cart. I wasn't doing anything particularly bad, surfing the net, and maybe I opened one too many commercial, bloated websites, but it crashed the system but good. When I rebooted all I got was the command line interface, the GUI was gone. Okay, I am not going to try and figure out how to fix it, I'll just reinstall the OS. I've done that before, so it's not like I will have to learn anything completely new, though since it's been a year since I last had to do this it may seem like it.

As I recall, the last time I used an 8 gigabyte USB flash drive. I should still have it, I mean nothing ever gets thrown away, but rooting around in my pile of computer parts failed to turn it up. Okay, fine, download the latest version and burn a DVD, which means I need to fire up my old Zbox, because while my current box has a DVD drive, it is not a burner. The Zbox does. But the Zbox internet connection is screwed up.

So I boot the backup partition on my main box, download the 2 gigabyte iso image file, and copy it to an external hard drive (I have a stack of them. Pick one, any one), carry this external drive over to the Zbox, plug it in, and burn a DVD using Brasero.

Install the latest OS over the broken one and we're back! And then I turn to YouTube and there's no sound. WTF? We've had sound coming out of PC's since day one, how can there be no sound? Poke and prod and find that Intel makes 35 different versions of the sound chip my system uses and the driver doesn't necessarily recognize all of them. The recommended fix is to replace the kernel with a newer/older/different one. Now all I have to do it figure out which one I have, which ones are available, and how to replace just the kernel. I suppose I'll sort it out eventually, but it's kind of a pain.

I suppose a the smart thing to do would be to buy a new system, and if my time had any cash value that would be an option, but since it doesn't, I get to play plumber.

Huh? Follow me down an analogous rathole and I will explain.

The toilet in the master bath started leaking. The fill valve and its fittings are the usual culprit being as they are under pressure, but the underside of the shutoff valve (where the water supply line comes out of the wall) was dry, and any leak from the supply side will run down the line and drip off the bottom of this valve. So if it's not the fill valve, it must be the wax gasket where the toilet meets the sewer pipe. That's happened here a couple of times, but the toilet is solidly mounted, so maybe not. What else could it be? There is a little water where the tank mounts to the base. Could that be it? I've never seen one of those joints fail before, but it sure seems like the culprit. Pull the tank and the gasket. It doesn't look really bad, but it's doesn't look great either, so off to Lowe's where I pick up a couple of Kohler tank gaskets and a Fluidmaster flush valve kit. Get home and examine what I've got. The Kohler gaskets don't look to be quite right. Open up the Fluidmaster kit and, lo and behold! A perfect gasket! Put the toilet back together and we're in business.

If I had called a plumber to fix this, it probably would have taken a week to get someone to come out, and they would have simply replaced the toilet and charged me $500.

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