Sometimes I wish we could do without all this tiresome hardware. Of course, I have to do without the hardware I need for hacking on Krita for a while, since I returned my laptop to Tryllian today. Monday will be my first day with Omnitrans.

Still, that gives me time to try to get my daughters’ hardware working. Menna and Rebecca are going to get a new laptop each (a Lenovo 300 C200) for their birthday, on Sunday, and I want to make sure it runs Linux before then. And running means sound and wireless network. Which is kinda hard.

Kubuntu apparently installs something called avahi and another something called network manager that insists on inventing IP addresses instead of asking my dhcp server about it. Besides, the wireless adapter is a broadcom, and I need to perform various incantations I haven’t needed for years to get it working. And then, on rebooting, nothing works again. The simple Intel sound chip doesn’t produce any sound, although the mixer sees it just fine. Silence is golden.

In the meantime, Naomi’s laptop — the last of the famous Dells — is acting up. Somehow, the pcmcia wifi card no longer works. I guess it’s the cradle, because the same card works fine in my ancient Pismo. So I bought a Sitecom USB wifi stick. Modules get loaded, and I’ve been able to use it using Feisty and Gutsy, though not after rebooting. OpenSuse and Mandriva Spring 2007 don’t see it at all.

And worse, for my teenaged Amarok-addict, sound suddenly stopped working completely after I upgraded her laptop from Breezy to any of the four distributions above. Once I managed to make sound work again with Gutsy, through some recompilation of alsa modules — but as soon as I got the usb wifi stick working, sound stopped working.

I’ve got a day off tomorrow, and somehow, I already know what I will be doing. And it’s not hacking on Krita.