My computer died. It was/is 5 years old, so maybe not so unexpected. Either the hard drive killed the power supply or vice-versa. The motherboard is showing symptoms of death, but still functions. I spent a good part of the weekend troubleshooting components with my geeky, but totally awesome, brother.
The thing is I am refusing to upgrade to Vista. (Did you hear that Microsoft, no Vista). For one thing, my computer can't support it and for another I thought XP was good enough. So I had a choice.. Go through the pains of reinstalling Win98 and my upgrade version of XP (and consequently re-verifying my windows with MS) or moving to a completely new OS. The cost of buying a higher end computer with Vista is out of the budget. And yes, I know a new computer can be had for very little, but I have no extra cash this month. I guess that is what happens when the car repair and a bath remodel are supposed to happen this month. Ack!
So I am making the leap to Linux, specifically Ubuntu. My awesome brother got it installed and set-up on a new hard drive over the weekend. The decision was actually easy. I have been testing various forms of Linux OS's for the last few months trying to decide which way to go. 90% of the software that I use is already open source and is available for Linux. There are a few things I lost in the hard drive crash, but thankfully I had done a backup of critical things a few weeks ago. In any event, I am not panicking right now (and believe me the last time this happened I did). DH has lent me the use of his laptop and I can continue to manage the store without interruption.
So now, I am anxiously tracking a brand new power supply every couple of hours. If it comes today, I will be testing hardware. If the new power supply doesn't work, then it is a motherboard issue and I get to shop for a new motherboard and processor. It used to be that building a computer was cheaper than buying, but today it is only marginally cheaper. In any event, I gotta save those pennies....