Monday, February 22, 2010

Flatten and Reinstall -- It's the only way

Yesterday my main computer went mad. Software that I was trying to use refused to run, and it refused to reinstall, so I backed up everything, wiped the hard drive clean, and whipped out my reinstall scripts.
I deliberately broke their automation to a degree. After all, by default it would restore binaries of my applications, as would be appropriate were I to be, say, replacing the hard drive. But I want it to replace the software with new, sane, software, and to monitor the process in case everything went crazy. And I learned some things.
For one, large amounts of my script are now broken, thanks to distribution changes. Thank you very much, upstream. Some of it is my fault -- I expand archives to the temporary directory instead of my intention, the root directory. Some of it is upstream's fault, due to my list of software now involving circular dependencies unless I specify it literally one at a time. I can automate around this, of course, but it's one more irritation in the system.
On the plus side of this, this ends all hanging dependencies, all out of date software, and all substandard anything. Everything on the computer is now shiny and new on the software level, which is awesome.
Now for the mad engineering level, which I know you're all anxious for, embedded wall computer. We drill a hole in the wall, and put a computer and touch screen inside it, connect them, then seal around the touch screen with drywall. Tape over the screen, paint the wall, and remove the tape. It will seem like your entire wall is a computer now, especially if it has a domotics (better known as home automation) software installed on it. Control your entire house...from your living room wall. Awesome

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