two steps forward one step back

Charles Hallenbeck chuckh at
Tue Dec 11 09:45:25 EST 2001

I am recovering from a catastrophic failure here, caused by an
accumulation of cat hair in my fans and a runaway heating problem. I lost
a power supply, a processor, and a motherboard. On the theory that every
catastrophe is just a disguised opportunity, I upgraded my hardware rather
than simply replacing it. I am now running an AMD Athlon processor at 1400
MHz with 256 MB ram instead of the 600 MHz Athlon with 64 MB ram I was
previously using.

That is the good news.

The bad news is - while the old motherboard had an ISA slot, the new one
does not. And while the old system ran DOS on a small partition, the new
system will not run DOS. Attempting to run DOS causes the loader to switch
to rerunning Linux, but when that happens Linux hangs up when about 90%
through the boot process with no speech, no keyboard control, and no error
messages left on the screen.

The reason I have preserved a DOS partiti9on is to support two legacy apps
I have relied on. One is the Arkenstone Openbook software which runs under
Windows 3.11. The ISA slot on the old system supported a scanner interface
card for this ancient Scanjet Plus flat bed scanner, so without that card
and without DOS/Win3.11, I guess I kiss Arkenstone goodbye.

The other legacy app is an old DOS version of "CheckFree" with which I pay
my bills electronically. So I guess I kiss my bill paying goodbye.

I will probably move the Scanjet card and Arke;nstone software to an old
486SX which will also run the CheckFree program too, so all is not as
bleak as I made out. However, it seems too bad to ask a 486SX to do OCR
when a perfectly good Athlon XP 1600+ is spinning its wheels on email and
web browsing trivia.

The only thing I can think to do is collar someone to help me sort through
the menus of the CMOS setup program on my new system to see if there are
some settings that might sabotage my DOS. If anyone knows what I might
look for on the setup menus I would appreciate some suggestions.

Ain't computers fun?


Visit me at
The Moon is Waning Crescent (12% of Full)

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