I finally went and done it. I fucked up my puter good and proper.
Well, it wasn’t so much the puter or even the Linux, it was the update to Linux that has had me off line for the last couple of days. But looking on the bright side it gave me a challenge, and I like challenges.
You see, for various reasons that seemed sensible at the time, I decided to reinstall my operation system to the proper release of Mint 19 instead of their testy version. Now, as soon as I have the system running again, the first thing I do is to install Word and Excel. I know that all other programmes will work so I leave them until later, but Office is a bitch to install in Linux so I set about that first.
I have installed it on just about every version up until now, but suddenly it failed. And what was worse, it just failed – no warnings, no errors, no nothing which kind of left me in the dark.
I could have just treated that as a fuckit moment, installed the rest of my stuff and leave it until another time. But, and as I said, it’s a big BUT, I enjoy a challenge so I set to work. My first port of call was to the Interweb, but I ran into a problem there – Mint 19 was only released during the week, and obviously no one had been stupid enough to try installing Office on it, so there was no help there whatsoever.
I tried everything, including several reloads and formatting disks to get rid of old scraps and shards that tend to fall out of programmes and clutter the place up, and even jamb the cogs.
Last night I found the cause of the problem. I don’t know how I found it as it was just a somewhat weird flash of thought. Did the system have a little yoke called ‘ia32-libs’. I checked. It was missing. I installed it [and the dozens of little libs that it depended on]. I tried installing Office and it worked without a single hiccup! I then went about installing all the other programmes that I usually use and that took about five minutes.
So that’s over. I’m back and am glowing with that smug self satisfaction I get from solving a problem.
The irony is that I was getting desperate and had checked out LibreOffice which is the Linux version of that bastarding yoke called Microsoft Office. LibreOffice worked fine and I am more than prepared to use it from now on. But the challenge would still be there lurking in the background like a failure, sniggering at me. So now that I have installed the Microsoft chunky shit I will probably never use it.
I will leave it there however. Now I can watch the little icons gathering dust in my menu. And every time I see those icons, I’ll be the one having the little snigger of success.
On a side note, but on the same subject, I had one of those phone calls the other day. You know the ones? “I’m calling to fix your Microsoft computer” ones?
Once I had heard his opening spiel I asked him how he knew I had a computer. He said that I had been listed on the Microsoft database. I said that was fair enough [although I knew it was bollox]. I dragged him out a bit asking if he knew what make of computer I had and he had to patiently explained that the make wasn’t relevant. I teased out the conversation with inane questions just so see how soon I could wear down his patience. In fairness to him, he remained thoroughly polite throughout.
I then asked if the problem extended to Linux. That one stumped him. He told me patiently that my problem was definitely on my computer and could I please open Windows so we could sort it out.
I was getting a little bored at this stage so I asked him if his database had all the details about me. He said it did. I asked if it contained my profession. He said it didn’t. So I told him to update it stating my profession as ‘Computer Engineer’.
“YOU FUCkING BASTARD” he yelled and hung up.
It actually sounded quite melodic in an accent from the Indian sub continent.