A new computer came into existence in our house yesterday. Kirsten got together with her family and our friend Aida to raise funds for a Macbook for me (Thank you again, Carol, John, Nat, Del, and Aida!). I've spent the day yesterday getting files off of my Windows box and onto this computer, as I expect it to become my primary machine. I've named it "Eames" in honour of its genesis, the completion of my thesis. It'll also help me to keep in mind one of the reasons I wanted a laptop in the first place -- to do more writing.
Not a moment too soon
As it turns out, the Macbook couldn't have come a moment too soon. Part of the impetus for getting me this computer was the frustration I was expressing with Windows. On Friday, I started having problems with my Windows computer, luckyfrog. It started out simple enough - stuttery performance. But it started getting a little weirder; suddenly it was looping into a failed installation of the Logitech Setpoint software. It didn't matter that I was trying to install a completely different program - it insisted on trying to install Setpoint. And, of course, Setpoint failed during installation because it was trying to install itself to 2E:\. That's not a typo (at least on my part); it really did want to install itself to the drive 2E:.
After I got the files I needed off of the Windows computer, I decided that it was probably time to reinstall Windows. And this is where things started getting much, much worse. First, it wouldn't write the the drive (I was going to just do an 'upgrade' to XP SP2, using a slipstreamed CD). I tried formatting the drive, and it failed about 40% through.
Things went downhill from there. Now, the computer started rebooting shortly after starting off the CD. Thinking that maybe the CD had become scratched, etc, I pulled out the Linux CDs. It started rebooting there too; it would start scanning hardware and reboot during that scan.
Think I know the problem though.
At this point, I'm thinking the motherboard has gone. It's really the only thing that might be causing the problem. I'll have to get a new motherboard on Monday, and replace the one that's in there now.