As some of you may know, the classic arcade game cabinet that I built about a year ago died a while back. Couldn’t even get to the BIOS.
I asked around on Freecycle for anyone local willing to get rid of an older computer. Unfortunately, the replies I received were from people trying to get rid of ancient computers, like 386s. That wasn’t quite sufficient.
Finally, on Wednesday, I broke down and bought a $200 desktop EeePC. It came with Windows, a lot of games, and not much else. I forgot how stripped down those things are: no
Of more direct concern: it came with Windows XP
Do I keep Windows on it and struggle to set that up for what I need, or do I struggle to install Ubuntu and then set it up using my “known good” configuration?
This is how technology is complicated. It’s not so much the complexity of the components; it’s the complexity of their interaction.
The EeePC isn’t built to support the installation of a Linux OS. It’s just not easy to do (my initial attempts to boot off a USB drive were complete failure).
On the other side of the fence, it’s much harder to configure Windows and the various apps for exactly what I want to do (start an app in
There’s no right answer. One makes a choice and moves forward in one direction.
I spent a few hours trying to install Ubuntu via a USB drive. Unfortunately, the EeePC simply wouldn’t boot off of USB, no matter what I did, and some Googling indicated that EeePC desktops often have that problem.
So I abandoned Ubuntu and concentrated on installing MameUI. After fiddling with the keyboard controls, I finally got it mostly, essentially, working. I’ve still got a few more things to fix, but I can play games on my cabinet now.
This is why optimization rarely works. We can’t know what’ll work until we try.