In one day, in one fell swoop, I both installed linux on my desktop machine at work, and fixed all the weird errors I was getting on my machine at home.
The linux install was pretty much an all-day affair. We started around noon, using partition magic to split everything up (so I didn’t loose the XP install, and I’m even set up to boot from it, if I so desire. I’ll be doing that later today to move my mp3s to the linux readable/writeable fat32 partition we created just for that purpose. I guess linux can only read Windows’ standard ntfs format, and even reading is a little spotty.) After that it was clear sailing, (with a few tidal waves along the way). My co-worker Matt was really the brains behind the whole opperation, although Ryan has been around the linux block himself, and was the one who convinced Matt we should go with Debian instead of Fedora. One might say Matt was the wind beneath my penguin wings.
By the end of the day (ie, seven and a half hours later) we even wrote a CD with memtest86 on it for me to use at home. I loaded that up at home and was immediately getting errors. Thousands of them. So later in the evening, after dinner, and a scintilating hour or two at a bar with Kristin (who is in from NY for a few days) I started swapping out memory sticks, and found the faulty one! Amazingly, no more checksum errors. Windows didn’t spontaniously reboot, not even once! I ran all my anti-spyware/virus software, disabled some startup processes (like iTunes, who wants to run some background thing, but works just fine without it) and now the machine appears to startup much faster than before.