Except when it isn’t. And even then it’s fun!
I got a replacement CPU, motherboard, and RAM (also an SSD!) for my 4-year-old desktop. Still no news of my Thinkpad’s ongoing repairs, but I’m pretty sure having a desktop will suit my needs for now.
I went ahead and set up a dual-boot environment with Windows 7 and Arch Linux. There was a time when this would have been easy for me, but I’m a little out of touch with computer-building, and the Arch setup process has gotten slightly more complex than it once was. So I initially forgot to set the RAM timing properly, which caused a bunch of problems with Windows.
Once I’d spent a day or so figuring that out, I decided to set up the linux side. I had used the SSD for my base Windows install, and it’s crazy-fast. So I plugged in the Arch install disk, which used to come with the Arch Installation Framework (basically an install wizard). They’ve recently removed it from the install media, so I was a little confused. I didn’t want to screw anything up, and I didn’t have a ton of time to spend learning to manually partition my hard drives using cfdisk or parted, so I burned a Gparted disk image and did it a nice, safe GUI. Oh, except that one of my older hard drives started screeching at me like a tiny metal banshee. I suppose it’s what I get for using several-year-old hardware.
So I install Arch and GRUB2, and finally everything is going swimmingly. I’ve set up internet printing using CUPS for the first time, so no more messing with my printer’s USB cable when I want to print from a laptop. I’ve also set up my desktop as a dynamic dns client using freedns.afraid.org, so I can hopefully remote-access it even when CNS changes my IP (which they’ve started doing in the past couple years. Gross).
Oh, another thing: Somewhere along the line, I tried installing Ubuntu via Wubi, and was weirded out at the output of `df -lh`. What exactly is a loop-mounted partition? This requires further study.