In a bizarro-World event that I'm still trying to rationalize, my wife reminded me that I haven't bought a desktop computer for about 5 years. It's not overly slow (1.6GHz), but I figured I'd take advantage of the situation and pick up a new machine.

I decided to go with a SATA (Serial ATA) drive, as the theoretical bandwidth on it is faster than most IDE drives. The fact that the drive is quiet helps. Finally got all the parts last night, so, I sat down to get it all together. Went quite well, for its size, the Shuttle was easy to work with -- very much unlike some other small machines I had in the past (where blood was let during the assembly process due to aluminum cuts).

Popped in the XP CD to start setup. No drive available.

Quick trip to the Shuttle support site. I need to install the SATA driver (the whole, “Press F6 if you have a custom SCSI or RAID driver”).

oooookay Where's the driver?

Ah, here it is, on the CD that came with the machine.

Oh, I need it on a floppy. I don't have a floppy in the new machine.

No problem, I have a USB floppy for just this purpose.

Ah, the USB subsystem isn't started by that point in install, it doesn't even probe for the Floppy. I can boot off the floppy, but I can't use it to provide a driver.

No problem, I'll just pull the floppy out of my other machine temporarily.

Oh, it's RIVETTED INTO THE CASE

oooookay, I'll just put the machines close to one another and run the ribbon cable across.

Gee, that doesn't fit very well. Oh, how nice -- the unnamed manufacturer of my old computer has decided that having a custom pinout on their floppy drives is a good thing to prevent people from doing such things. They have pin 2 blocked, when the standard is to have pin 3 blocked.

The only good news last night was that Linux wouldn't install either. I didn't try my old OS/2 CDs, but I'm thinking not.

Hopefully, the saga will have a happy ending tonight. The Mighty D has provided a spare floppy and cable to rescue me for the umpteenth time. Hopefully, by tonight I'll have the new machine (it was going to be 'Ballista', but now I'm going to call it 'Petard').

TTFN - Kent
PS: The moral of the story is (I think), “The difference between bleeding edge and leadig edge is pretty thin at times, but either can cut pretty well.”