Okay, so I'm still in the process of reinstalling Windows 2000. This is the frist time I've done it since I bought my computer in April 2000 (to come to Spain, actually). It's been slowly degrading for the past several months. Finally last night I tried to install the new Firewire card - which is supposed to have a driver already part of Win2k - and I couldn't do it. Something happened so that it could never find the default drivers whenever I installed something new.
To fix this, I decided to install Service Pack 3 out of some vain attempt to fix the problem with some new software. The only thing that did was WACK my USB drivers, including my USB ADSL Modem that I use to connect to the internet. And since I can't install drivers because of the wacky reason above, this was the end.
I was thinking about doing a repair instead of a reinstall, but decided that the time has come to do a total reinstall. I did cut a small corner that instead of copying all 14 gigs of crap I've built up on this machine to my other box, wiping the drive and starting that way, I decided to just do a defrag (last night) and then reinstall Win2k into a different directory. This actually was worked out fine so far.
Even though I did go through the steps to get the latest Windows Update stuff (SP3 and IE6) I'm actually using this as an opportunity to wean myself off of Microsoft entirely. I'm keeping strict track of the apps I'm installing and only using the apps that I really, really need. OpenOffice is now the only version of Office on my computer. It's been there, but I've always gone back to the old one. By keeping track of which apps I really need and use that are Windows specific, I'll be able to eventually move to Linux as my main OS and use a bare-bones Win2k install using VMware for those other apps. Now that I've got all the cruft off my system, it's nice to see clearly what I need and what I don't (Macromedia stuff mostly).
Man, I'm almost Microsoft free... I actually don't mind Win2k all that much. It's not horrible. But this is not my OS of the future - I'll never upgrade to XP or beyond because of Microsoft's ever-wackier licenses. A Unix variant will be my future, whether it's OSX or Linux (the later being because I can't afford the former). So I'm doing what I need to now to be able to interopt with the world. I really can't wait for RedHat 8... I think that may be the OS I finally switch to on this machine.
Back to the installs. I've got Moz and Java installed, so the rest isn't really that important, but I want to get it done tonight.