Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Linux for Human Beings

Okay, I have to admit it... if I checked my biorhythms, I'd find that my geekiness was in the ascendant.

Ever since I had to replace the hard drive in my notebook PC (moving up from a slow 60GB drive to a fast 100GB one), I've been itching to do something else with all that real estate.

It's not that I hate Microsoft or Bill Gates (heck, I just bought some MSFT stock), but a lot of the fun that I had in the early days of desktop PCs just seems to have dissipated. I think part of it is that I just know Windows XP and Office 2003 so well, that they don't really present much of a challenge any more.

Anyway, I decided to set my notebook as a dual-boot (Windows XP/Linux) machine. It took me a few attempts (see below), but this blog is coming to you courtesy of Ubuntu Linux.

Attempt 1: Ubuntu 5.1 - AMD64 version
This loaded okay, but I soon hit multiple problems because of the unavailability of some key 64-bit Linux drivers.

Attempt 2: OpenSUSE 10.0
This one loaded okay too, but didn't do as well with recognizing my wide screen (1280 x 800). For many Linux distros (this one included), one of the key challenges is getting wireless access working. If you google for help, you enter a world of what could be taken for black magic and mysterious incantations. Maybe I didn't have the right type of chicken bones to scatter, but after an hour or so I gave up. I would have tried longer, but SUSE didn't seem to run too fast on my machine, so I decided that it was time to move on.

Attempt 3: Ubuntu 5.1 - x86 version
It was a little frustrating to have to fall back on the plain vanilla (x86) version, as it doesn't take advantage of the Athlon 64-bit processor that I have. Having said that, it did let me get wireless access up and running (by cleverly 'wrapping' the Windows driver, so that Linux could use it), and so I'm ready to forgive a lot.

Okay... I promise I'll try and get out more ... must see more shows... MUST SEE MORE SHOWS!


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