Well after a weekend spending hours setting things up, demonstrating how things work, things blew up in my face. Suddenly the application I was demonstrating to a user disappeared from their PC. Then Sunday, spent the entire day (til 7:30 PM) fighting a series of viruses, adware and malware on a house full of 3 PCs, just to have them all drag to their knees. Damn I'm in for the long haul correcting that one.
So I trudged forward on Monday just to have an odd amount of little crap go wrong for me. I know this will be like this for the next few days, as I have been here before. Not sure if it's karma, the sun, the moon or the stars, but life is dumping on me as I blog.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to inherit a great laptop, for free. An IBM ThinkPad (StinkPad), so today I endeavored to install XP and Ubuntu Linux as dual boot. I have a desktop PC at home that tri-boots, vista, xp and ubuntu. The laptop wasn't having it with regards to XP. The CD boots, as soon as it says starting Windows, it turns the whole laptop off. Tried bios settings and other fixes, older XP cds (w & w/o Service packs) to no avail. Then I tried Linux. Linux worked like the champ it is. Even Ultimate Boot CD worked, but not an installation. So forward I went with Linux.
I've used linux on my web servers for years, even accessing with a terminal (putty) and I'm pretty comfortable with working within Linux. My one failing point is hardware and troubleshooting. So today I get a nice taste of some raw Linux via ubuntu. Oddly enough a lot of the documentation begins with, OK now you've got ubuntu installed, lets begin working. Not sure of any other Network Administrators, but whenever I get a fresh install of an OS, the FIRST thing I do, is grab hardware drivers. The laptop has a built in WiFi card. Ubuntu found the sound card, all controllers, the video, I think it even found bluetooth. Not the WiFi card, It's an intel something or other.
The Forums tell me to find wlan-ng, I did, I popped it onto a usb stick, copied to the laptop, untarred, and there sits the driver. How the heck I install them, No Clue. The version of Ubuntu I have is a couple versions behind, so I started grabbing the latest. Perhaps it will have the drivers included, but that does not step me any closer to troubleshooting and installing new hardware. Oh well.
So now I'm checking out all the Open Source apps available, and I am impressed. Ubuntu will be far better than the other MS OS's (Vista or XP). The small setback? No MS Office, no Windows apps really. I will try Wine, to run them, but im not confident, Yet. So here I go, setting the example of Open Source operating systems, and the plethora of applications available. This DEFINITELY includes LAMP (Linux of course, Apache (webServer), MySQL (powerful database engine), PHP (programming language), and Perl (another Programming Language).
I plan to use the laptop as a development platform for rich web applications. I'm kinda glad XP didn't work like it does on thousands of other PCs. Sometimes a weekend from hell, can turn into a shining light at the end of a tunnel.
I will be posting code to my sourceforge project, well commented so that others may learn how to create web apps. I'll also include a list of tools I install from the open source repository, there's so many I want (30gb HD says I won't get em all). So until my next post, remember there is no good or evil, simply the yin and the yang.
Labels: IBM, Intellectual Property, laptop, Linux, MySQL, Open Source, Perl, PHP, programming, Ubuntu, XP