The good thing about working in the PC industry is that there is always a spare machine somewhere. So I go out and ask for a spare R50e to try and get Linux and all my work stuff loaded in it. And somehow they let me have it.
Thus I ended up with 3 ThinkPads on my house:
(ThinkPad Orgy from left to right: TP R50e on Ubuntu, T60p on Windows, R50e on Windows)
Once again the whole installation process was painless. Ad the R50e hasn't got integrated wireless I use a PCMCIA card instead. That was one of my main concerns. A waste of worries. The OS booted and loaded drivers, and asked for my wireless passcode immediately. I had quite a pain configuring that on Windows, on Ubuntu it was just a 1 step process.
But not everything is bright and shiny. I have struggled with the VPN connection for the past day and a half. There are two alternatives, a C and PERL based dialer or another fancier thing... the catch is, I have to be an IBM US regular employee to grant myself access to that one. Luckily part of the IBM internal community is helping me to solve this.
I got the VPN working with my wireless... once. I used that connection to install Notes 8 and Sametime 7.5.1... they both worked flawlessly.
Getting that fixed is my final step towards complete work-migration to Linux...
PS: before anyone asks, there's two amplifiers under the PCs, a Bass Crate and a Guitar Marshall Valvestate.
I took a bold step ahead and deleted everything on my old desktop and installed Ubuntu feisty faun.
Installation was one of the most pleasurable Software experiences I ever had. Booted from CD, selected "install or run" and the mini-os loaded quite fast. On the desktop sat a link to install Ubuntu, that leads to 7 easy steps to setup installation.
The advantage was that, since I was already running the mini-os I could browse pages while it progressed.
After installation I faced the only minor glitch: configuring the nVidia driver. I was expecting that, since in my previous 4 Linux distributions I always had problems with it. The first time it took me about 3 days to figure the whole thing out. The last time I spent 2 hours; I was looking forward to a similar session. I was wrong. I got the 3D stuff working in 20 minutes. In case it is of any use to other Ubuntu users, all I had to do is run:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx
sudo nvidia-xconfig --add-argb-glx-visuals
(First line grabs the drivers and installs them, second line adds some very nice visual gadgets, although Ubuntu had a grephical interface to enable the advanced nVidia drivers, this did not work for me)
After that I played around for a bit and installed XAMPP for Linux. Started the webserver and laid back and relax watching everything go smoothly. I want to build a nice web development environment on that PC, on which I plan to have some geek fun. Ruby on Rails and Python support are on the pipeline. I do not intend to make the server public, just local to my home's network.
Now I'll talk about the interface. I've used gnome quite a while, but Ubuntu's Tailored version just rocks. Although it has a lot of visual effects (which you can enable or disable at will) it still performs smoothly. I have tried the cube desktop, with different things loaded in each of the 4 desktops, including transparencies and some 3D games in demo mode, still the system would not freeze. This is not a minor detail.
I have only unveiled just bits and pieces of the OS so far, yet what I've seen has a grip on me. What amazed me most is that I think that non-initiated users might find it is a very simple system to install and use. This was Linux's most prominent shortcoming, and I do believe Ubuntu did an amazing job solving it.
What's next? Installing archive and backup software (that should work for the Windows machines as well), and fine tunning everything on the machine.
Got two... 1 short.
I also have a desktop, recently upgraded to Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop Edition (It previously held a dual boot Windows - SuSe 9.3 configuration). I'll post about Ubuntu shortly, since I haven't had much time to play around with it lately; all I can say is that I've loved what I have seen so far about it.
Now, why do I need another Notebook? Well, I'll tell you about my other two ThinkPads first. One is my official work horse, a beaten up R50 that has resisted more abuse than I dare to say openly. I can't play too much with that since the PC is audited. The other machine is a personal, state-of-the-art T60p. This runs on Windows XP. I have considered making it Linux, yet the fact that my wife sporadically uses it for her work prevented me from doing so (since she runs some windows-only software).
Now the third one I need is a ThinkPad to run Linux on. I am very curious to play with Linux on one of such machines. I wonder how all of the built in TVTs run on it.
I guess I'll start saving some money to feed my geekiness in the future.
In a bold move Dell has opened up a survey to learn more about how users would like Dell Machines preloaded with Linux (the comments on Direct2Dell's posts are an interesting reading as well). Questions on the survey span from what dell brand you'd like to see preloaded with Linux to support going through what flavor in the way.
Dell has smartly achieved a couple of things with this: there's quite a fuzz about it (it went to slashdot, amongst others), they generate expectation from the Linux community and they deliver a positive "we're here, listening" image.
If they keep up in this path, I'll be pleased to watch.
My brain is still trying to process it. I've read around 20 articles on the subject, with different opinions and still can't make my own.
The webcast portraying the event is available at novell's website.
The thing is this: through god-knows-what legal resources MS and SUsE staff had made open source and proprietary patents somehow compatible. Of course this will go under serious scrutiny over the next months and some issues might rise, but the unthinkable has happened.
If Microsoft weren't Microsoft I'd gladly say a huge step towards common sense has been made. That the OS and computer industries will benefit largely form this, that it was a bold and intelligent move. But Microsoft has it's large personal record in taking advantage of such deals, whilst their counterparts loose enormously. The Apple Computer Inc. vs. Microsoft Corp. case comes to mind immediately.
Please list me on the sceptics list for this one.
To further support my scepticism while researching for this entry I came across an interesting entry on MS's web, dated November 3rd, with a very subtle title: Migrate from Novell.
We have only seen the tip of the iceberg here, but something already smells fishy...
PS: Ubuntu is starting to look very interesting as a replacement for my SUsE 9.3...
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Today... or during the course of this week I'll embrace a task only matched by those of Sir Francis Drake, Columbus or Magellan.
Well I'm exaggerating, but it sure does sound good.
Before you jump into it with your cool, fancy and new iPod, let me warn you this runs only on the first 3 generations of iPod. I'm cool with that since I have owned one of those since 2002 (go ahead, make the math: it's a first generation...)
The only thing that kind of makes me doubtful is that I'm reluctant to make backups of... well pretty much anything, and I'm not too much into ripping all the CDs I've tossed into the small gadget over the past 4 years yet again.
Shall I be brave and daring? I'll let you know the outcome of such adventure later this week.
Just a random thought while looking around blogs and stuff.
How about a semi-official site from Lenovo with support for Linux users only? Would this "disturb" Microsoft?
The more I look around the web the more evident it seems that ThinkPads are the weapons of choice of Linux users around the globe. This way it seems rather logical to provide some special support for them.
It sure would be a sort of bold move, and it would require quite some support from the Linux community (both from developers and from the user base). It'd be rather interesting to see how they react and how involved they are willing to get with a computer vendor.Everybody could learn from each other; if there are no "corporate restrictions" I'd certainly like to see it happen and I know pleanty of others would as well.
Sometimes I really like working for lenovo. Having the T60 delivered with a preloaded SuSE makes me very proud to be part of the company. It is a corageus move and I really pays off both for the Linux community and for Lenovo.
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