Archive for the ‘Stupid Interruptions’ Category

Back to windoze

February 3, 2009

The Ubuntu desktop gets in the way too much. The core functionality is surprisingly good, and the collection of miscellaneous distractions in moving from Windoze (lower screen resolution, missing bookmarks, missing address book, no email history, …) is too much of a distraction right now. There appears to be astonishing new and needed functionality FOR FREE in this world (see
below), and I need to finish the task at hand before I get distracted by
the cool new stuff that beckons.

It was astoundingly easy to migrate yesterday’s work from the Ubuntu platform back to this one. Git/Github is amazing.

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Changing platforms

February 2, 2009

I’ve been forced to change to an Ubuntu platform.

This is perhaps not a bad thing, although it comes at an awkward time. I suspect that a great many PC users will find themselves doing the same, and perhaps it even represents a business opportunity for Zeetix, LLC and especially ZeeForge. In this post, I explain why.

Motivation

I have been keeping my old and creaky WinXP platform alive long past its prime because there IS NO viable WinXP alternative. The platform in question is a 32-bit 3.06GHz P4. It is nearly impossible to buy a 32 bit intel machine today. A PC buyer, today, is forced to buy 64-bit “multi-core” machines with slower clock speeds. Since virtually NO software currently supports parallel processing in any effective way, the effect is that today’s machines are slower. The OS I have depended on — 32-bit WinXP — doesn’t run on the new machines (although it may walk).

I’m therefore forced to choose a new OS. The choices available from Microsoft are 64-bit WinXP, Vista and Windows7. None is reliable, and Vista in particular simply doesn’t work. The bottom line?

It’s time for me — and, I assert, millions of PC users like me — to move to Linux. Specifically, Ubuntu.

Why today?

The cooling fan on my old platform died this morning. A new one will come tomorrow or the day after. I can’t afford the downtime. The cooling fan is only the latest piece of the old machine to wear out. I lost nearly 400G of archives because the old Firewire connection (supplied by the equally old SB Audigy sound card!) died, and scribbled on the volume during my last backup. After a trip to MicroCenter, a new sound card, new Firewire card, new backup volume, and a day spent loading, rebooting, unloading, rebooting, updating, rebooting — you know the drill — its been days since I did any productive work. The fan bearings have been squealing for weeks (I tried to buy a new one yesterday, but of course MicroCenter doesn’t stock the odd size used by Gateway), and this morning the squealing — and the fan — stopped. Ouch.

The Plan

The new laptop (from which I’m typing this) is dual-booted between Vista and Ubuntu. Here’s the plan:

1. Boot into Vista, plug in the backup drives, and coalesce two mostly empty volumes (1.5T and 1.0T) into the one larger one, giving me 1T of clean backup space.

2. Format and partition the 1T drive for Linux, using the Vista partition manager.

3. Restore, from the 1.5T Win volume, the code I need (python, ruby, sql, and a bunch of related stuff) to a directory tree I can access from Ubuntu. I think, though I’m not sure, that most of this is in the new master repository I just pushed to github on Saturday.

4. Boot into Ubuntu and create the development environment I’ll need. This means:

4a. Create the necessary databases in mysql, as well as the needed users.

4b. Download and install linux versions of Komodo and Wingware.

4c. Download, install, and configure Apache

4d. Insure that Python, ModPython, and Perl are at compatible rev levels.

5. Exercise and debug the Zeetix/ZeeForge installation on Ubuntu.

Hopefully, by the end of the exercise, I’ll be able to then continue the ZeeUnit (ZeeTest, ZeeTestTest, etc) development process on Ubuntu.