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  #1  
Old 28th October 2005, 03:31 PM
dayal_78 Offline
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Posts: 57
My two cents

Hi,
I just want to share my thoughts/experiences regarding my ongoing rendezvous with linux on my desktop environment.
Before I used to interact with *nix systems only on a server environment using SSH/SCP. Primarily I am a server side programmer,
with a specialization in middle tier services, EIS integration etc. I program on J2EE and till date I have mostly used Open Source API's/tools/software for my programming requirements.
There were cases when I worked with Oracle 9i database/XML DB, Visual Studio 6.0 etc etc but thats in the past.

I decided to give a kickstart to my desktop experience on my Dell desktop with FC4. Anaconda carried me real well through out the install process. Initially I had some problems getting my Audio working
but with great help from these forums and after upgrading alsa I got my audio working. I still have to work out some kinks as far as sound/video are concerned.

After getting excited from my FC4 experience I decided to install Ubuntu on my new Dell laptop. I created a separated partition so that I can have both winXP and
Ubuntu on my single 100GB HD. I chose Ubuntu because I have heard that Breezy is real good and it just works out of the box. I thought its perfect as I want my laptop to be highly available.
Any learning/tweaking etc I can do on my desktop.As promised Ubuntu looks real good and the OS recognized all my hardware, well almost.
I had to tweak my IPW 2200 drivers a bit to get my wireless working properly and I had to remove WPA authentication on my network as Ubuntu doesn't have WPA support out of the box.
I can access windows shares ok with samba but I am not being able to access other samba shares. I guess more tweaking to do as far as samba is concerned.

The above two success stories gave me an itch to dive deeper and I bought a used HP desktop for about a hundred bucks. I installed FC4 on it and decided that It will be my webserver.
I even registered a domain name and installed all server services on it. After two very long nights I finally was able to connect Apache and Tomcat using mod_jk.
Apache recommends to download the binaries for integration but they never work as I found the hard way. I had to download the source for jk connector and compile it locally.
Bam soon my home page is up on my tomcat machine and I can access it seamlessly using port 80 via my Apache server.

I decided to migrate to Open Office 2.0. But when I edit any word documents created by MS Word on OO and vice versa the formatting is getting seriously messed up.
Also eventhough OO is great I personally think that MS Office is still much better and matured. I hate its propietary stuff and I hope they adhere some open standard some day. But when I think about Apple not releasing their
awesome OSX for x86, I can understand Microsoft's case a little better. Well I can go rant about the pros and cons of the above but that will spoil this thread's purpose.
I decided to install Crossover on my laptop to access MS Office. I downloaded a trial version of CrossOver Office 4.0, but unfortunately it only supports Office XP.
So I decided to downgrade from Office 2003 to Office XP as personally I dont give a crap about all the new features in Office products. I can still use Office 97 for all my word processing requirements but I guess
just like 90% of the people on this planet I have the fear that I might not be able to view the documents created on the younger office suites.
CrossOver is a great product and I can use IE (I hate to say this, but yes) to access IE Only websites. My DVD playback/MP3 playback is still messed up on my Ubuntu but I guess it just needs more learning and tweaking.
Again I am not being able to access other samba shares on my Ubuntu. When I try to do a samba mount it errs out saying "...bad block in /home/share...." etc etc.

Surprisingly through out the above ordeal I realized that I am spending 95% of my time installing/compiling/tweaking/researching to get my software and hardware live in harmony on my linux work stations.
I guess its just like trying rollerblades for the first time. But since programming is and I guess will be my bread and butter I have to reverse the above time sharing. I learnt a great deal from my linux interaction
so far and I still have tons to learn. Since my primary task is programming and I have been doing the same on windows boxes for the last umpteen years I am very comfortable doing the same on a windows box.
I finally fired up my WinXP install on my laptop after a gap of 15 days and I completed a great deal of work that has been pending for a while now. So finally I am having a feeling that linux on my laptop is contradicting
my initial requirement of having a highly available laptop. I want my laptop compatible with all the great new advances in technology. So I am thinking of removing linux from my laptop partition. I have a desktop that I will use to completely install linux and
continue my learning experience while I use my laptop for programming etc. I believe there are a lot of programmers over there like me who had the same experience when they first started with linux, moving away from programming (application programming) and getting closer to
sys-admin type stuff. I guess once I go deeper with linux I will be much comfortable but can everything else stop spinning to allow me to do this? unfortunately no.

I owe linux a great deal for teaching me tons of stuff about networking, kernels, device drivers etc etc and for brining me out of the windows dumb shell.
But for desktop app development in Java/J2EE I still have to use windows for some time due to all the above reasons.

Please give me your thoughts.

Thanks
Dayal
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  #2  
Old 28th October 2005, 04:17 PM
tejas Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bangalore
Age: 27
Posts: 1,574
Linux provides so much more opportunities in the programming windows

For example, I am currently learning Python, which in my opinion is amongst the greates languages ever

It is easy to use, and to learn.

But it is not only for sys admins.
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  #3  
Old 30th October 2005, 05:53 AM
Jman Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota, USA
Age: 29
Posts: 7,909
Interesting requirement for a laptop to be highly available, that's used to mean continuously available for servers. But I know what you mean, when a laptop's all you have it has to work.

I hope you continue to use free software in your work, particularly as an open source JRE matures.

Moved to Linux Chat.
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  #4  
Old 30th October 2005, 06:51 PM
dayal_78 Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 57
Jman..
Sorry for the confusion.
I didnt mean highly available on the same lines as of a 99% uptime server. I meant all the basic SW-HW should just work without any tweaking. Linux is great and is my favorite but unfortunately all the vendors tune their applications for a windows machine or a Mac. I will be using Open source for all my work. When I had to install dreamweaver on my crossover and I read somewhere that Dreamweaver works with some bugs I said to heck with it and developed my whole website using 'gedit'. I could use quanta plus or something lese but if I had to use CSS all over to skin the interface then gedit would be more than sufficient.

3 cheers for open source
-Dayal
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  #5  
Old 31st October 2005, 05:48 AM
Jman Offline
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Location: Minnesota, USA
Age: 29
Posts: 7,909
Ah, the "just works" principle. Much sought after but rarely fully achieved.
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  #6  
Old 10th December 2005, 07:54 PM
blood Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
dayal_78

I echo your frustration. My employer, in an attempt to assure I am fully mobile, threw an Inspiron at me after I requested a Latitude model that I researched thoroughly with regard to Linux compat.

Well I'm not about to run XP on it, but after dealing with the BS around the ipw2200 drivers for nearly a week and a half I'm thinking twice. That and the issues around ACPI, APMD, or whatever the latest power management utility constellation is. I am not an idiot. However, when it comes to troubleshooting drivers and hardware it is not my forte, and more importantly I have better things to do with my time. I've recompiled the kernel twice attempting to get the cpu scaling working right as well but still no dice.

Thankfully, I'm running FC4 happily (with VMware for win2k when required) on my desktop workstation with no worries. However, as my travel schedule is getting busier I'm looking at the recovery disks more frequently.

I wish this worked better as I have folks looking to me that are interested in Linux. My recommendation will be to research their laptop of choice thoroughly at linux-laptops.org etc. and to run Linux in VMware on top of XP/2k as their baseline of functionality.

Doesn't that just suck?
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  #7  
Old 12th December 2005, 11:50 PM
dayal_78 Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 57
blood,
I totally agree with you. I think linux is far superior to Windows as an OS but I think its not ready yet to be an OS for laptops. Technically you can install a linux flavor on a laptop but you should be ready to spend a good deal of your time tweaking different things, making things work etc etc. As it is open source we have to wait for the OS community to develop drivers for any new hardware etc etc. For the same reason I think linux should be for Server machines and windows/OS X should be for laptops/client machines. I think windows should be a big no no for any mission critical serverware.
-D
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  #8  
Old 13th December 2005, 04:49 AM
IronWolf Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 198
I have to agree with several of the sentiments here. I really enjoy the power of Linux and the options available to one, but as far as the desktop is concerned it is still a bit rough around the edges. Much further along than when I first started using it many years ago, but still too rough for your typical person. I think over time though even this will improve.

I use Linux for several of my servers at work and still look for ways to work it in for more and more services as time goes on. So far it fills a nice niche role in my environment. I run it as my home server because I do not own copies of Windows Server OS's and my single low powered Linux box at home can easily meet my basic web server needs, file server needs, etc. I run Linux on my laptop just to keep me fresh and on top of what is happening in the Linux world. But I enjoy tinkering with my computer, others just want it to work for them, something Windows comes pretty darn close to doing these days.
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