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I sipped the kool-aid

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I sipped the kool-aid

Old 09-24-07, 10:05 PM
  #1  
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I sipped the kool-aid

... but I haven't actually committed to drinking it!

I just slapped Ubuntu Linux on a spare P3 1GHz box I had laying around. It works, but I really don't like Gnome all that much. Of course, I don't care for KDE a whole lot, either. It's kind of sad that those two are the front runners for the so-called "Windows killer" Linux distributions.

I've shied away from Linux since about '97 or '98 when I discovered FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Ever since then, I've kind of had Linux on the back burner. Too many flavors, too much scope creep amongst kernel developers, too many groups fighting against each other for the "best" Linux solution, and far too many clueless people using it without knowing how to read FAQs, documentation, or support forums. They expect someone like me to answer all their questions because "I know computers"

Anyways, here sits an old-ass Dell OptiPlex GX150 running Feisty Fawn. It joins the ranks of the other Windows-free systems around me, including some old RS/6000 and Sparc boxes, my MacBook, and a 1U Rackmount server that I'm building for a client. AIX, OpenBSD, OS X, and Solaris. No Windows.

Right now this system is replacing my Sun Ultra 5 (400MHz running Solaris 10) as my main desktop. We'll see how long I can tolerate Ubuntu before slinking back to Solaris or wiping this drive and throwing BSD on it.
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Old 09-24-07, 10:22 PM
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What in the HELL did you just say???
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Old 09-24-07, 10:29 PM
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Do you plan on switching your MacBook to something open source? Just curious.
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Old 09-24-07, 11:07 PM
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wouldn't xubuntu work better, especially since you hate gnome and kde?
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Old 09-24-07, 11:22 PM
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I've been running ubuntu on my server for a while and have been very happy. great os.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:26 AM
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I'm about to convert one of my roommates old computers into a media center that I can hook into my tv through the vga cable and store music/movies on. It will run ubuntu. Should end up being a fairly nice setup, though unfortunately I don't think I can get a wireless card to work with it and running any ethernet cable from my room (where the modem/router is) to the living room is pretty unfeasible.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:06 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by cal_gundert05 View Post
Do you plan on switching your MacBook to something open source? Just curious.
Why? AIX nor Solaris are open source (okay, parts of both have been "gifted" to the open source movement, kind of). OS X is, in my personal opinion, the absolute friendliest UNIX-Like operating system created. It's got the power and flexibility I demand, gives me access to the shell and command-line tools, while never, EVER requiring users to rely on the command-line to fix, configure, or install anything. Worst-case-scenarios excluded, such as the GUI not coming up, or I think possibly booting single-user to reset the administrator's password.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
wouldn't xubuntu work better, especially since you hate gnome and kde?
I may try it later. Like anything, a new UI takes some time to get used to. Maybe I'll end up liking Gnome.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:34 AM
  #9  
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The biggest Ubuntu issue I ran across was one that snagged the attention of the development team back on Hoary Hedgehog release! I had "Broken Pipe" problems on the install, the the filter to repair this turned out to be the broken pipe
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Old 09-25-07, 09:54 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BLIMP View Post
I don't think I can get a wireless card to work
You might be surprised. Getting the wireless to work on my notebook with the previous release of Ubuntu was kind of a pain (ndiswrapper), but the latest version on a desktop recognized the random wireless card no problem. Just some Netgear dealie I grabbed from Fry's.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
You might be surprised. Getting the wireless to work on my notebook with the previous release of Ubuntu was kind of a pain (ndiswrapper), but the latest version on a desktop recognized the random wireless card no problem. Just some Netgear dealie I grabbed from Fry's.
Is it one of those things you plug into a usb port?
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Old 09-25-07, 02:28 PM
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If you don't like KDE or Gnome, try Enlightenment.

Before all the *nix geeks jump on me about how E16/E17 isn't really the same as Gnome/KDE... yeah, I know.
It's not as robust and full featured. Heck, the file manager isn't even a completed feature. It never claims to be full functioning desktop environment like either one of those two. It's a Window Manager for X-11, with some extra fiddly bits thrown in for fun. It runs fast on crappy old machines and makes your X-11 interface look pretty.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:43 PM
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Just make sure it isn't the "Jim Jones" kind of Kool-Aid.
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Old 09-25-07, 03:14 PM
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fluxbox

no nonsense window manager
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Old 09-25-07, 03:29 PM
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+1 fluxbox
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Old 09-25-07, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
You might be surprised. Getting the wireless to work on my notebook with the previous release of Ubuntu was kind of a pain (ndiswrapper), but the latest version on a desktop recognized the random wireless card no problem. Just some Netgear dealie I grabbed from Fry's.
And, it supports WPA out of the box!
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Old 09-25-07, 05:03 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
If you don't like KDE or Gnome, try Enlightenment.
Been there. Done that. Fluxbox, Sawfish, and pretty much every software package on SourceForge or Freshmeat that ends in "wm".

Found WindowMaker. I keep trying other things, but keep coming back home.

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Old 09-25-07, 05:29 PM
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Next year, when I graduate, one of my first purchases will be a decent UNIX workstation. Workstation being a fairly open term, but more of a machine I pay a high cost for up front, then never worry about for 10-15 years.

Its a tough decision. I like AIX [1][2]. I like Solaris [3]. I like Linux [4]. I like BSD [5]. MacOS is cool because its a NeXTStep descendant [6]. I prefer non-x86 hardware, but Mac Pros or XServes are really tempting because they are the cheapest in the market for workstations.

[1]: If you are a LoTR fan, you might check out AIX's manuals, you will get well versed in Mordor's Black Speech. Just remember, if an AIX admin starts mumbling "mirdautas vras", run.

[2]: I have to respect IBM for gambling heavily on Linux, making 5L and 6 source compatible, as well as having great virtualization. However, AIX isn't really a plug and play OS (its intended to be static where you configure and it runs for decades), so it will go "huh?" when you stick in a USB flash drive.

[3]: How things have changed... I remember when Sun was joked about as being a maker of insanely insecure operating systems... now their stuff is viewed as hard as a rock.

[4]: Started with SLS, then a pre 1.x Slackware version. Years later, moved to RedHat, now Fedora.

[5]: Somewhere I still have a floppy set of Jolitz's 386BSD, the one that FreeBSD and NetBSD forked from.

[6]: NeXTStep had elliptic encryption over a decade ago, was considered so secure that it ended up being yanked from the OS.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:11 PM
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Ah, so you understand why I still love my Sun Ultra 5.

For a UNIX workstation that will be a workhorse for years to come, it's hard to go wrong with OS X on a Mac Pro. There's still something so sexy about nice tasty Sun hardware, though. I'd stay away from AIX as a workstation platform. Leave it on the enterprise where it belongs. Sun Ultra 45 would completely shame (in coolness) a Mac or pSeries workstation. Maxed out on memory, graphics accellerator and disks, you're talking about dropping 10 grand on the system. A comparable Mac Pro would cost a few grand more. Not worth it IMHO.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:13 PM
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Ah, just give in and go with MS. You know they're going to win it all in the end.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:29 PM
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Fail.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:32 PM
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Mmm, wmaker. Up at the top of my list of favorite window managers, along with ctwm.
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Old 09-26-07, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
Ah, so you understand why I still love my Sun Ultra 5.

For a UNIX workstation that will be a workhorse for years to come, it's hard to go wrong with OS X on a Mac Pro. There's still something so sexy about nice tasty Sun hardware, though. I'd stay away from AIX as a workstation platform. Leave it on the enterprise where it belongs. Sun Ultra 45 would completely shame (in coolness) a Mac or pSeries workstation. Maxed out on memory, graphics accellerator and disks, you're talking about dropping 10 grand on the system. A comparable Mac Pro would cost a few grand more. Not worth it IMHO.
Is it an Ultra 5 with a PCMCIA card cage? U5s with those were so doggone rare, it was funny.

You are right though -- Solaris is great for a workstation because it is happy with dynamic stuff like USB. Heck, Solaris can even mount and play with NTFS volumes. The main reason I like AIX is familiarity. It has its strange points, and admittedly, its cantankerous on the desktop.

Solaris is great though. I'd be a heretic though, and use a PC rather than a classic type 7 keyboard though. An Ultra 45 is definitely an ideal candidate, especially with one of the cryptographic cards for storing keys in it.
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Old 09-26-07, 09:42 AM
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My U5 has the spot for the cage, but no actual PCMCIA bays. I have a few PCI adapters and I'm sure Solaris would play nicely with them, but I have no use for PCMCIA on my U5. AIX is great, but just not as refined for workstation use. Also, I found that the sun keyboard is great once you tell it to swap the caps lock and control keys. I'm using a Type 6 USB on my Sun Ray at work, and I use the Type 5 sun-proprietary keyboards on my Sparcs at home. The Control and caps lock placement were the only gripes I've ever had with Sun's keyboard layout, and I absolutely love the shortcut keys (power, volume, etc) and extended function keys (Stop, copy, paste, find, etc) that the Sun keyboards have. It's a wide keyboard, but quite nice. Sun mice are kind of Meh, but my wireless Logitech VX Revolution works on the Sun Ray just fine, sans a lot of the extra buttons. I'd imagine it'd fare just as well on the U45.
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