My experiments with running Ubuntu Linux have mostly been successful. I’ve certainly learnt a lot about Linux. I love the Debian package management system, and both the Gnome and KDE desktops are great (though anyone thinking of installing KDE be warned: KBounce is mindlessly addictive).
Ubuntu doesn’t feel very mature, though. For instance, last time I upgraded XMMS (a Winamp-like MP3 player) it stopped working under Gnome, though it still works fine under KDE. I still haven’t got my Palm and GPilot / JPilot working properly. Occasionally the entire desktop hangs. I’m sure that at some time in the future Ubuntu will be perfect for newbie Linux users who don’t want to tinker, but at the moment it’s just a little frustrating for those of us who do. It’s impossible to tell whether it’s my setup or Ubuntu itself that’s falling over.
So – I’m ready to move on. Thanks my newly acquired super-broadband-powers, I am downloading the seven CDs required for Debian. I am going to make myself a little media / document server in a Shuttle box (I’ve always wanted one), and reinstall my big tower so that it’s nice and clean. This time round I am not relying on the forums. I have bought a couple of books to help me with the installation.
This is an arbitrary list of strange words and concepts which I’ve come across, so that I remember what I’m doing:
- dyndns : Dynamic hosting. There are some sites around which let you do this for free. With the appropriate setup, you can ssh through the router and into the server on the other side.
- ssh: Not a new concept, but something I’ve never really got to grips with. I have a private key for the first time so that I can commit on the JBehave project.
- LAN: A local network, like the one we have at home. It was set up by a previous lodger. I want to understand this weird creature.
- Wireless: I’m aware that there are some security issues with wireless networks. I need to investigate.
- WINE: Wine Is Not an Emulator. It sits on top of Linux and provides Windows APIs. Microsoft Office already works on WINE. All I need to do is get DataViz’s “DocsToGo” working along with the Palm software, then maybe a couple of games like Doom3, and I will never need to use Windows at home again.