Thursday, March 30, 2006

[geek] Doing my part to subvert the digital monoculture...

Not that our house has ever truly been a monoculture - at any given time we have a doddering Compaq Win2K desktop, a new-ish Dell WinXP desktop, at least 1 XP laptop, 1 Mac OSX Powerbook & 1 i-Mac (purple, thanks for asking...) running... uh... Mac OS 9.x, I think. Don't ask me - all I know is that it's a Mac and it's purple. And that's without counting the PDAs & Java-enabled cellphones... But last night, a penguin joined our household: I brought home a 2nd laptop from work, an ancient and twitchy Fujitsu that's running Red Hat Fedora Core 5. Why? As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been keeping an eye on Novell's Mono project, and my (Windows-centric) office wants to evaluate it as a development environment... We're doing more work with academics, and, well, it'd be a decent business move on our part to incorporate more Open Source software into our arsenal. Despite Microsoft's efforts to woo the University of Washington with sweetheart pricing deals, there's still a lot of support for and interest in Open Source software at UW. Seeing as how much of our current development is done in C#/.NET, being able to use that codebase on Mono could make it easier to port our software to Linux, which in turn could make us a more attractive candidate for inclusion on grants that required custom software development. So far I like it - it may be the machine that it's running on, but I don't see a whole lot of difference in performance between Fedora & WinXP. On the plus side, I haven't seen anything about it that would prevent me from making this my working (or home) environment, either... My big question now is this: as a Windows programmer who's never bothered with the ins and outs of hardware or OS support, what's the best way to acquaint myself with the arcana of Linux? At any rate, I'm looking for recommendations. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

4 Comments:

Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

As root start deleting things. Doesn't matter what - the more arcane the better. Then restart the laptop.

Fixing what you broke will keep you busy and teach you things you never dreamed of.

Kidding of course. You're too advanced for a Dummies book so .. dunno. From my POV it's just another unix OS.

3/30/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger protected static said...

"From my POV it's just another unix OS."

See, that's the problem... I have zero experience with *nix environments, not counting my very limited use of a shell account to get and send email 13+ years ago. My non-Windows experiences are limited to VAX/VMS & MPE - both through terminal emulation on a PC - and futzing around on Macs. Old Macs. Like Mac Classic & Motorola StarMac kinds of old.

But yeah - I nixed the idea of a Dummies book, too. Time to go to browse O'Reilly, methinks.

3/30/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Spencer said...

This (Running Linux) is a good book.

3/30/2006 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

Saw that and considered it... The Fedora Core 5 books are all at least a month away from being published - not too surprising considering that Core 5 was only released a couple of weeks ago.

Thx for the recommendation - I'll check it out.

3/30/2006 11:29:00 PM  

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