A Bit About Me:
The name is Jonathan, a tinfoil-hat-wearing computer science student with constant money troubles and an addiction to shiny new electronic toys. A coincidence, perhaps? Nay idle plebeian, for I often exhibit a measure of self control reminiscent of the late, great, Freddie Mercury – a shining example of human spirit and buck-toothed, mustachio’d vocal prowess if ever there was one.
My Past Computer Experience:
I was fascinated by computers from the day that my parents got their first commodore 64 (complete with monochrome monitor and jet-engine-loud dot-matrix printer), through a Packard-Bell 386, an HP Pavilion 768, my very own Frankenstein 896, and my current set up, an Intel 2.4GHZ Dual Core with 4GB of RAM, a RAID-1 array, and dual flatscreen monitors. I’ve been a programmer in training ever since that first machine, sifting through the file system and trying to figure out how it all worked before I knew what .exe meant, building a puzzle game that spanned 21 floppy discs in an early version of Power Point, and finally picking up a programming in visual basic for dummies book in grade 9 and never looking back. So far, my experience with computers has been very windows-centric, although high prices, low income, and an infatuation with the ideals of FLOSS (contrasted with a healthy skepticism for everything that comes out of Richard Stallman’s mouth) have lead me to consider becoming a serious Linux user.
My Past Experience With Free Software:
Looking around on my computer, it seems that the only applications that I have installed that aren’t free are Windows, Office, and Visual Studio. That being said, the majority of the applications that I rely on every day are far from being open-sourced, and while finding reliable replacements for the big three Microsoft applications is my main goal during this project, I also hope to improve my knowledge of the open-source world, and maybe even find a cool project to contribute to along the way.
Why I Agreed To This:
Boredom, mostly. Add in a dash of masochism, and beat down with a healthy dose of the low-income blues, and you’ve got a magical combination. Also, it might look good on a resume or something; and with the foolishness that is twitter and the help of the blogosphere, I might become an Internet Celebrity. You know, like the star wars kid, or to a lesser extent, Lady Gaga. Seriously though, I’ve always been interested in algorithms and how software works, and while I have no intention of digging into the Linux kernel to figure out how task scheduling goes down, the fact that I could do as much certainly intrigues me. Further, in my capacity as a member of a small software development company, I’ve used numerous open-source applications with an aim to set up an effective workspace on a shoestring budget, including Ubuntu Linux, Tortoise SVN, Thunderbird, Firefox, and PuTTy. I hope that this experiment will teach me more about this world that I’ve barely scratched the surface of.
What I Hope To Get Out Of It:
A date with your mom would be nice, but I’ll settle for becoming the most 1337 linux administrator in the neighborhood.
I began the experiment running GNOME v2.22.2 on top of Debian Lenny GNU/Linux. I later changed my system to run XFCE v4.6.1 on top of the Debian Testing repositories (Squeeze), and then reinstalled with GNOME v2.28.0 on top of the Debian Testing repositories. I am currently running GNOME v2.28.2 on top of Fedora 12 (Constantine), and consider it to be the best distribution I have used so far.
The following is a listing of the hardware that I am using for the experiment:
- Motherboard: IBM ThinkPad R52 (Product#: 1859B7U) with Mobile Intel Alviso-G i915GM Chipset
- Processor: Mobile Intel Pentium M 740, 1733 MHz (13 x 133)
- RAM: 758 MB (DDR2 SDRAM)
- Video: Mobile Intel(R) 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family (128 MB), Intel GMA 900
- Audio: Analog Devices AD1981B(L) @ Intel 82801FBM ICH6-M – AC’97 Audio Controller [B-1]
- Storage Controller: Intel(R) 82801FBM Ultra ATA Storage Controllers – 2653 with AE9GMGLK IDE Controller
- Disk Drive: FUJITSU MHV2040AH (40 GB, 5400 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100)
- Optical Drive: MATSHITA DVD/CDRW UJDA770 (DVD:8x, CD:24x/24x/24x DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
- Ethernet: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
- USB Controller: Intel 82801FBM ICH6-M – USB Universal Host Controller [B-1]
- BIOS: IBM 70ET69WW (1.29 )
- Battery: Sony IBM-92P1089
My Other Setup:
With the end of the experiment, I decided that I was so impressed with Linux that I’d use it full time. To that end, I’ve installed Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala on my home built PC.
The following is a list of the hardware in the machine:
- Motherboard: ASUSTeK P5B-Deluxe
- CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
- RAM: 4GB SDRAM
- Video: Nvidia G92 [GeForce 8800 GT]
- Audio: Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller
- Storage (IDE): JMicron JMB362/JMB363 AHCI IDE Controller
- Storage (SATA): JMicron JMB362/JMB363 AHCI SATA Controller
- Disk Drives: 3x Seagate 500GB ST3500630A
- Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc DVD RW AD-7170A
- Ethernet: Marvell Technology 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller
- USB: Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller
- Firewire: Texas Instruments TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
- BIOS: American Megatrends v1101 (03/09/2007)