Switch story

As alluded to in previous posts, I am primarily using Linux now as my OS of choice. Actually, that is not quite fair, as it is not really completely by choice. I do have a hard drive with Windows 2000 on it (and Baldur’s Gate II) that used to be in a borrowed computer, but when I put it into this one, it choked on the network card. The result is that I have a desktop (without BG II) that I am using for my daily use, and it happens to be Linux. I am enjoying the new environment, as I try to figure out how to do all the things I am used to doing in a new way (or at least evaluate if I am going to continue doing them if it really is this hard to figure out). My main tools are all the ones that I used under windows and OS X, so everything is fine there, but the file sharing part is a bit of a problem. I will save that for later. I started off using SimplyMEPIS, and I liked it. Soon, though, I grew bored and decided to see if I could install something new while leaving /home in place. I knew that it should be possible, I just was not sure that -I- could do it. I did not have a whole lot stored there, so I went ahead and installed Ubuntu on top. I found both easy to use, but the default window managers (KDE for SimplyMEPIS and Gnome for Ubuntu) were a bit bulky for my hardware and I installed XFCE on both. XFCE runs nicely, and I can get just about any package I need via the apt-get command. Sounds nice, but the only drawback was that under MEPIS my 15″ monitor would only do a max of 800×600. I can tolerate those large icons, but when it comes to remotely managing servers via VNC or RDP, it is insane. I found myself scrolling back and forth constantly, just to see what was in the log files. A recently acquired friend named Jeff told me that the local power company had a warehouse that is open to the public on Wednesdays, and they have 17″ monitors for $25. That was a good price for me, and so off I went. I picked up a nice black Dell monitor, and it does a nice 1024×768 although I am still working on a higher refresh rate. They also have Dell desktops that are around 900 MHz with 256 RAM, for $125. Not too shabby for a few extras around the house to do things like stream music and that sort of thing. Maybe after I get a job….

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Hey, I run the place.

4 thoughts on “Switch story”

  1. Yes, my main, most stable, and -prettiest- computer is my Mac, but … Apple did not build the first few versions of OS X with the tools needed to port apps well. This means that I am stuck with an older version of Gimp, and I cannot use some of the more recent apps like Skype because I am not willing to pay that $189 for 10.3 so my free software will run. Catch 22

  2. Yeah, Gnome can be rough on old hardware. My favorite light WM is Fluxbox, but it’s not super-friendly. How old is your machine?

    For future reference, you can set 15 inch monitors to 1024×768. It has more to do with the graphics card than it does with the monitor size. Of course, it can get ugly editing XF86Config files–that’s why stuff like mepis and Ubuntu do it for you.

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