23 December 2008

"Server," she said shifting gears.

The lap top isn't ready for its closeup and the flat panel/wide screen is still sitting patiently in its box in the loving room.

I did turn the lap top on and off a couple of times just to make sure nothing died in transit. I fitted it with its wireless mouse transmitter and tried to test the built in webcam, microphone & speakers.

I say tried 'cause it was a mixed result of whether the computer and/or I agreed about the relative success of the test. Call that just one of the many kinks I'll need to have sorted by the time classes begin.

Meanwhile, about that server. So far the bad thing about letting Dell do the distro and kernel build is that a lot of the software needs a bit of an update (Firefox is 1.5 with very old plug-ins) and the yum rpms are not as up-to-date as I would like.

Noted that the yum rpm story might be one of those stuff I need to config complete as I make the slow transition from an old school and old distro Red Hat senior server (last kernel build July 1999 just before bb died) but the bigger server story is a big X-wow moment.

The insanely good thing about the Dell do the distro, and indeed the new distro story is how the x-environment has developed while I was just playing guardian. My senior server's x-environment is FVM which is pretty far from user friendly and occasionally it has also been less than stable.

Red Hat 5's default x-solution is Gnome. It comes up in 1024x768 which is nasty on a wide/flat screen but thankfully that's easy and quick to fix. Indeed, the auto-config write the info to file is just heaven for those who remember the joys of writing xconfig files and hoping you got it right on the next restart.

Gnome is more user friendly than Windows. No, no, really.

It is Linux/Xwindows for dolts. This dolt, of course, had some issues with all the extra hand holding and had to go for manual edits of most of my config files but that's because I'm still not a good GUI girl. The GUIs don't intuit me so I was delighted to find that changing session meant I could shift gears to KDE.

KDE is a big shift change from FVM that doesn't quite walk down the Windows-lite world of Gnome. For some folks, especially the weaned on Windows crowd, Gnome is a great interface solution. I'm a little more of a dinosaur so KDE is way more better for me.

I can have my familiar light on dark console and a/xterm windows with the convenience of a much more robust array of applications. I feel confident that I can shift my mutt and emacs to a KDE environment and not have to make too many adjustments.

Besides the bandwidth issue with senior server and still functional but a tad date 10/100 switch network, the major reason for the cygwin experiments and upgrades involve the dying dinosaur of a CRT. The flicker in the photo is not from the inherent noise of photographing a computer monitor, the screen really is compressing and expanding as the CRT slowly passes into the recycling bin.

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