Sunday 18 August 2002

In search of lost time

(With apologies to Dorothea Salo.)

Time spent wondering whether I should attempt to install Linux on my ancient ThinkPad 600E notebook computer: 1 week

Time spent figuring out which Linux distribution to install : 1 hour

Time spent moving documents from notebook to desktop PC to free up 1.5GB of space on (6GB) notebook hard drive: 1 hour

Time spent running Norton Disk Doctor on notebook hard drive: 10 minutes

Time spent optimizing notebook hard drive: 1 hour

Time spent running chkdsk on notebook hard drive: 15 minutes (including restart)

Time spent changing default OS language from Japanese to English so that the Partition Magic installer would work (including restart): 5 minutes

Time spent installing Partition Magic on notebook (including restart): 10 minutes

Time spent shrinking Windows partition to make room for Linux: 20 minutes

Time spent installing Red Hat Linux (up to arriving at the Disk Partioning Setup screen): 15 minutes

Time spent realizing that the 1.5GB of free space specified by the Linux installation guide did not include 435MB for the swap file (because my notebook has 288MB of RAM): 1 minute

Time spent freeing up another 1GB of space on the notebook hard drive: 1 hour

Time spent running Norton Disk Doctor, optimizing, and running chkdsk on notebook hard drive: 2 hours

Time spent shrinking the Windows partition to make even more room for Linux: 20 minutes

Time spent (custom) installing Red Hat Linux: 1.5 hours

Time spent wondering why the LILO boot menu didn’t appear, no matter how many times I restarted: 20 minutes

Time spent rereading The Red Hat Linux Survival Guide before I discovered that I had to edit the /etc/lilo.conf file so that I could boot to either Windows 2000 or Linux: 5 minutes

Time spent editing the /etc/lilo.conf file: 5 minutes

Time spent wondering why the LILO boot menu didn’t appear, even though I’d edited the /etc/lilo.conf file: 10 minutes

Time spent running /sbin/lilo to ensure that LILO liked the configuration file: 30 seconds

Time spent congratulating myself that I’d installed Linux entirely by myself: 5 minutes

Time spent realizing that my weblog looks shitty in Mozilla on Linux: 15 seconds

Time spent playing with new cat: 45 minutes

And yes, before anyone reminds me, I know I said last month:

I know nothing about Linux but I know this much… wizards or no wizards, I won’t be installing it any time soon.

To which I’d reply: never believe me when I say I’ll never do something. (At least I did the wizardless custom install. And now I know slightly more than nothing about Linux)

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Comments

I wouldn't say your site looks crappy in moz on linux. I read your site nearly every day in IE 5.2 for Mac OS X and Mozilla on linux and Mac OS X and they both look good.

Posted by Patrick Berry on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Red Hat custom install is not for the faint of heart--good on you for stepping up to the challenge! And 45 minutes playing with new kitty is time well spent.

(Odd, but I also don't find your site to be crappy in Linux.)

Posted by Burningbird on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

BTW on that never say never comment--so does this mean you do take photos without flash?

Posted by Burningbird on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

The lasting love and admiration of your readers: timeless!!

Posted by Kris on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Congratulations Jonathon. I find it slightly amusing that you did have problems with the area I warned you about, you got through them though, well done.

Posted by Jason on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Most web sites look crappy in Unix. It's not entirely your fault; most fonts in Unix suck. Use the power of CSS to specify fallback fonts that actually exist and look good on Unix systems.

http://www.realworldstyle.com/fonts.html

Posted by Mark Pilgrim on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Jonathon, why didn't you just fire it up in VMware? :)

Posted by Garth on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Thanks for the favorable comments, everyone. When I said the site looked crappy, I meant that the fonts looked blocky and bitmapped. They're better now, for a couple of reasons I'll write about in another post.

Yes, Bb, now I do take photos with flash, though for some years I never took a photo without flash.

Jason, I felt your presence in the room, cheering me on as I was wrestling with Red Hat.

Garth... VMWare? Cute.

Posted by Jonathon Delacour on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

New cat!?
Well where are the pictures?
L x

Posted by Linda on 19 August 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Lilo is a tuffy. I spent a ton of time reinstalling slackware before I could get lilo to actually boot. Yeah. Peace out.

Posted by glenn on 14 November 2002 (Comment Permalink)

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour