Monday, 3 March 2008

Venture Into Linux - Why am I doing this?

There's a whole bunch of reasons that have pushed me to looking into Linux in a little more depth. Whilst doing this I will Blog my experience for the following reasons:
  • Writing it down will consolidate my knowledge
  • Enable others to use my experience to ease their Introduction to Linux
  • Give something back to the Linux community, albeit in a small way (its the least I can do they're giving me all this free software)
As an IT professional for the last 13 years of so, I've watched Linux come more to the fore, it seems to me that its reaching a critical mass where there is a need for me to understand it in more depth to remain credible. It's no longer just a hobby horse for the command line UNIX jocks (no offense intended, but I guess they're not likely to be reading this), Linux distributions are now being mentioned along side Windows and Unix in the supported platforms for serious software.

At home, I seem to be doing increasing IT service work supplying and maintaining computers for the kids. And teenage daughters are demanding clients. Through using excellent open source and free software, I've managed to rain in the permanently infected Windows PC to a manageable solution to date. I've even managed to persuade them to use OpenOffice for their homework, despite the schools having an almost Microsoft only stance.

So I'm kicking off several projects to get my head around Linux, the idea being a gentle introduction through using Desktops on the home PCs then progressing to playing with server stuff and some more serious applications. With this in mind I've a number of projects to kick off this learning curve.
  1. Old PC with limited resources (Celeron 800Mhz and 128mb of RAM). Now the youngest is of an age where she'll need a computer and the machine I have to hand is a bit old, runs XP like a dog, so lets try a Linux desktop.
  2. Dual core AMD machine 2GB of memory and some bells & whistles. This is my son's machine, he's seen pictures of high end Linux on YouTube and wants his XP machine to do that too. So we're making it dual boot.
  3. Linux Live CD tools. Live CDs will boot up and run Linux without messing up your current install. This should let me play with a bunch of different Distributions of Linux.
  4. Linux running in VMware on XP. I use VMware, which can allow an operating system to run inside another by creating virtual PCs. This will give me a playground to try out stuff without investing in any more hardware.
So that's the start point. This Blog is a little late starting as I've been looking into this for a couple of weekends now, so there'll be a bunch of initial catch up posts to follow this up.

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