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My Zen Walk ;)

Posted 02-28-2009 at 05:14 PM by mdsmedia
Updated 02-28-2009 at 05:40 PM by mdsmedia

Having used Ubuntu as my main OS for over 3 years, I'm still a Linux beginner. Ubuntu has made it (relatively) easy to do my day to day computing, and the forums make it easy to fix things that go/are wrong.

I recently pulled out and dusted off a previously obsoleted box that I bought when I was living in Perth in 2000/2001. I was never a gamer so system specs were never too much of an issue. This baby has 64MB of RAM and a Celeron processor.

I usually looked for the minimum priced box which gave me what I wanted. It didn't even have a CD burner at the time, but I added one shortly after I bought it. That's an indication of how technology has evolved in a few short years.

The 15" monitor and keyboard that came with it migrated to my next machine and left me with a more up to date machine (still low-specced)and an obsolete machine with no monitor, even if I wanted to do anything with it.

I've since collected a couple of keyboards and a 17" monitor which was being ditched by an employer in favour of flat screen monitors. So the 15" monitor was restored to its previous host and I've recently installed Zenwalk 5.2 on the old machine.

Having seen the complaints from some about the use of sudo in Ubuntu, I'm now experiencing the use of a separate root and user account. Having setup 2 accounts in Zenwalk, I proceeded to try to fix the time settings and wasn't able to without the root account. So I logged into my root account and corrected the system time. In Ubuntu I'd simply have to correctly identify myself as root with the sudo password.

This isn't a criticism of either system, just a simple comparison. On the basis of that exercise I have to say I prefer Ubuntu's method. Although, if I wanted to do a lot of maintenance requiring root privileges it might be more convenient to just BE root, but for one-off things it's easier to have sudo.

I tried opening a Terminal within my non-root account to see what the specs of the machine had Win 98 on it before I liberated it. It crashed out of my account. Not sure if that was a bug or by design. The system didn't crash as such but just logged out.

It's forcing me to learn a bit as I go. Since it's not my production machine I can play and mess things up if I want to.

I've used Xubuntu before, as an experiment, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with the XFCE environment. I quite liked its simplicity when I used it previously. I've yearned to learn more about Linux and the CLI, but never really put it through its paces.

I've also got Mandriva (KDE) on the newer box, and Ubuntu (Gnome) on the laptop I do all my real computing on. I think I'll replace Mandriva with Debian or Arch.
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