It’s been a couple of months since I had to turn in my Powerbook when I was recently let go due to downsizing. I actually went through a sort of withdrawal as I really enjoyed using my Powerbook and was really sad to turn it in.
I had an old laptop that I installed Ubuntu on and it was my Linux Webcam server. I liked having the webcam server on the laptop since I could move it around and easily capture the action, wherever it was. But now I found I needed something to actually do work on while I was on the job hunt.
Now, I really liked Ubuntu, but there was something about it that left me wanting. It was hard to explain but as best as I could put it is that it did EVERYTHING. I wanted to get my hands dirty and I wanted something that was a little more “advanced.” Even on my Mac, I used Fink and used an xterm with the command line often. Everything on Ubuntu was just too easy.
I cut my Linux teeth I think on Debian 1.2 (I still have the CD I bought). I used Debian for years. At work, we used Digital Unix which became Tru64, a bsd-type of Unix. Then, somewhere along the line, I used FreeBSD as my desktop for years… that is until I got my Mac. Even up to that point, I used XEmacs/Gnus as my newsreader and email client for work. At home, I read mail on my FreeBSD box and used Pine until I went to IMAP .
So, fast forward to today. On my old crappy laptop, (with 16MB of video), I needed something to get by and I didn’t want to install WinXP since I don’t have a license. I am also learning Ruby and relearning PHP. So now I have a L.A.M.P. laptop and I develop anywhere the mood strikes me. Despite the lacking power on this laptop, it was workable. I really liked it.
I went with Fedora 7 and was in heaven. In fact, I don’t want a Mac any more. I want a new laptop running Fedora. I’ll even go dual-boot with Fedora and Windows.
While I find myself in this transitional period, I feel like I am re-honing my skills with the latest flavors of Linux, learning new development skills, and learning the latest in tools. For example, I have a subversion server that I am using. I began using Eclipse as an IDE for Perl and PHP. I am learning, engaged, and feeling somewhat productive. I’ve began reading USENET again and getting back to the core parts of the Internet that I really enjoy.
I tried the various flavors of Linux before deciding on Fedora. I tried Ubuntu of course, Gentoo, SuSe, and was going to try Solaris 10 x86 but I have that on DVD and my crappy laptop doesn’t have a DVD-Rom.
The tools that I enjoy using are:
- XEmacs for HTML coding
- Eclipse for PHP and Perl
- Claws Email Client
- Open Office (which is fantastic since the last time I used it!)
- Rapid SVN
- Eclipse plugin
- Ruby on Rails
- Pidgin IM
- Nvi (for quick coding with syntax coloring and indention)
I love it. I’ve also been turned onto some really slick Firefox plugins.
- Web Developer
- MouseOver DOM Inspector
(Note: I was going to link to the Firefox plugins but the site is down right now.)
Now, I just need to find more quiet time to really get into it. If you got other ideas or tools, or even methodologies you find useful, I’d love to hear them!