November 13, 2007
Waiting for the Asus eee (ordered a couple of hours ago) makes me realise that edging towards Linux has been a background activity for me over the last year or so. However my first attempt took a bit of a set back. I checked out an old laptop from the cupboard of abandoned machines at work and install Fedora Core on it (I think it was when Core 5 was just released). After that I spent quite a lot of time getting my obscure wireless card to work. (That card was actually a prize from the AusWeb 2004 conference for guessing that I was mean to be Steve Irwin in a line-up – so some excuses for being obscure.) So I spent a happy time getting and compiling source code, installing apache, php etc. Got to the point where I had quite a nice set up with everything working… and then the computer melted! You can see the result in the picture – is this revenge of Microsoft for daring to remove their OS?
Not sure about that – maybe there is something needed to keep the fan working properly that I had removed in the process. I did persist after that and got another old laptop out of stock. This time (about April 2007) I found that the distributions had really moved on – PCLinux installed amazingly quickly but I settled on Ubuntu as a combination of slickness and facilities. The laptop is up and running – but I never did get the wireless card working again. In contrast to my first attempt when I knew that I would have to mess around tracking down drivers and modifying the kernel to get it to work, I felt that the plug and play interface should just work. I have found the same feeling when working with Macs – they are great when they work but can be hard to probe when they don’t. Here is hoping that the Asus both works straight away and lets me mess around under its bonnet and do a bit of tinkering!