Linux

They say that pets look like their owners, but it occurred to me tonight that it's probably just because folk buy animals that look like themselves. it's like that with lots of things, but probably not computers. Most folks are just stuck with a peecee, windoze. it's afterwards that they start to look like us, or was it the other way around?

Anyway, my replacement hard drive arrived the other day, in a factory-sealed bag, and 20GB bigger than it was when I sent it away. clever stuff. I'd like to say that I was too damned busy to setup the old Linux box the very moment it arrived, or even the next day, but the more I think about it, the more I think I just plain wasn't looking forward to the experience.

Linux. I remember the first time I tried to install it on that old peecee. hours
wasn't the penguin's fault
melted into days. It seemed a repeatedly impossible task, getting all the right drivers, getting them working, configuring every-bloody-thing and back again, "trying everything". That was a long time ago. I remember also getting there in the end, and having everything compiled and installed and working, and that was why I went back and did it all again. It worked. And it kept on working, twenty-four-seven, and never failed, until its hard drive blew, which wasn't the penguin's fault at all.

This time around, armed with a decent back-up of my /usr/local directory, and all that /etc, etc, business, I was up and running in about an hour. Pretty good. There's Linux distributions these days that install just like windows does (or rather, should). And it just works.

Sure, The Apache Web Server works on other platforms, but on Linux it rocks-da-wires! The mac might be the only machine that can really "do it all", at least for me, but my old mac works much better if it doesn't have to. When it's acting simultaneously as server and client, it seems to suffer from strange personality issues. More ram would help, I guess. Linux still lacks a real personality.

But if you develop websites, or just need a Fast, Reliable ftp server/file server/firewall/samba server/internet gateway/web server/backup server/etc/etc/etc for your network, and do it all for zero pounds sterling, you must face your fears and take a nibble, then a great big bite out of this huge free pie that is Linux.

It grows on you. First you start with one lightening fast dev server, the next thing you know it's handling your samba shares, windows networking, then an ftp server, and before you know it, it's doing everything. And cheap-as-in-free. The T.C.O of my Linux server was under fifty bucks, cost of the puter, and that was over three years ago!

There's no keyboard on it, no mouse, no monitor now, it's just under the desk somewhere working, all the time. a sleek desktop pentium one 233MHz MMX, which I figure must be around one tenth the power of the average web server. It lives to serve. I've hammered it with multiple abs1 and watched it rip through every request, pops up my distro machine test page (with over a dozen separate live embedded machines in it) in just under a second. There's simply no other serving platform on the planet that even comes close to this kind of performance/value ratio. Maybe I'm just proud of that wee box.

Unlike other blogs (my own), I've no intention of winding my way cleverly around to explain how Linux is like me, the "just get it done, get it working" part of me, or something. How it is the missing element in my personality's trinity, the worker at back of all the crafted output, or anything like that, I'm just going to end with something cute, probably an advertising-like slogan, as soon as one pops into my head.

And until that point I'll just type about how when I'm moving files from A to B I like to use a peecee. how the copy routine still knocks stripes off the mac's dangerous copy policies. And how I know now that mc (midnight commander) is best of all. For some stuff, a fancy graphical user interface just gets in the way.

And I'm thinking that probably all the qualities I admire or desire in every operating systems I use will one day be emulated, and for free-as-in-beer, on a Linux Box. So I'm glad I can set the buggers up, took the time to get to know the penguin, and look forward to the day when I run my perfect Linux desktop.

Got it!

The Linux Desktop.. it just works



for now..

;o) Cor


references:
ab: Apache Benchmark. Comes with almost every installation of Apache and can be used to benchmark (test the speed of) your Apache web server. it's almost like putting your server into the real world. Is capable of "mental hammering".

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