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2007/09/04

Installing Ubuntu @ Work ....

I had a momentary hitch, where the partition mojo wouldn't work because I had the drive I wanted to partition mounted. Surprised that didn't work.

Been thinking recently. A recent Slashdot article asked "What would you change in Linux development if you could?" It made me consider the changes I've seen in Linux.

I first started dealing with it as an undergrad, around 1998. I made a 386 router (with great help from friends) and later had my work box at ECE running Red Hat. I had been using Solaris workstations and servers before, and, as a user, the only difference I really noticed was that both GNOME and KDE looked lots better than CDE. And just got better.

I can see some differences in stark relief, because my main connection to Linux during my time working at the clinic was my account on CSociety, and during that time, lots changed. Linux ~2000 was close to a classic workstation/server configuration. It was an OS that loved to know who it is and where the next bit, the next watt and the next file were coming from, and where they should be headed. Linux ~2007 is lots more laptop-friendly. Plenty goes to advances in hardware design, especially 802.11b and so on, and in 2000, DHCP was new enough that a friend (who I always trust as a Linux hand) needed to install it at an installfest to make his machine work), and it's part and parcel now.

The biggest and coolest thing I've seen recently is FUSE, or Filesystem in USErspace. As a user, not root, I can check out my local SMB network or mount UNIX filesystems securely over SSH. It's just the coolest thing. The one thing that, given an attempt to be mobile with 2000 technology, I would've asked for. With DHCP, Linux can work out where it's bits come from and go to. With FUSE, it can work at user request to more and more dynamically interact with whatever environment it meets. That's so cool!