the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seem's Like Old Times... Update

I have recently bought two laptops running Windows Vista. One laptop is for my wife, Sandra. The other one is mine. That leaves us with two old desktops running Windows XP Home. My old computer is at least 10 years old. It has an intel celeron processor with a clock speed of 1.1 GHz and 136 MB of memory (I have a freebie flash drive with 250 MB of memory.) I had earlier installed an 80 GB harddrive and an internal ethernet card. It has a CD read only drive. Under Windows XP old and slow are the most remarkable characteristics.

My wife's old desktop computer is a little better. It has an intel celeron processor with a clock speed of 206 GHz and 256 MB of memory. It came with a 80 GB harddrive and an internal ethernet card. It also came with a read only DVD drive and a RW CD drive. Here's how old it is: It has a floppy drive. Old and slow are the major performance criteria for this machine too, running under Windows.

On my desktop, I wiped out the Windows installation and installed Debian, a Linux operating system, on the hard drive. To install this operating system, I downloaded a seed file in iso format and burned the image on a CD. I did this with my laptop. Then I booted the computer with the CD and it installed the basic system and automatically downloaded the remainder of the package from the internet. What fun. Seriously, this machine screams with speed and power under Linux. Who'da thought? I can do most everything with Debian that I can with Windows XP. It even comes with Open Office, a MS Office Clone from Sun Microsystems. The Open Office package contains everything that MS Office does and more. The standard browser is IceWeasel, Debian's name for the FireFox browser by Mozilla. A Firewall and virus protection comes built in the operating system and it is updated as often as windows based add on's. One thing I haven't learned to do yet is to install an updated flash player so I can view videos that requre adobe flash player. Too bad Tripp, but I can still see your video bloggs with my laptop.

On my wife's old machine I decided to keep the windows installation just the way it is. On this machine I run Knoppix. Knoppix is a Linux based operating system that runs on a DVD. Knoppix boots from the DVD and can be run on any machine without touching the OS on the hard drive. Like Debian, I downloaded Knoppix from the internet and burned the image onto a DVD-r disk. In this case, however, the entire system downloaded to the DVD drive. The 4GB of code on the DVD are in compressed mode and Knoppix decompresses on the fly. Personalized configurations can be saved to a floppy disk or a flash drive. I have saved my configuration on the freebie flash drive mentioned above. Every time I make a change in the configuration it automatically updates the flash drive. When I boot up the DVD Knoppix reads the flash drive and I get my personalized configurations included automatically. Knoppix has less overhead than Debian which has much less overhead than Windows. So you can imagine the performance I get with Knoppix. The downside of using Knoppix is that I have no permanent storage. I could use the hard drive for storage if I had free space to create a Linux partition. But I also use that computer as a file server for my home network and backup my other machines to that hard drive, so I don't want to mess with the Windows configuration.

It's like having a new toy, which at my age is a rare thing. More commonly my old toys have worn out or become oblsolete like my body.

Oh, did I mention that Debian, Knoppix and all the software that goes with it are FREE? In fact, all Linux sofware is free, not only in price but the source code comes with the software, so anyone with the skill and knowledge can customize, modify or fix bugs in the system. Move over Microsoft.

Happy computing.


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