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, September 02, 2008

Linux Update

I took Sunday off. Those of my congregation who were not out of town for Labor Day Weekend were sick, including my wife, Sandra. So I took the opportunity to do more experimentation with Linux. In my previous posts I have chronicled the installation of Linux on my old desktop. I also downloaded a disk image file of Knoppix which boots and runs from the CD. I have been anxious to try Linux on my new laptop. This machine has Centrino(R) architecture with an Intel(R) Core Duo2 processor. It has 1GB of onboard ram, two internal hard disks and an Intel AGN wireless card. Knoppix booted just fine on the laptop. It had no driver support for either the wireless lan or my HP PhotoSmart(R) printer which also is wireless and on my wireless network. To surf the web I had to hook up the laptop to my router with a patch cable into the ethernet card. OK, but still no printer support. So, back to the web to do some more research. I mentioned that there are two physical hard disks.

One is 100+ GB which has two partitions, one for the Windows Vista OS and the other for the system recovery files. The second hd was not being used. It is a 80 GB drive. There it was waiting to be inhabited by a fresh install of some Linux OS.

Debian, which is installed on the desktop does not support laptops. But I did find a version of Linux, Ubuntu (an African language word loosely translated "Humanity"). Using my ethernet connection to the web, the seed disk (CD .iso file) downloaded quickly (less than 5 minutes for 700 MB with BitTorrent. I booted the Laptop with the seed disk and it installed the operating system on the second hd from the web. I was then up and running. Alas, no wireless. No printer. More research.

It took me about 4 hours to finally find and install the proper driver for my wireless card. I now have wireless. Hooray! Having learned the process for searching, downloading and installing hardware drivers, it took only 30 min. to get the printer up and running. My next task was to get the Adobe flashplayer plugin for Firefox, the standard browser for Linux. This took a bit more time than the print driver install, maybe an hour or so. But it worked and now I can watch Tripps You Tube videos again as well as the CNN and Comcast video news casts.

Ubuntu works great. There is not much that Windows(R) Vista(R) can do that Linux/Ubuntu can't do. Slowly I will migrate all of my work to Linux. Open Office by Sun Microsystems(R) is comparable to MS Word so I have already begun to create my standard templates in that WP. I was already using Firefox browser and have almost completely duplicated my Bookmarks from the Windows version. I have a database for all my songs, sermons, church members with a MS Access front end. I will be migrating that database to MySqld next. MySql is an excellent open source relational database. I have used it before. I went to Access and MS SQL because I was essentially lazy and wanted a GUI to access my data.

I may never go back to Windows(R). One small probllem: I did not realize what a hold Microsoft(R) has on the OS and software markets. Consider this: It is almost impossible to buy a new computer with no OS installed. And did you know that $200.00 of the price of the computer is for the Windows(R) license? A new packaged Windows(R) Vista(R) Home Edition will set you back $500.00. Linux is free. Is there something wrong with this scenario? Almost all (at least 75% to 80%) of the software produced in the world is written for the Windows(R) operating system. Most of the remaining (20% to 25%) is written for the Mac. I paid $50.00 for a year's subscription of Windows($) Live One Care(R) to secure my network. Norton by Symantec and McAfee are about the same price and only for a year's subscription. Linux has its security software built in or available in a free software package that is easily obtainable by downloading from the web.

OK, enough for now...Happy comptuing.

PS I forgot to mention that this post has been composed and published on the laptop running Linux/Ubuntu.


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