Thursday, April 26, 2007

Busy, Busy Week!

Ah, spring! The return of daffodils, tulips, and absolutely no time to smell them.

Things are amazingly busy right now. At work, we're gearing up for a big customer milestone, so we have lots of efforts going on right now finalizing a nearly thousand page technical design specification. Getting thirty people to contribute to a document and then trying to get that document to look consistent is quite a chore.

Of course, Luke had his performance on Tuesday night. Then, last night, Becky and I were received into the Episcopal Church. This "reception" is a bit like an adult confirmation. Even though we were both baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic, which the Episcopal Church recognizes, they have this reception service to formally "accept" us into the faith. It's a very nice service. The bishop comes in, they say a bunch of prayers for us, we each get a cool new Bible (the New Oxford Annotated Bible), then after the service, we have a great champagne party in the church hall.

(The Bibles really are very cool. They have all kinds of historical data in them, including ancient maps, units of measure, and the Apocryphal books. I may have to take a lesson from Gaz's playbook and read this baby from front to back.)

Meanwhile, Luke was at his first baseball game. I wasn't able to see it (because I was in church), but the head coach, Dan, told me that he did really well. Luke played a little outfield, 2nd base, 3rd base, and even catcher. Dan said he was really fielding well, and was doing very well at the plate. Luke said he got on base "a bunch of times" and even got a couple runs. Good boy. He also said that he had this "amazing" play when he was on third. Despite his knee hurting, he caught the ball and was able to tag out a runner to third. Awesome. Luke looks so handsome in his baseball uniform. I will have to post the pictures tonight.

I also took the plunge this week: I started removing Microsoft from my home. Yes, thanks to some very helpful advice from Chuck, I have successfully upgraded one of my three computers to Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is a wonderfully free open source OS that is very polished and installs just as cleanly and easily as any Windows crap. I had been listening to a podcast about the evils of Microsoft Vista and its content management protection schemes, when I finally decided that it was time to switch over. So far, the switch has been really easy. All my peripherals work fine, Office documents and multimedia files work fine, my Slimserver is up and running on Linux, and my computer is about 50 times faster!

Lest there be a let up in the week, tonight we also have choir practice for Becky and Eddie. And then it's another baseball game this weekend, plus the normal yard chores and rat cleaning.

Ah, spring!


gaz. arrggg! said...

I have successfully upgraded one of my three computers to Ubuntu Linux

sees like a pretty good platform. how do you perform the changeover from one to the other? is it as simple as installing it? what happens to windows when you've installed ubuntu?
i need to do this right now! i have a seething hatred for windows but have never been brave enough to make the change in case it screws up all my files.

Scott said...

It was really pretty easy. The hardest part was screwing up my courage just to do it.

When I installed it, I didn't bother with setting up a Windows partition and a Linux partition. I just did a complete install over Windows, wiping all files in the process. (I did a backup beforehand!)

So, Windows is GONE.

I was amazed at the compatibility of the backed up Windows files with the new Linux system. All the MS Office documents work fine with OpenOffice (which comes installed). The MP3 files worked after a codec was downloaded (automatically by the OS). Even my WMV (Windows movie files!) played after another automatically OS downloaded codec.

It is absolutely easy.

I will be upgrading my laptop soon, but I have to worry about a few apps that aren't supported by Linux, namely, Quicken and my Garmin GPS software. But they have a tool called CrossOver which may fill the gap there.

I'm tired of paying for OS upgrades every two years. I'm tired of getting Windows Updates in the night which put stuff like Windows Genuine Advantage on my system to "call home" and check if I'm a bad person (running illegal copies), which I'm not. I'm tired of needing so much anti-virus software that my system crawls on its knees. And I'm tired of a registry that is so clogged up with five years of installs and uninstalls that I can't get some programs to work or uninstall. (Like Musicmatch and PGP).

In short... it was time for a change.

gaz. arrggg! said...

sounds ideal. i'm sold.

Sandi said...

The Linux program sounds like a dream program. I'm worried that mu sewing software would not work on it & they wouldn't have a "patch" to make my Pfaff software work. Do they have an alternative to Quicken? Are there security compromises by using Linux?

Scott said...

Wow, this post is turning into a Linux support forum... surprising since I wrote about three other topics.


I could almost guarantee you that your sewing software will NOT work on Linux. But they do have a program called CrossOver which emulates key pieces of the Windows system to allow you to run Windows programs on Linux. I plan to do that with Quicken.

Regarding security, the Linux system is WAY more secure than Windows. Without getting into a lot of technical gobbledygook, Linux does not allow programs to alter the key underlying operating system, which is the key flaw in Windows. Linux is so secure that most people who use it don’t do any virus scanning or firewalls at all.


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