Linux, Googling and EWMS2
Here's basically what's a chronicle of my recent experiences in the past few days with MEPIS Linux, a decent Debian-based Linux distribution. I'm finding it's nearly as full-powered as Windows for my needs so far.
Although as I've mentioned in my Radeon 9800 Pro review, my nice video card (that runs UT2004 like a BEAST) does not cooperate fully with Linux. At present I'm running 1024x768x16bpp @ 60Hz on both my monitors, which for me seems like a flicker-fest. Until I can get the 9800 driver installed properly, it's going to be eyesight hell for me.
I'm following Warren's instructions in order to get my system up to date. That's the one thing I really like about Debian-based distributions: they have a nifty program called apt which lets you do an effective upgrade of all the programs in your system at once. It's sort of like Windows Update in a perverse, text-based manner, but imagine if Windows Update upgraded Winamp, WinZIP, WinRAR, your alternate web browser and mail client, all of your system drivers, and pretty much every program installed on your system. That's what the two commands apt-get update and apt-get upgrade do, unlike the monstrosity of some distributions that use a different method.
Linux is certainly not for anyone who doesn't truly appreciate the value of the command line, though, at least not yet. While I could have got my system in working order by using GUI tools, it's much more stable and unlikely to b0rk, I find, when a good command line script is used.
So I figured while I have 296MB of updates to download (which, incidentally, is similar to what I'd have to get just updating Windows), I'd commence writing a .plan update.
Interestingly, Googling for something similar to debian radeon 9800 drivers brings up one of my articles as the third search result, just above something actually useful. Kind of made my evening better, having such an inflated ego and all that.
What I've been working on technically in my spare time is a little project called EWMS2, short for Evergreen Website Management System (version 0.2, of course.) It's written using XHTML, PHP and MySQL and at present it has the mediocre capability to manage 'blogs (add/edit) plus control a host of other backend functions like settings, random site titles, and random anonymous titles. While I don't think it will ever compare to SiteKore, tJY's content management system, it's still a decent project to take on. I'd like to expand it into working properly in combination with phpBB2, kind of like phpNuke or one of the other CMSes (except in a much easier-to-manage way, much like phpBB2.) I find pretailored solutions, all except SiteKore, too annoying. Who the hell wants Amazon links or special keywords or any of the other gratuitous "features"? If I didn't have the ambition to create, though, I might consider something like Drupal: Rampancy.net apparently uses it and it looks powerful enough.
No new Neil stories this evening, sadly. At present he hasn't done anything noteworthy, except installing software on random computers. I found it interesting that he had to type in two separate, different passwords to access the Site Administrator account in Novell. Is this a standard feature? (FWIW, I don't think his choices of passwords are secure -- and no, I did not hack him, nor do I know them. I just happened to notice that he doesn't press the Shift key whilst entering them, indicating a password that would be reasonably crackable.)