Older blog entries for jgbillings (starting at number 2)

27 Nov 2006 (updated 27 Nov 2006 at 07:50 UTC) »

Today I spent some time getting a wireless card working on my laptop, a 500 Mhz Compaq Armada m700. I paid zero dollars for the laptop and card, the machine definately suits my need and since I'm planning on traveling soon, and being offline, I am trying to get prepared. The battery doesn't work in this machine which is a drawback, since I may not always have good access to electricty and when I land in New Zealand, I'll hve to be careful, since they use a different electrical standard. I was thinking to buy a used laptop from a hardware dealer I've done business with here, but I think I'll wait and buy a native kiwi laptop when I get over there. Sure would be a nice to have a battery though, batteries plus list a battery on their site for like 160, yowza may as well be a million dollars, I'd never consider spending that much on a battery, maybe 30 dollars... or zero dollars, but not that much.

So anyway, the card that I found in the scrap pile is a linksys WPC11 version 4, I did my due dilligence trying to find an open source driver, there was one, but a little to experimental for my taste. The forum on the sourceforge page described some problems using the Linksys card, which uses a maxim radio from what I recollect. So I had to go with ndiswrapper, which I'm not knocking, seems to be a really great project, just didn't want to have to use the windows drivers. But anyway I've only configured ndiswrapper once before, so had to relearn the debian way to do use it, which didn't take long. Now it's working, and I have a pretty good machine to learn and study Debian, work on some development projects and do pretty much anything I want to do, this machine is good enough. When I get settled in New Zealand though, I'm starting to think about creating a development environment, and all that might entail. Also I have rented some VPS instances, and think I'll be able to keep all three of them, and may be able to get a server hosted before I leave.

Debian school begins

After spending some time with Dapper on my laptop, last week I wiped it out and installed Etch. Sounds like it's getting close to becoming stable, so I want to get familiar with it. For the few production servers I maintain, there is only one operating system... Debian stable. I like software that does not change. As far as I'm concerned, the release cycles are too short. Anyway, I am going to dedicate myself to learning as much as my brain can contain about the operating system and tonight I found a slide presentation by Lars Wirzenius on packaging. The first thing he suggests familiarizing yourself with is the Debian Policy Manual, the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, and the Linux Standard Base. More than a little light reading.

Oh so much to learn, but I'm starting to understand packaging now. There are some things about building that I'm not so sure about. Need to study things like gcc and of course it'd probably be good to get better at using gpg encryption. I've tried a couple times at learning gpg, and made a few mistakes but I'm starting to get a handle on that too.

23 Nov 2006 (updated 23 Nov 2006 at 01:40 UTC) »

So recently I've been thinking to keep a blog/journal of my research on Free Software, and progress of learning it, and hopefully upping my aprentice level. Although right now, I'm listed as an observer here, will someone please certify me as an apprentice? Well, I'm looking to start using nanoblogger, an app I found browsing through the debian packages the other day, but I want to post things here as well. We'll see how it goes.

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