This evening I took the big plunge: I completely wiped Microsoft Windows XP off my 2003 Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop and made it an Ubuntu linux only machine. Goodbye Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates! Goodbye! Hello Feisty Fawn, Hello!
Back in Nov. of 2005, I turned the Dell into a dual boot of Windows XP and Ubuntu’s Breezy Badger, thanks to the patient help of Glenn Strong.
I enjoyed using Ubuntu’s Breezy Badger install the whole time I was at Trinity College as it helped me to avoid a really crappy networking situation with XP and I learned quite a bit about the Bash shell and Terminal. But when I bought the Silver Princess in March of 2006, the Dell fell out of favor.
A 2003 Dell laptop couldn’t compare to a brand new spanking 2006 Mac PowerBook G4. Why use Ubuntu when OS X has a Terminal app and a million other things without trouble or sudo apt-get?
The Dell started to gather dust. I even lost its power cord last fall for a number of months and had to borrow my brother’s. Cord found in my recent move. The Dell is still dusty.
When the Great Water Disaster of 2007 occurred, I was crushed. My beloved Silver Princess was dead. Corroded logic board. Sad. Sad. Sad. Ok, so I purchased a MacBook Pro immediately, but in the month since, I still have not fully taken to the machine, nor have I installed all my design and development softwares / environments, and most of all – I haven’t named the MacBook Pro, yet.
This is a problem. Every car and computer I have ever owned has had a name within the hour of purchase. The Dell laptop is Black Phoebe (black case, silver belly – just like the bird). The PowerBook was Silver Princess (so cute, so small, so lovely, so Silver). My first Dell back in 1999 was the Sugar Princess, it now lives at Alex’s Bar doing payroll and tax duty. Why can’t I find a name for the MacBook Pro?
Anywhooo, with the addition of the MacBook Pro to the family, I have taken my Windows XP and installed it on the MacBook via Parallels for a seamless testing environment. Check a site in WinXP SP1 with IE6, then check the site in WinXP SP2 with IE7, and also in the Mac. Done. No worries.
With XP off being used on the Mac, what to do with the Dell?
Wipe it, baby, wipe it. One clean wipe. One clean install of Feisty Fawn.
After completely backing up the Windows side of the Dell, I took the Ubuntu 7.04 disk popped it in the cd/dvd drive and off we went. Feisty Fawn. So nice. What a great install. Very user friendly without any of the big choices that Breeze Badger made one make. Ubuntu Linux is getting closer and closer to mainstream prime-time.
When it was fully installed, Feisty Fawn even recognized my wifi router and network. This is a first, as I was never able to get Breezy Badger to see my wifi card let alone the wireless network. After a bit of a to do, I realized that I was not able to connect because my wireless card from 2003 does not talk to my brand new Buffalo router from 2007 via Feisty Fawn. Rather than spending hours with the Terminal and sudo/install/make, I suppose it is time for a new wifi card.
The best part is that in time it has taken to write this blog post about installing Ubuntu, I have just installed Ruby on Rails onto Feisty Fawn. That was about 2.5 days faster install than on the MacBook Pro. The Dell is now my Rails dev machine.
Now I just need to set up my own Rails server… ha!