My main laptop died the other day, I’ve had enough. It didn’t die hardware wise, a single file in the Windows XP Pro install got damaged & that was it. The machine was dodo like. After some checks with the Recovery Console and various F8 options (like don’t reboot on a crash so that I can see the error!) I discovered that the software hive from the registry was damaged, there were a couple of MSDN/TechNet notes on how to recover from this, including using the Recovery console to remove the existing hives & replace them with some backups from the original install, you can see more here.
I’d been getting increasingly frustrated with the laptop, it’s no slouch, a Fujitsu-Siemens S6120, 1.6Ghz Centrino, 1024Mb, 40Gb disk, but it took forever to resume from a hibernate. If you hibernated it whilst docked & resumed un-docked, it would crash. Firefox seemd to get more & more sluggish.
I know not all of these problems are Microsofts, but it’s urged me to try something different on the laptop, I’m a Network & Systems Specialist by day, I work in mixed environments, I look after alot of Sun/Solaris, Intel/Windows & Intel/Linux kit, my previous laptop (actually, the one I’m writing this on, another Fujitsu-Siemns, a B2130 this time) ran Debian/Woody for a long time, with alot of neat features working, like the touchscreen, bluetooth, gprs, masqmail, mutt & isync, jpilot, file syncing with unison over ssh, wireless with waproamd.
When work gave me the S6120, I thought I’d run it out of the box for a while to see how we got along, initially things worked well, I got PuTTY installed for remote access to *nix boxes, I got VMWare installed for a couple of *nix & Windows VM’s for playing & breaking things. I disovered some promsing software for keeping my Palm, Palm Desktop & my phone all in sync (MobileMaster, it works,mostly)and some other neat bluetooth/phone tools like Float’s FMA. When stuck on site in an office with no external internet access, I even managed to share the dialup line with collegues over bluetooth.
But resuming got slower, it would crash on resume every now & then.
It was time to see of Debian/Linux could give me a decent working environment for my current needs. I work for a medium sized high end software services company, I’m there IT manager, I also do “consultancy” for them, where then send me out on site & expect everything in the office to run as if I’m still there while I do the same for some other company 🙂
I need the following:
Multiple network access methods (wired, wireless, gprs) all to work smoothly
Offline Network Shares
VPN Access (currently we use SSH for crude but effective VPN access, IPSec is on it’s way, as is Citrix SG if I ever get a chance!)
Proper wordprocessing & spreadsheet tools, this pretty much means Word & Excel, as we’re stuck in the “that’s what everybody else is using” rut.
Encryptable disk space
Cross platform encryptable USB stick support.
It’s bed time, the rest of the story will have to wait until tomorrow…