Interesting Times

My laptop battery life was down to 8 minutes, the keyboard was getting cranky and software entropy had left a number of applications in limbo – so it was time to get a new laptop. As I work on it pretty well all the time I decided to go for a Dell Inspiron M4400 with all the trimmings, but the big decision was on operating system. I had not moved from Windows XP as that was the last stable Microsoft offering as far as I was concerned but I had been hearing good things about Win7 and felt it might be about time to upgrade. I also decided that my dependence on Office 2000 needed to be seen to, so went for Office 2007 – I need Access otherwise I’d have gone OpenOffice/Star/SmartSuite or something.

So, Windows 7 … well, it hasn’t been entirely painless but it has been a lot less hassle than I expected. PCMover Pro moved the stuff I needed over and got a lot of it into near workable state that just took a few tweaks with the compatibility flags to sort out … main issues

– Homesite .. getting the ftp integration to work took a complete re-install
– Quickbooks SimpleStart 2006 – forget it, had to buy the latest version (they don’t do upgrades!)
– NAS Disk, still not working but can mount individual sub-directories, they need to sort this!
– Forticlient VPN, had to downgrade to a 3.x version but then it worked ok

Those were the ones that caused the aggro but they got sorted, with the exception of NAS disk, in a couple of days.

Next step was to buy a blank pc from Mesh computers to act as a local unix server to provide me with in-house LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP). I chose the ArchLinux distro and set about it. An hour and a half later it’s all up and running, with X-windows and KDE should I chose to use it. Ok, so I am more of a command-line jockey than anything but it is a measure of some of the differences between Windows and Linux that it took so much less time to get a more powerful operating system running 😉

Got a lovely little usb-powered 500Gb pocket drive from PC World too … excellent piece of kit

Next, I think I’ll upgrade my router … but that’s for another day