I have encountered yet more problems with my EPIA 5000 mini-itx server:
- Everything boots fine
- Memtest shows no errors after 30 minutes+
- ubuntu Server 6.10 installs
- ubuntu Server 6.10 doesn't boot after install
- DSL installs
- DSL doesn't boot after install
- Windows 2000 Professional installs and boots fine
- ubuntu Desktop 6.10 Live CD runs fine
I'll let you know how it goes, but hopefully it'll be fully working within the next day or two. The Linux fanboys boast about how great Linux is, but what they don't mention is how fussy the damn thing is. At least Windows 2000 installed without a hitch - though it did take close to an hour, whereas 6.06 took 30 minutes and 6.10 took closer to 15 minutes.
Due to a race in Lincoln I'm forced to stay in for the first half of the day, which is annoying.
However, it allows me to crack on with a project that's been on the back-burner for far too long. You may recall me mentioning my mini-itx hardware that I had a bit of trouble obtaining. In the end it did arrive - and it'll be the basis for today's antics.
In a similar fashion to Pinky, I've followed the naming scheme and titled this project Dinky. It'll be a ubuntu server for getting to grips with Linux servers. I'll have a pop at serving a few web pages on it, along with trying out the many firewall features within Linux. I originally opted for DSL on Dinky, but after getting it to run successfully on a Compact Flash II card, I found it to be too basic for my needs. Don't get me wrong, that's the intentions of Damn Small Linux, but it is too Damn Small for me. I may revisit it in the near future if I find it may prove a viable solution.
So ubuntu it is. I will also be installing the desktop version onto Red19 to give me an alternative to Vista. Ubuntu isn't alien to me as I've had it dual-booting alongside Windows XP in the past and I dabbled with Suse a few years prior to that too. But to call myself a Linux n00b is fairly appropriate - as my bash skills are pretty dire.
The main reason for opting to install the server edition on Dinky is to provide me with an easy-to-use server distro, to allow me to understand the ins-and-outs a little better/easier. There is one slight problem though - do you opt for the Long-Term-Support 6.06 or the more recent 6.10? Seeing as Digg is full of articles on ubuntu I've decided to use 6.10 for both Dinky and Red19.
That's the distro and version sorted, but how about 64-bit? OK. Red19 is 64-bit and has been running Vista Ultimate 64-bit for almost a month now, quite happily.
It's now that I've hit a slight snag. You see, Vista doesn't seem to support the burning of .iso's to CD/DVD straight out of the box. It managed to burn it for me, but as a file, not as an image. Luckily I've still got XP with Nero 6 on Pinky, sitting next to me - with which I've successfully burnt the server distro already. The desktop .iso is winging its way to me at 470 kB/sec from Kent's mirrors.
Once I've finished this first part in a short series, I'll head out to the garage and pick the various pieces of hardware that I need to build Dinky up:
- Via EPIA 5000 mini-itx board
- 256MB Kingston PC133 (+ another possible 256MB of Samsung)
- 60w mini-PSU + external brick
- 20GB Maxtor 3.5" HDD
- Maplin project case
- 21" CRT for testing, along with a MS Mouse/KB
I'll let you know how it all goes with a further instalment. If you're really lucky I'll post some pics too, but a full project log will be appearing on the bit-tech forums sometime soon.
Let me know if you've had any experience with either mini-itx hardware or ubuntu itself!
Mozilla's Firefox is at version 18.104.22.168 right now, proving extremely popular with Linux, Mac and Windows users. I've been a Firefox fan for several years now, but have only recently discovered the usefulness of its extensions:
- Bookmark Sync and Sort - allows you to store your bookmarks on a webserver having them synchronised to your PC every time you use Firefox. I find this extremely useful and essential for my web browsing, as my bookmarks are stored centrally on slickhouse.com - so that if I open Firefox at work, I'll be presented with the same bookmarks that I use at home, or even out and about with my laptop. If I come across a webpage that I want to keep for future reference, I simply bookmark it as usual and once I close Firefox, that bookmark is synchronised with the web server. If I later decide to delete it, then the bookmark disappears from the web server. Simple. There's plenty of options within the extension, allowing you to adapt it to your specific needs. I'm aiming to go one step further in the near future though - by creating an online bookmarks CMS, allowing me to access my bookmarks from any browser in the world, but for now this extension is perfect.
- British English Dictionary - is ideal for me as a blogger and regular forum user. Firefox was recently blessed with a built-in spell checker feature, which checks your spelling in real-time. There's not much else to say, but it's helped me out numerous times in the past. Of course, there are plenty of other dictionaries available, but as I'm British, this extension is ideal.
- Web Developer - is one of the most popular extensions. Designed with Web Developers in mind, it has many functions built-in. The extension is both a menu and toolbar, allowing you to access the various options quickly and easily. It also comes complete with an icon for integrating with your current toolbars, allowing you to hide the toolbar itself for more screen real-estate. With the Web Developer extension you can disable various elements of a web page; outline elements; resize the window; validate code; view and edit source code and much more. I'm only just scratching the surface of it in my day-to-day usage. If you design and code your own websites, then this extension is a must.
- Domain Details - is perhaps the simplest of my favoured extensions. It allows you to find out various pieces of information for the domain you are currently viewing - such as whois and IP address info. It's another must-have for Web Developers or those interested in delving a bit deeper into a website.
Edit: Since writing this article, I've stopped using the Bookmark Sync and Sort and the Dictionaries have moved.
I've made another addition to slickhouse.com - this time a feature many of you should find very useful and you'll no doubt wonder how you survived without it.
WordPress.org have recently updated their plugins section, within which I found a handy plugin that allows me to display the recent comments on the sidebar:
You'll notice them just below the Blog Stats. By clicking on the blue name of the comment poster, you'll be taken to the comment itself.
Let me know if it's useful to you - as it allows you to keep up-to-date with all the comments, something which I can easily do from the WordPress admin interface.
Posted: Saturday 24th March 2007, 01:23pm
So the PlayStation 3 launched last night, but what happened?
Well, Sony launched the PS3 across the globe with many retailers opening at midnight. However, the launch appears to have been a global-flop with hardly any fuss and a distinct lack of interest.
The U.S. launch was the complete opposite with riots, drive-bys and plenty of bullet action. Why is it then that the rest of the world isn't interested? Perhaps because Sony has ruined our version of the console? Maybe.
I can't be bothered to look into it too much - but I can report that in France, Microsoft had a boat next to the launch saying XBOX 360 Loves You. In Australia, only 40 people turned up to the grand launch in Sydney - requiring the Media to create their own crowd sounds. Sony do seem to like us Brits though - giving away a 46" Sony LCD TVs to all 100 of those that queued up for the launch. Apparently though, the police had warned retailers of possible violence leading up to the launch - but there's no reports of any yet.
It appears then, that most of the world has ignored Sony's latest offering. TrustedReviews published a review of the PS3 this morning, concluding that it's great, but not worth recommending right now, at all.
Sony's PlayStation 3 - loved by American Fanboys, ignored by intellectuals. Sony's PS3 - the centre of your digital world, hardly. For £425 you could almost buy an XBOX 360 and a Wii - though you may encounter problems with the Wii shortage. I suppose that's Sony's only strong point - there are plenty of PS3s to go around. Demand has far outweighed supply for both the XBOX 360 and Wii in the past - but demand is nowhere near as high as supply for the PS3.
Will you be purchasing a PS3? Not me. I'm currently awaiting the Elite XBOX 360, in black. But for now, my PC will suffice.