Since I resurrected the one computer and migrated the website to it, I ended up with an extra computer–the old P3 that was my webserver.
I’ve set it up as a test machine and have been playing with other versions of Linux, other than Slackware, that is.
I had already messed about with Mandriva and was completely and totally disenchanted.
For other adventures, go below the fold.
One thing I have learned is that Slackware is a damned fine teacher. Dan and Fab over at Linux Outlaws like to complain that installing Slackware involves pain.
It really doesn’t.
If what you want to do is surf the web, do word processing, and deal with email, Slack is a piece of cake, as long as you can follow directions. If you want to do other stuff, like set up networking, run a fileserver or a webserver, yeah, there is a learning curve, but it’s no more complicated that filling out a 1040-EZ.
All it takes is a little reading.
Having gotten pretty good–hardly expert–with Slack, I’ve found other Linux distros to be elementary, my dear Watson, elementary, to set up (except for Mandriva, which was a pig, mostly because, every time you wanted to do something, you had to go out and download additional software, because nothing was included–not Samba, not Cups, not nothing. With Slack, I was on the network after the installation; with Mandriva, I had to configure the network after the installation before I could, like, even, surf the darned innertubes).
I mucked about with OpenSUSE for awhile. I got everything working over my network, including network printing with CUPS and Samba browsing. However, since I chose to install with the Gnome interface, there was no LISa. LISa appears to be a KDE thing. That is, I am certain it could be gotten independently, but it comes with KDE.
AFAIC, Gnome really su–is less than desirable. KDE is easier to use, more versatile, more intuitive, and more flexible.
(I remember saying once after rebuilding a computer, “I got LISa working.” My girlfriend of the time said, “Who’s Lisa?” My girlfriend was not a geek.)
I really like LISa. With it, I can cruise over my network and log into any Linux box as “root” (that’s “administrator” for you poor deluded Windows users) and have full access to the box to move and copy files. With Samba, I have access only to the Samba shares.
Of course, if a Windows user was on my network, I would want him or her to have access only to the Samba shares. Heaven forbid he or she would have access to the heart of the machine.
Right now, I have the box loaded up with CentOS with KDE. I’ve got it fully working on the network, including Samba, LISa, and CUPS.
I want to put wine on it and make wine work.
Next, I want to give Debian a whirl.