Friday, March 9, 2007

Porter, as in that guy who carries stuff.

I set up my sweet itty bity baby lappy with Fedora Core 6 the other day. I mostly use porter as a remote video station for my bedroom when I want to do uTube or watch something with qpel that my mpg4 portable hard drive can't play.

I was stuck with Windows XP Pro on it for a long time, it's just a little Pentium M 1GHz machine 512MB RAM, about an inch thick when the floppy/cd base is off and a 12.1" screen on it. It's just powerful enough for HD content via divx. XP Pro works with my network, doing the WPA2 wireless (I just happened to have a pair of Intel 2200BG 802.11G minipci cards, don't ask, long story) and network neighborhood stuff for my three file servers that I have most of my media on.

I found Beryl a while back, which is a neato alpha channeled window manager with a rocking 3D desktop on a cube. I tested it out with Sabayon LiveCD, and it liked the Intel graphics chip on my lappy! I was so jazzed that I broke the drive in half and installed it.

Too bad that Sabayon is so terrible as a daily use system! You can't update ANYTHING and their package manager is hopelessly broken. I poked around a bit and found that Redhat's antecedent Fedora Core has beryl too, so I slapped that into porter's little brain.

KDE is great, but some of the FC6 components are bit iffy, so I installed KNetwork Manager, rather than the default networking system, and also got KBFX since the menu system for kde is a clunky out dated POS. I would love to have kickoff like sabayon uses, but that's a KDE 4 thing and FC6 is still on KDE 3.5.

The thing that closed the deal for me was fusesmb. This software lets me mount my whole CIFS network neighborhood onto a mount point. Now I can get to all my audiobooks and TV shows without the BS of KDE thinking it has to download the whole damn file into a cache before it plays it with kaffeine.

Used it for week and I realized that I hadn't had any reason to go back to XP on porter. So XP had to go. Linux made that easy too, the LVM system that comes with FC6 made it easy to add a new partition that was the space XP was on into the mix and resize the filesystem with just a boot to a LiveCD and a couple of commands.

If I had somewhere to put the 200GB of content on my main system while I go linux on it I think my home PC could do it too, but my three 21" CRT's and 1 touchscreen have yet to play nice on a LiveCD, and once you've hit that Plateau by Nirvana and had that much workspace you really can't go back.

No comments: