The Mac and Windows Alternative: My Linux Laptop

A few weeks ago, I seriously thought about buying either Apple's latest MacBook or a Windows laptop where I could dual boot between the laptops native operating systems and Linux. In the end, I chose to install Linux on a three year old laptop. This old laptop isn't just any laptop but one of the first sub-$1000 laptops that hit the United States market. The laptop is the Averatec 3220 and over time I've found it just too sluggish for running Windows XP.

This old Averatec 3220 had a lot of negatives going its way for installing Linux. The laptop is from a company that almost no one knows so support was limited. Even Google had a tough time helping me find "best practices" for installing Linux on this particular laptop model. This particular laptop includes an AMD Athlon XP-M 2000+ processor, 512 MB RAM (upgraded from the original 256 MB), a 12.1 inch screen, and both Ethernet and wireless networking capabilities. The laptop could barely be considered "up to date" with regards to hardware, although its exterior is designed well and doesn't look dated like other laptops of the same age.

Before I discuss my troubles with installing Linux on this laptop, let me first talk about the positives. During the past two weeks, using Linux on this laptop has been pure joy.

Photoshop and Web 2.0

Confession: I never knew how much there was to Photoshop until my wife, the photographer, decided to move over to the digital age. During the course of our marriage, while she has excelled in the art of digital photography, as well as Photoshop, I have remained the amateur.

Luckily, Corrie Haffly at Sitepoint has started a series of articles for geeks like us who still think all we need on our Websites is any of the eight colors we learned when we were five. (By the way, I got a star on my paper in, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, brown, and black!)

The visual style that has come to be associated with the term Web 2.0 has exploded in popularity; everywhere you look, corporate sites, web service sites, ecommerce sites, and even personal blogs are making use of clean, minimalist design coupled with fancy graphic effects. If you'd like to jump on the bandwagon, this is the article for you!

Robert Accettura - Presidential Campaigns and Website Secrets

Robert Accettura, a Mozzila contributer and web developer, has placed a follow-up to his original "Secrets in Websites" post, appropriately titled, Secrets In Websites II. When reading this type of posts on the Web it truly puts people like you and me into geek paradise.

This post is a follow up to the first Secrets In Websites. For those who don’t remember the first time, I point out odd, interesting, funny things in other websites code. Yes it takes some time to put a post like this together, that’s why it’s just about a year since the last time. Enough with the intro, read on for the code.

One thing you may miss in this post though is Page 2, be sure not to skip it. On the second page he has a section called Presidential Campaign Analysis. As I commented on Accettura's blog, I began a number of times doing a similar analysis focusing on the U.S. presidential campaigns, but I never quite got around to completing the task. I'm so glad that someone has done this. In the post, where applicable, Accettura also tries to identify what type of CMS the presidential candidates are using. So far he's identified Drupal, Wordpress, Archos, and Typepad.

Hopefully Accettura is open to corrections and perhaps we can help him identify better which CMS are being used? I already see one commenter identifying what may have been Drupal is actually a Wordpress site ("Chris Dodd’s site uses Drupal while Bill Richardson’s does not"). Either way, isn't this great stuff from Accettura?

OSC: Amy Stephen's 5,000th post in the Joomla! Community Forum

Amy Stephen, site leader for Open Source Community, submitted her 5,000th post in the Joomla! Community Forum. The Joomla! community makes a big deal out of these type of achievements and we've covered some of their milestones in the past. You know what? It's hard not to celebrate someone else's contributions to open source communities. Congratulations to Amy!

Amy Stephen's 5,000th post in the Joomla! Community Forum

Drupal shopping carts: Ubercart and e-Commerce module still the way to go

In 2006, I helped bring a friend's Fish and Tackle store online using open source osCommerce. The project was ugly in both appearance and code as I was merging a legacy site with an SMF forum together with the osCommerce software. As I indicated back then, while osCommerce was functional I was not pleased with the software. I kept on thinking how much easier this project would have been if I had used what I consider as modern CMS's.

Quoting IT: Prisoners of Legacy

"We’re now at the point where the most innovative technology for users really is being created in the nonbusiness space. Corporate IT has become the prisoner of legacy technology, and the result isn’t just stodginess — we’re missing out on innovation that could make our users more productive, more effective and more successful."

--Frank Hayes, "Prisoners of Legacy", ComputerWorld, January 7, 2008

Spreading the Word

I really like the advice Global Moxie has given their users for how best to promote their content management system, Big Medium. In their blog post, Psst... Pass It On! Spreading the Word about Big Medium, they talk about various way users can "spread the word" about Big Medium. They show a good understanding for how online communities work, including what you shouldn't do when marketing a product via a blog or forum.

Don’t be a zealot