Several months ago, I was in the market for a new computer. I had grown tired of Windows. Not that Windows is all that bad, but I think Bill Gates has too much money already. No need to give him any of mine. My computer at the time dated back to 1997. It had an AMD (K6?) and had been updated more than Michael Jackson's face. I had introduced a friend of mine to Macs, even though I had never owned one myself. I really liked his Intel MBP, so I decided to get a Mac. After showing my wife an iMac at CompUSA and convincing her that this was a good idea, I ordered my iMac from apple.com.
My first impression was that I couldn't believe how big it was. I had been using a 15" CRT (I know... in 2006!) and the 23" and 30" Apple Cinema Displays dwarfed this thing in the store. Setup was easy and I didn't have any real problems getting started. I don't intend to wax lyrical about Apple, so suffice to say I am happy with my purchase.
A few months ago my Linksys WRT54G wireless router started acting up. (It's v.5 damnit, so no DD-WRT for me.) I ended up getting the Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n Base Station. I already had a 120GB external hard drive and I thought it would be cool to connect it to the USB port on the AEBS. When I finally got it in, it worked like a charm. The external hard drive worked on both my Mac and my wife's Dell laptop.
Here lately I've been itching for a new project. My Mac and Dell were playing nice and everything was getting really quite boring. I had used Linux before about 5 years ago. I tried Red Hat, SuSE, and Mandrake, but they couldn't convince me to make the switch before. But this time, I had that old PC in the closet, now with a 19" widescreen LCD. So I downloaded a few Linux distros that offered Live CDs; Ubuntu Desktop and Server, Fedora and Slackware. I tried each distro on each computer and decided to go with Ubuntu. It was really just a random choice. Chock it up to brand recognition.
I originally planned to use the Ubuntu box for a server. I already have the 120GB hard drive on the AEBS, so I don't really need a file server. My network consist of the three computers, the AEBS, and a shared internet connection. There isn't really anything that I need the linux computer for, its more of a want. But I don't even really know what I want to do with it. It is on my wife's desk in our home office right now. She is still in school and she hated typing papers on her laptop, so it may be her (almost) new desktop when school starts back up. I already have OO.o installed on all 3 computers, and I must say I like it better than Microsoft Office or iWork. Being free and cross platform really comes in handy.
Getting all three to share has been a bit nerve racking, but things are coming around. At first, neither XP, OS X, nor the Airport Disk wanted to show Ubuntu their hard drive contents. The Airport Disk and XP finally came around after some coaxing. I figured out how to use remote desktop on my iMac to use the linux box in case I ever decide to use Ubuntu as a server, I can save the display for something more meaningful. I had trouble getting my HP Photosmart network printer to work with Ubuntu, but after we split up and cooled off, the penguin is seeing things my way.
There are still a few kinks to shake out, like getting the Mac to access the Ubuntu hard drive. All three computers seem to be playing nice. I don't know if linux is ready for mainstream, but, now, its ready for my home office.
If you have any advice on my setup, need any advice on a similar setup, or just want to relate a similar story, I need something to do when I get to work on Monday.