A Geek’s Thankfulness

I just feel impressed to tell you a story of a geek’s thanks… even though the people to whom the thanks are intended will likely never read it.

I have two computers and a tablet on my desk. One of the computers, a desktop that originally ran Windows XP, was the machine I “inherited” when I came into this office. When I migrated to a laptop the question arose of what we would do with “the old Dell”, and a number of ideas sprang to mind.

I finally decided to turn it into a NAS — which means network-attached storage device. With the multimedia files we were punting up and down the stairs on thumb drives it made sense to have a central repository where we could not only transfer these files so we could stop worrying about where our thumb drives were, but also a place where we could send backups.

I tried leaving the machine “the way it was” with Windows XP initially. To say it was troublesome would be an understatement. It would “disappear” off the local network every three to four days, and if there was ever a serious data collision (two or more people trying to access the same data at the same time) the results — although unpredictable — were usually a full-on lock-up requiring a reset and sometimes resulting in data loss.

Then I got a bright idea.

Linux is free. Linux runs nicely on older hardware. (The machine in question is a Pentium-D with two gigs of RAM.) So I installed Ubuntu Linux as a total Linux “noob” and with the help of Nimesh Patel set it up with SAMBA.

How’s it been you ask?

If I don’t bother to attend to the software updates…. it often runs 30, 40, or 50 days continuously without a reboot, without a problem, and quite often, without me even needing to LOOK at it, let alone login to it. In fact, the second last time I logged into it, it took several minutes for me to remember the password because it had been so long since I used it.

So this Thanksgiving, aside from all the “usual” things I’m thankful for… I’m thankful for Linux. It is helping the technical part of my job run smoothly and with almost-zero effort on my part. To use a phrase the Mac folks like… “It just works.” And it cost me… ZERO.

Thank you Linus Torvald for your contribution to society.

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Posted on October 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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