Crossing Over

Boy, I just don’t update these days, do I?
I was thinking about that on my way home from work today, moving along a few feet at a time on the 10 freeway.
I think a big part of it is that it’s summer, and I’d much rather be outside, and I’ve been travelling A LOT since the middle of July. I’ve been to SLC, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, Alaska, Sacramento (twice) and I’ll be heading to San Francisco next week for the EFF event.
So when I have some “free” time, I’ve been giving it to my wife and family, and when I have some creative energy, I’m giving it to Arena.
It’s not like I don’t have stories to tell…there’s the trip to Alaska, the trip to Chicago, Camping with Anne and the boys last week….and boy do I ever have NEWS!
I’m going to give the news items their own entries over the next couple of days, because we just finished 2 episodes of Arena and I’ll have time while Anne’s at work (the boys are with their dad for his part of summer vacation.)
However, here’s a very exciting New Thing In Wil’s Life(tm):
A few weeks ago, my computer blew up. Smoke and everything. So I freaked…and just as I was about to go run the damn credit cards up to get a new machine, one arrived in the mail…this cool Sony VAIO thingy, that has a cool story all it’s own, that will get told later on, too. Trouble was, it wouldn’t start up. Or more correctly, it wouldn’t load Windows. It’d just choke.
So as I was starting to freak again, another computer arrived in the mail. This time it was a gift from many, many people, who all pooled their resources together to replace the old POS 5000 that had recently blown up.
This new computer was a gift, and it worked as soon as I plugged it in, internet and everything.
The thing is, it was running Lindows.
Now, I’ve been toying with dumping Windows for almost a year. The Open Source movement really appeals to my anarchistic and individualistic tendencies, and everyone I know who uses Linux tells me that I won’t miss Windows at all. I don’t really use any software that’s windows-specific, except Dreamweaver, and I’m told that I can run that under WINE, or find a comparable OS editor.
So I’m running this Lindows for about 3 weeks, and a couple of days ago, I break it. 100%. I messed up some dependencies, and even with the help of some really smart propeller heads, I just couldn’t fix it.
So last night, I crossed the rubicon and installed Mandrake 8.2.
This install was the easiest thing I have ever done, and there wasn’t one single problem. The only glitch came when I was trying to get my soundcard to work, which was hammered out quickly and painlessly, thanks to the monkeys in the soapbox.
I’m using Gnome, and I’ve never been happier.
I am now going to become the world’s number one Linux cheerleader.
I’m off to Think Geek to get a sticker for my car, and a T-shirt for my huge pectoral muscles.

94 thoughts on “Crossing Over”

  1. YAY Wil!
    Way to do Linux.
    Ive been wanting to try Lindows myself. Looks way cool.
    Anyone wanna give me a new computer? :)

  2. Whoah Nelly.
    Im number one. That has never happened.
    And just to make this post legit – wanted to say that I forgot to add Welcome Back, Wil (no, not Kotter). Look forward to the exciting news.
    Btw, saw the Nemesis trailer – did you ever find out if your scenes got cut or no?

  3. I’m not a tekkie and don’t understand most of what you wrote, but I’m glad to hear that you have a working computer. :)
    I’m looking forward to a real update.

  4. Glad to see you back, Wil! Out here on “the lone prairie” (well, okay, Winnipeg, actually a city I know I know but still very dusty at times) I look for news wherever I can find it. Cool about the new computer – I’d like to hear more about Linux etc. as am in Windows Hell at the moment…
    Deborah

  5. Welcome back, Wil – Blogging is important, but family is moreso. You have your head on straight.
    Re: Mandrake – the /. crowd won’t be able to get the smiles off their face.
    Glad to see posts again. =)

  6. Linux is cool… except when it’s running on a Solaris workstation. ARG! :(
    DOS was the best operating system ever, though. Long live 6.22!!

  7. You need to try SuSE, it will knock your socks off. Also, don’t forget to use Enlightment as your WM, its killer.
    Gabe
    PS: You are using Ximian Gnome right?..:)

  8. wil: is switching over to linux anything like losing your religion…or is that just the imbedded mind prompts mr. gates is sending through windows into my mind!….arghhh!

  9. Sorry I couldn’t help you out in the BBS, but I don’t understand a thing about linux. I use windows, because I like to ceep thing’s plain, and simple. I know…. Bill Gates is evil… I just wish there was another OS as easy as windows besides MAC’s. I’ve heard alot of bad thing’s about them. I look forword to hearing about your trips. :)

  10. Wil! You are such a GEEK! And I love you for it. Get down with your bad geeky self and do that Linux thing. Have a great time in SFO.
    LK.

  11. Will,
    You’ve moved on to Linux. I’m proud of you. You’re on you’re own now… your fate is in your hands. Computing is about to become a lot more fun. (By the way, have to rediscovered dunnet yet? Total flashback to the college compu-lab!)
    Now, when are you going to Nuke the site? ;)

  12. Wil,
    I’m curious. This laptop, did it have a PRL sticker stuck on the lid? When it failed to boot, did you see grub> as the prompt?

  13. Hurray, Score one for the Mandrake team. My favorite part (besides the ease of installation, the network install is a breeze) is mandrakeexpert.com and mandrakecampus.com. One is free and not-free-but-better support and theother is linux training, free I do belive. How do they stay in business. If I remember correctly they estimate that they will be a profit making company by the end of 2003. Mandrake is also the fastest growing distro.
    Be sure to check out the great command line programs, pine, links, and emacs are my favorites. Oh and of course Nethack: Falcon’s Eye too! 3d nethack! :o

  14. Hey welcome back Wil I hope you had lots of fun well, i didn’t have any fun at all, i think it is because i have… SCOOL in 15 days… ONLY 15, Well i just wanted to say Hi and hope you had fun and now it has been said so… I guess… BYE!!!! ;())

  15. Wil,
    It looks like you are living it up this summer.
    This is a great thing. You’re last entry, although it was written in greek, to me , seems to say that the great outdoors is a lot of fun.
    You go-go-go man.
    F.G.

  16. Congratulations, Wil! After running Mandrake for nearly two years, I can safely say that it has become very easy to install and use.
    This might seem like a shameless plug, but if you or anyone here would like help with Linux, let me know, and I’ll try to help.

  17. I am *this* close to getting a new computer… and Wil comes back pumping the Linux fist. Sigh. Shhh, Wil! My hubby doesn’t need any more encouragement to go Linux with the new box. I like the idea of Linux, but I’ve had to use it for work and it’s still completely incomprehensible to me.
    I want the shared computer to be nice and simple and familiar, especially since I’m probably going to need an iMAC within a year for film editing work. Gah. I’m feeling too old to learn new computer systems, and too grumpy with Windows to really champion it properly. :) Blarg.

  18. You’ll let us know how your experiences with installing software on linux works out, won’t you?
    I had linux on a machine here and it installed really easy. However, when I wanted to start doing something, that’s when it became a real bear to do anything.
    Even installing real software like Opera turned into a nightmare. The Open Source stuff you mentioned is even worse, some of it requires you to “build” the source instead of simply installing the software like Windows would.
    I even reciently read a webpage that told the story of a 3 year Linux person giving up on Linux an installing Windows XP.
    Good luck!

  19. Welcome back, Wil. Glad you are spending time with the family. From tha archives, in those early days (was it only a year ago?) you were posting multiple time a day as you got this site together. Although I miss your frequent messages, I’m glad you are spending time with the ones you love.
    With all the geek speak you have in this post, I was reminded of that piece of geek code you have in your FAQ. With your birthday, you are no longer in the 25-29 age range. Welcome to a new range!

  20. Way to go. I tried the whole Linux thing, but get frustrated and head back time and again to Windows. It’s almost time for a fresh format, however…. (evil grin)

  21. eh.. i use winXP i have problems here and there.. but nothing too big.. i am a tech geek though so i know how to NOT fuck up my operating systems.. anyway linux is good too but i don’t recommend it to anyone who is not a power user.. windows is just user friendly..
    blargh

  22. I like coming on WWDN and seeing a new post.
    It’s like a happy electronic gift, an Inter-net goodie bag.
    And hey, you’re coming up to SF! This rocks. When, where, etc? I’d come and see you; you’re TV’s Wil Wheaton, and that’s enough for me.

  23. Wil–
    I can’t believe I’m not geeky enough to understand at least A LITTLE of your latest post!
    I *did* understand the “it’s too nice to stay inside with the computer” part. I feel that way, too, but not until February. (February here in AZ, that is.) However, if you get that laptop to work, you can have the best of both worlds! Example: you can write a blog entry while sitting under a nice tree. At least until your batteries run out!

  24. linux is great. it doesn’t crash every 5 minutes or freak out if you want to minimise anything, and you can install new software or hardware without having to reboot. i think debian is the best distribution though. if you want to install a program you just type “apt-get install (program name)” and it does everything for you, including getting all the dependencies and setting up everything.
    i’m not a geek. i’m just getting married to a computer scientist so this is the sort of thing i get to know.

  25. Congrats on switching to Linux, dude!
    You should really give SuSE a try, installation on the new release is the easiest I’ve ever seen…
    As for the VAIO, I have one myself, proprietary boxes to no end, support is nonexistant (standard advice: whatever your problem, reinstall the recovery CD), and if it needs to get fixed, or you need a replacement part for it, better check if your credit card can handle the impact! But Sony has one of the best designs out there, IMO.
    Looking forward to updates (distraction from work is always welcome ;-)
    Take care,
    -Oliver

  26. My husband uses linux and loves it.
    He is trying to get me to partition the
    harddrive on my computer and put linux
    on. He currently is using Debian. He has
    installed and destroyed Mandrake many times.
    I hope you enjoy using Linux as much as my
    husband does.

  27. Wil,
    Consider using KDE3 – it’s a ton faster and more stable than Gnome and you can make it look prettier too IMHO :-D Congratulations though! Glad to hear everything is working again, and welcome to the Linux community :-

  28. TOO FUNNY!!!! Congrats on the new machine and system. I work for a polling firm name Public Opinion Strategies – get it – POS. Boy I never get tired of being reminded of that. Have a good one.

  29. Wil ya nerd!
    I want you to puh-lace a-your hands on the keyboard and a FEEL the power. FEEL the power surge a-through you. Say NO to sin. Say NO to Windows. Say NO to Mistah Gates. Say yuh YES to freedom. Say yuh YES to taking the first step on your own, and walking, walking out into the light, following your a-new straight path to complete and a-total nerd efficiency.
    Glad to see you posting again. Later dude.

  30. ” Welcome to the real world ” – Morpheus
    I run a box at home with Mandrake 8.2 and it rocks. You’re going to love it. You can do so much with Linux and almost everything is free.
    Enjoy Wil.

  31. Great Wil! I hope you enjoy Mandrake! I just switched over on both my home and my ‘work’ machine. Home now uses a beautiful mac and work i get redhat linux!
    I’m a happy camper and I hope you are too!

  32. “I am now going to become the world’s number one Linux cheerleader.”
    I know where you can get a penguin suit, cheap!
    John McGregor

  33. ok, i suck at the computer geek thing, but nothing like seeing a line from one of my favorite musicals
    “I crossed the rubicon”
    anyone else know “1776”?
    well, i guess everyone has ONE thing they’re a geek about…
    ::hangs head::

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