Tag Archives: ChromeOS

… no excuse …

Crawford Lake, ON, Canada

Crawford Lake, Ontario, Canada, 2013

… no excuse …

It’s been more than a year since my last post. In the world of blogging, that is an absolute no-no. As they say, there is no excuse for that. But you know that nevertheless I am going to give you some excuse anyhow. Or at least I am going to tell you what I have been up to.

First of all, let me say that my dalliances in the computer world over the last year included hardware as well as software.

On the hardware side of things, the first major new try out involved a ChromeBook notebook PC. The second new element was a Raspberry Pi 2. And the third new element was my first use of an SSD drive (other than the one in the ChromeBook, that is).

Software wise I dabbled in a lot of different things, with very mixed results. A lack of focus and an info overload meant that some of the directions I pursued were not further explored than getting to a fully functional install of a system, rather than actually developing in it.

One of the defining factors on the software side was that I was becoming a bit disenchanted with everything web development related.

Basically it was starting to look more and more as a mess to me. And that was at least half a year before I saw the articles essentially complaining about the same thing. That combined with my old and continued interest in OOP (Object Oriented Programming) led me to looking for a pure OOP software development system, which, contrary to web development, relied on one language system and was mostly self contained. So I had a look at one of the very first OOP systems: SmallTalk.

I also installed Simple Text as an editor. I have hardly used it, although I am writing this blog entry on it. The other thing I did with it, was testing it out guided by some pages in the ‘Coding with JavaScript for Dummies’ book.

On the ChromeBook I installed ‘crouton’, allowing me to run Linux on it. This worked amazingly well.

I also started exploring several JavaScript frameworks. This included installing things like Grunt, Bower, Yeoman, AngularJS and NodeJS. Managed to install these on several computers with different Linux distros, mostly Ubuntu variants. Again hardly used them.

Which brings me to the next item: choice of Linux distros and Linux window managers. If you are not familiar with Linux this must sound strange to you. So let me quickly first point out that contrary to Microsoft and Apple operating systems there are different Linux distros out there, and by that, I do not mean outdated together with new versions, but indeed a choice of distros which are all different, yet all up to date. And second even within the same distro you may have a choice of different but equally up to date window managers.

I have always been interested in using at least two different distibutions, one of which would be a full fledged distro with all kinds of software on it and a rather heavy weight desktop (i.e. KDE as part of Kubuntu). The other one following from attempts to find distro/desktop combinations which start out as lean as possible. The latter has not always been as easy as one would expect. Amongst others I worked for a while with CrunchBang Linux. It got discontinued, but might get a new lease of life as CrunchBang Plus Plus. I also use Xubuntu as a light weight system and have used Lubuntu too.

I mainly use Ubuntu supported versions, including Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Kubuntu, in either long term support versions or the latest versions. You don’t see Ubuntu itself mentioned here, because the Unity desktop Ubuntu comes with is aimed at all kinds of screens, including touch screens,tablets, phones, rather than specifically desktop screens as used typically in development systems. But Ubuntu like many main distros issue new versions on a regular basis (in Ubuntu’s case each April and October). While it is not impossible to upgrade in situ from a previous version, that may well take longer than a fresh install. Because of that I got intrigued by rolling release distros, once I heard about them. Actually, this blog entry is written running a rolling release distro. But it has not been a smooth ride getting going with a rolling release. I even combined the rolling release idea with the light weight system idea. As such I am writing this on a notebook PC running ArchBang Linux. Meanwhile I am also trying out at least two other rolling release distros, be it from within VirtualBox running on Xubuntu. Why? Well I realized I have been spoilt over the years by the Debian based package system (typical for Ubuntu and a lot of other Debian derived distros) and its many available package managers with graphical front ends. Most rolling releases I found were based on Arch Linux with its ‘pacman’ based management. Attempts to find another system not based on Arch have not been successful. Well maybe the one I am installing right now within VirtualBox may be a better choice. More about that in a more detailed blog specific to rolling distros?

There should be more than enough material based on what I have explained here, to come up with a few more posts, talking about the same issues in more detail. So as they say: ‘More to follow!’

Chris Rogiers for CeaRO Corporation, July 21st, 2015