Win2Lin Day 1

I had Steve around my place today to help me set up the Linux box and ensure that the platform material is working correctly.

The major tasks today involved configuring Apache with PHP 5 and mySQL.

Thankfully, SUSE 9.3 comes with mySQL 4.1, saving a great deal of aggravation. The catch is that SUSE 9.3 seems to come with PHP4. So the task to set to was to effectively install some elements well. A key program to install is apt-get, which I found through’s guide to The Perfect Setup – SUSE 9.3.

Once apt-get is installed, you can download the appropriate updates by following the instructions. This has enabled us to have a system working as well (if not better), than the previous Windows system.

Next move was to install remote support over a number of alternate sessions. This is possible in Windows XP SP2 with the appropriate BETA hack.

There’s still a great deal to do. The first step is to convert my Outlook 2003 data, and get all my PIM stuff working on Linux…

Win2Lin Begins

As if Windows sniffed out my intentions, it refused to boot this morning. Only 1 day after I thought I’d give the Linux platform a proper go.

So now I’m running SUSE 9.3 which installed from the DVD a burned a few days ago fairly easy.

I’ve cheated somewhat though – I’m using a friendly KDE inteface for all my woes. And YaST is doing most of the configuration.

Which really should be how it is.

My first trouble was getting onto the internet. I like my work PC to have a manual IP address on my network for remote access purposes. In Windows, all the IP settings that I need are in a single friendly tab. YaST sees them dotted around in 3 different menus.

Not incredibly intuitive to begin with. And there have been other issues, but it’s almost midnight and I have another computer to build before tomorrow. I’d better get cracking.

Fixed width, yet I’m still on the borders.

The Google sidebar happened to allow me to drop into the following blog:
Armed and Dangerous » Blog Archive » Site theme no longer completely sucks.

Gripping title, isn’t it?

The crux of it is that all designers are morons because it’s sometimes preferable to use fixed width styles.


I think there’s a time and a place for fixed width styles. In fact, I’m proud of the paper-layout style that the Centaur Systems website has.

On the flip-side, the Imhotep theme that bloggingIT is using had to be modified to make the margins smaller. Although, the values were percentages, and not fixed-width as it first appeared.

Nine-times out of ten, wasted space is pretty awful – but I personally use a 1600 x 1200 resolution, and I couldn’t bear to use my browser in full screen mode. Why call them windows if you’re just going to full the screen?

There’s one thing that Eric Raymond get wrong. That is that the user should have the right to alter anything in a design. If that’s so, why bother with design at all? Good design has all the elements that are needed for 99.9% of users – and the designer then has the right to allow / restrict as much changes as necessary. If that means fixing the width of a web page

– so be it.

Office 2003 SP2 Released

I see that MS Office 2003 Service Pack 2 is now available for download through Microsoft Update.

I’m actually impressed with how well Microsoft Update appears to work. When I got home from work today, there was an update icon in my tray with Service Pack 2 ready to install.

Although, every cloud has a silver lining, and every bin has a bin liner.

Although the installation is fine, the update process lets itself down by having to restart once the installation is complete.


As for the service pack, no new features seem to have been introduced. Although if you do want it, a list of changes is available for download.

Now I’d better go and reboot my PC…

Creating a new default user profile

Changing the default user profile is not a particularly daunting task. In fact, my experiences show that in Windows 2000, XP and 2003, it’s a relatively painless experience.

  • Logged in as a local administrator, create a new user account.
  • Log out and log in as that user.
  • Log back in as an administrator.
  • Enable Show hidden files and folders
  • Go to the documents and settings folder on the system drive, and into the newly created user profile.
  • Copy the ntuser.dat file to the Default User folder, overwriting the existing profile.

That’s it! Of course, you can use the Microsoft friendly method instead if your OS supports it.