Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mom To Ubuntu: Progress Update

I found an old hard drive (10.2GB), network card (she uses wireless), and 128MB of memory. Her machine is now up to 256MB. I had some trouble early on with the screen sitting at GRUB endlessly but that appears to have resolved itself (mysteriously).

I ran the updater to retrieve the latest for everything already installed. I also added a few items such as a wireless LAN config tool, PDF viewer (I also installed the FireFox plug-in), etc. I've configured security to auto-login my Mom and allow me to remote in.

Finally, I installed Automatix2 to ease configuration (write-up). I actually found the Add/Remove software package dialog sufficient but a good tool noetheless. I still need to:
-Install AV
-Configure firewall
-Switch to strong passwords
-Configure SSH, DynDNS for remote administration/resolution
-Train Mom

My new schedule is to "release" to Mom in mid January.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Kubuntu Step By Step Installation

Online Security Sessions from TechEd IT Forum Available

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cardinal Solutions is Hiring

Cardinal Solutions (my firm) has many full-time opportunities open in Columbus and Cincinnati/Dayton. We're looking for strong .Net, Java, data, and project services (PM, QA, BA) people.

If you have someone to refer, please leave a comment on how to contact.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Progress on Mom's Ubuntu Workstation

I've replaced the hard drive, added an old NIC card, and added an additional memory SIMM to take us to 256MB. I downloaded, checked the MD5, and burned an ISO image of Ubuntu 6.10. Finally, I booted the workstation into Ubuntu and started the install off the CD.

Right now, my biggest headache is the need to commandeer the family (and my wife's business) KVM to work on Mom's workstation (she's out of town and I didn't want to bother her with bringing all the wires and a giant monitor...). So, I'll work when the wife is out or sleeping...best time to get stuff done anyway!

I'm starting to consider training for Mom. Primarily, it will be us sitting down and walking through the most common tasks. These look like good books but perhaps even a bit to much for Mom (maybe better for me!).

Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks
Ubuntu Linux For Dummies

Beginning Ubuntu Linux

Any advice out there? I'm not finding much on Google...

Ubuntu: Green Light for Mom's System

Just spoke with my Mom. I attempted (successfully, I think) to explain my reasoning for going with Ubuntu on her old workstation (Dell Dimension XPS T-450). She gave me the green light to move ahead (I think she found the $0 cost compelling...!).

Step 1: determine minimum system requirements; upgrade if necessary
Step 2: determine Ubuntu distro: regular or alternate (or Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.)
Step 3: download Ubuntu 6.10
Step 4: determine KDE or Gnome (need to determine prior to download; KDE is Kubuntu)
Step 5: burn ISO CD
Step 3: replace defective hard drive (I just happened to find an old hard drive down in the basement
Step 6: research (ongoing...) and planning
Step 7: (big one) installation and configuration
Step 8: training and hand-off
Step 9: ongoing support (hopefully this is minimal and facilitated by remote admin)

So, I need to determine my configuration. Off the top of my head, here's what I need to cover:
-wireless support (Mom's router is upstairs from the workstation)
-AV protection (ok, not as applicable on Linux but I want this to be safe)
-Anti-* (spyware, phishing, hosts hijack, etc.)
-Firewall
-Remote administration (SSH, VNC?, DynDNS)
-Office-support (Open Office 2?)
-Authentication: auto login Mom's user account; remote administration account
-Photo-viewing support: ?
-Browser/email support: Mozilla/Firefox (she uses Gmail...more of my influence)
-Backups

Another great reference for my situation: "Ubuntu for your Grandmother"
Ubuntu Forums

Going well so far.