Linux and Coderetreat
The other thing eating up my free time is Linux. Specifically Ubuntu. As you may remember, I decided to run an Ubuntu VM on my Windows 7 laptop. I really want to expand my skills in new (and somewhat uncomfortable) directions and this seemed like a great option. I have been going through the 7 Languages in 7 Weeks book with the Utah Software Craftsmanship group and it seems like the Linux support for a lot of these languages is better/easier.
Here is my experience and what I have learned so far:
The first thing I did was use the Wubi installer to create a dual-boot, pseudo-vm of Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop. I used this for a while and it was fine. I had RubyMine running and I had some decent success using it for learning Io. Despite my initial assertion that I would use Linux for everything I could and only fall back on Windows when I needed to or felt stuck, I found myself booting Windows more and more often.
Eventually, Ubuntu 11.10 was released, and on one of the rare days when I loaded up Ubuntu, I decided to accept the upgrade. After the download and install, there was an automatic reboot. That was the end of my VM. It never again booted past grub. I tried several times to fix or reinstall it and never got anywhere. Eventually, I had the Linux guys at my office help me out and they couldn't get it working either, so we started over...
We used gparted to create a real partition for Ubuntu (60GB) then installed 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx. It turns out that for me, I have no reason to be on the newest versions of Ubuntu. A nice, stable version is a perfect place for a noob to play. I have learned about some of the nifty UI tools that are build in and I have been enjoying the multiple workspaces even more than I did before I broke my 11.04 install.
With a moderate amount of struggle, I managed to get RubyMine 3.2 installed (I couldn't work out the environment variables and the java version.) I have also have MonoDevelop up and kinda running (it gets a weird error when I try to run NUnit tests.)
My next steps are:
- Learn enough VIm to be dangerous
- Get a Rails app running
- Run through the Erlang tutorials in 7 Languages
- Build an ASP.NET app with MonoDevelop
- Continue using Ubuntu daily as my primary, at-home OS