Still Working On Piggybacker

As my boss well knows, I’m still working on getting Piggybacker up to snuff as far as Windows XP goes. Most of the delay is from having other office responsibilities than working on web development for eight hours a day, but part of it is that configuring XP is still horrible and time-consuming. On the upside, Piggybacker’s BIOS is now from late 2005 rather than mid-2003, all her drivers are ready to go, and her battery is being calibrated happily in the background as I write these words. So to fill the silence of the last few days, I’ll let the Interwebs in on what I’ll be using Piggybacker for once I get her up and running again.

Web Development (Windows XP – Work)

Go ahead and look at Scripture Memory Fellowship’s website and tell me that it doesn’t need some work! It is a vast improvement over the old smf.org site, which hadn’t been updated since March 2006 when the current setup replaced it in July 2009. Regardless, smf.org needs some major polish, and I want to both rework the old site into a more web-appropriate form as well as add blogging features so we can start building a more interactive online community. Eventually, Facebook and other social media will enter the scene, but probably not until next year (we’re working on synchronizing new smf.org versions to annual inventory turnover).

As far as the technical nitty-gritty goes, I think I may use Piggybacker only as a server and do the heavy-lifting development on Limited Edition (which I bring to the office during the week), since a Pentium M 1.6GHz doesn’t do batch image processing and the like particularly quickly. Also, using the 1920×1080 monitors at work is waaaay nicer than Piggybacker’s 1024×768 LCD :mrgreen: .

Generic Office Work (Windows XP/Crunchbang – Work)

I don’t do much office work in terms of traditional document and presentation creation, but when I do, both XP and #! (read Crunchbang) have the tools for it in one fashion or another. (Yes, I know, it’s boring, but it does help to point out that you really can get office work done in Linux OR Windows equally well in most cases. Seriously, has business writing advanced so much in ten years to recommend the latest MS Office unless it comes included with the hardware? I think not. Especially since Microsoft itself thinks OpenOffice.org is a worthy contender.)

Sysadmin Experimentation (Crunchbang/Windows XP – Work)

I’m hoping to use Piggybacker to explore Windows/Linux interactions and administration within SMF’s LAN, especially once we get our VPN and new file server up and running. Basically, Piggybacker is the most expendable piece of hardware I’ve got, and I’d really love to start learning some real-world Linux system administration, even on a small scale.

General Linux Experimentation and Tomfoolery (Crunchbang and other Linuces — Home)

Piggybacker is not particularly underpowered, but she appreciates every break she can get. Crunchbang, especially compared to XP, is a major breath of fresh air in terms of raw performance, and is much more appropriate for an underpowered machine in many ways (e.g., #! has a powerful CLI, many small utilities, many customization options, a small OS footprint, etc.). However, I’d like to explore other distros, window managers, utilities, etc. to see what I can really make a fairly humdrum office-standard laptop do.

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