Quite a few things to talk about….

Firstly, Linux Expresso has gotten a facelift, with a new theme, and a much revised screenshots page. It is now, thankfully, usable :)

On the server side of things, in a addition to running Apt-Cacher as a proxy for Apt, my main server now runs Squid, a HTTP proxy for Linux. A very powerful program, which had previously been running on each of my computers, as localhost. Now though, the cache is centralised. I’ve also switched ISP, and my new ISP will  be sending me out a a free router. I hope to set things up so that the server acts as a gateway to the Internet, running as a truly transparent proxy and firewall.

Lastly, my Crunchbang desktop, is gone. Well, Crunchbang is. I wanted to add a 40Gb Maxtor harddrive to supplement the 15.3Gb WD drive that was already being used, not that I particularly needed the space. I also wished to raid all but 5Gb of the total of the two drives, to be mounted as /home, so as not to waste any space. I got lazy in transferring my #! install, and took shortcuts, which ended up in wrecking the install. Crunchbang, to my knowledge at least, doesn’t have an alternate installer, so no ability to install to a RAID device.

So, I decided, after hearing good things about it, to try Xubuntu 9.10. I tried the 8.04, 8.10 and 9.04 versions of Xubuntu, and found them, as many others did, to be sluggish, bloated almost. I’m glad to say that 9.10 is a lot quicker, and more responsive. It uses about the same as Crunchbang did on startup, but lacks Openbox’s snappy speed. Nevertheless, its a very good release, much improved on the older ones, and runs comfortably on Crunch, which has now been renamed Mouse. The hardware page will be updated in the near future.

The next project on the list is to build a PC from spare parts for a couple of kids, after I collect their old one, and another from a friend of the family. Hopefully, one of those computers will be in a some way decent shape that I can fix up, but I still need to think about OS choice. I’d love to give them Linux, but, if they want Windows, I’ll give them that. Even though fresh install support for both XP and W2K is gone :( Oh well, we’ll reach that when we get to it, if we get to it, we’ll have to wait until the roads thaw out a bit first.

Its bloody freezing!

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