Saturday, March 29, 2008


Its funny, when you have a love for something like an operating system (say, Solaris Unix), and you have been using it for about 10 years. Then, after a very long time, you get it installed on your laptop for the first time (or any x86 platform for that matter) and it doesn't take but a few days for you to realize that its not really suited for your daily activities.

That was the realization that I came to yesterday. Yes, I know, I put a fair amount of effort into getting some things worked out, but after playing around with it and actually trying to do my day to day stuff on the web, I realized that it really have the support that I needed for some things but Linux did.

Don't get me wrong, Solaris is still my OS of choice when it comes to being a server, but when it comes to the desktop, Linux has it hands down. So, I installed Suse 10.3 last night and have been getting things situated today.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Solaris 10 - Laptop: Update #2

Well, I had a chat with a very nice Sun employee who gave me the scoop on why its not good for Solaris to start the interface on boot. It slows it down if it does.

Instead, he pointed me to a very nice tool called "inetmenu", which can be downloaded from the opensolaris website, that handles all of your network connections either through a gui or on command line.

So, I have downloaded that and tonight will work on getting it configured and setup for use. (Thanks again Ben!)

I guess its on to the Broadcom driver from here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Solaris 10 - Laptop: Update

I DID IT!! For the first time in the 10 years since I first touched Solaris Unix, I have Solaris on the internet....... WIRELESSLY!!! This is just excellent!! Solaris 10 x86 supports my Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 b/g wireless card perfectly!!

Granted, it wasn't a piece of cake and did take some tweaking, but it WORKS!!! For instance, I had to add an entry to the /etc/netmasks file, I had to create the resolv.conf file and I also had to edit the nsswitch.conf file to allow for dns.

Other than that, the software installed fine, plumbed ok, and grabbed an IP from my router. Only issue I have left, is when I reboot, it doesn't load the interface back up again. So, I have to re-plumb and grab an IP from dhcp. Hopefully I will figure that out shortly and be SET!!

Next, I have to install the driver for my Broadcom 10/100 card and I will be doing just fine!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Job Change

Well, I am no longer working in Boston. I have a new job and am working in Westford, MA for a company that works a lot with VoIP(for those of you who have my LinkedIn profile, you can find out where I am working). Having read the job description before interviewing and even after the initial phone interview with my (present) boss, I really wanted this position.

I cannot pinpoint any one thing that intrigued me about the position, it was instead the position as a whole. The chance to finally learn not only about VoIP but how it all works was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Plus, the scripts that I will be working with are mostly written in Perl.

One thing that does really peak my fancy is learning new technologies, and one of the new things I am working on picking up now is AJAX. I am starting by learning Javascript, since that is one of the foundations of AJAX. Once I am done with that tutorial, I will move on to the AJAX tuturial. There is nothing like a vertical learning curve to keep a geek on his toes. :)

Laptop Trouble

I had some computer issues the other night. While browsing the Internet on my laptop (under Windows), a whole slew of things happened all at once:
  • my background changed to a warning that my computer was infected with spyware and that I should "click the link" to scan now. The background ended up being set to an html page. If you click the link, it takes you to a page offering to sell you spyware and virus removal software. A rather cruel, sick joke if you ask me.
  • A bunch of pop up windows appeared on my machine, all pointing to that same, unwanted offer page. Again, just not right!
  • Both my wired and wireless network interfaces were not able to get an IP address from my router. I know the router still worked because my wife's machine still worked fine. I don't know exactly what happened to the devices, but they seemed completely locked.
  • I was not able to Ctrl-Alt-Delete and pull up the task manager. A message appeared saying that the ability to do so had been disabled by my System Administrator and that I should take it up with him/her. Ok, I AM my own Sys Admin!!!
Needless to say, I was totally at a stand still as far as this Windows installation went. A friend at work showed me some really good software for scanning and removing viri and spyware. Unfortunately, it didn't do the trick. The network devices were still effected and the popups came right back after it finished doing its thing.

Well, completely fed up and not wanting to waste any more time on the issue, I decided to re-install my laptop. Now, mind you, I had a dual booted system with Windows and Linux. What I didn't want to do was re-install Windows and have this same thing happen again. So, I made the executive decision and grabbed my Solaris 10 DVD off the shelf and placed it into the drive. After a couple of hours of installation and such, I had Solaris 10 installed and working on my laptop. Mind you, I still have some configuration to do. For instance, Solaris 10 does support my wireless card. So, I have downloaded the drivers, I just have to get it installed and running now. Plus, I have to install the driver for my 10/100 card as well. On top of that, I have to fix the boot manager as it doesn't show the Linux partition as an option.

So, my laptop is Windows free and running two different versions of *nix. ***sigh*** it feels pretty good. The solaris piece will help me get back some of the Admin skills that have become slightly rusty from not really using them since the last time I was a Sys Admin. I am really looking forward to sharpening them up.

Anywho, I will give more updates on the laptop as I make progress. I would love to know what that was that effected my computer, but at this point, I doubt I will find out.
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