Aquarionics Wiki



In a student kitchenette in Durham, I discovered Ubuntu.

It wasn’t called Ubuntu then, possibly. Colin Watson, who was attempting to explain the concept, was hedging around the idea of not knowing what the final name was going to be. In fact, it was about a month after it was announced that I realised that the thing Kam had been talking about that night was actually this cool thing here.

When I first arrived at Evolving Media, I was shown a desk with two monitors, three drawers, one seat and an AMD64 machine and a selection of install CDs. Since none of them were AMD64 builds, I instead plumped for downloading a test CD of this Ubuntu thing. I might as well try it, I thought.

The biggest flaw with Ubuntu AMD64 isn’t with Ubuntu. In this i586-based world in which we live, running a full Linux desktop on pure AMD64 isn’t really viable. Things like Flash (not important, but nice), Acrobat, Realplayer (for BBC news) etc. that come in binary form don’t have downloads for AMD64, so in an overly large number of cases I ended up either compiling myself (And I will never ever get the byzantian fucking mess that is the Mozilla/FireFox compile system to work) or installing into a debootstraped i386 chroot and running things over an X socket, at terrible cost to both my soul and performance. Plus, my work desktop isn’t really an Ubuntu installation. It’s Linux, but happens to run on top of Ubuntu. That is, whilst I’m using Ubuntu, I’m actually running Fluxbox as my Window Manager, Editing with Kate over a KIO connection to the development server, and running a custom PHP build and a load of stickytape and string. It’s not a fair way to judge it, because I’d end up judging Ubuntu on the failings of the F/OSS movement to get their bloody act together and interoperate.

So wh