The other day, with no warning, I was dumped into a nightmare. My PowerBook‘s screen develop a nasty, pixel wide, always on purple line. A call to Apple Care confirmed it – laptop needs repair (no duh). They suggested that they send me a box to pack my laptop into and then ship it back to them and then 5-10 business days they would have it back to me. The kicker – they recommend that I back it up before I send it because “sometimes the depot finds that the hard drive is bad and they will replace it out of courtesy.” Crap. Next step – go visit the closest Apple store. Seems to me that they would be able to figure this out, order me a new display, let me go home with computer, call me when the display comes in, another quick dash, slap the new display in, run back home in joy. Nope. Apparently fixing computers requires centralization (one of Houston or Memphis). Apparently, screwdrivers and Apple stores are not allowed to co-exist in the same spatial coordinates.
So, I am not faced with a dilemma: what do I do for 5-10 business days without my laptop? Fortunately, I have a work laptop I can use. However, I refuse, refuse I tell you, to use Windows as the primary OS. So, looking around, it seemed to easy to use Fedora. I have three other machines at home running it now. Looking around I have a zillion choices of Linux and BSD distros to use. Without much scientific effort (read: a complete rectal extraction), I chose SuSE 10.1 (new shinny) to use as the base. The installation was awesomely easy. Linux has truly come a long way. The only thing not detected was my wireless. That I’m working on. Next was to try to use Evolution to connect to corporate email. Quickly, I got stymied – no CISCO VPN client available (at least to me). So, install VMWare – install winblows + sp2 + all the other crap + office + cisco vpn for windows. That gives me working access to the work stuff I need to do to pay for this computer habit of mine.
The box from Apple Care is on it’s way. The SuSE box is ready with VMWare giving me a back line to the office. With this comes my great experiment: How do you survive Post Windows, Post Mac, into Linux in the corporate world?