Setting Up a New Working Environment

If you have followed the blog for long enough, it is no news to you that up untill now I use an old Dell latitude D610 as my main computer. I’ve been working on this modern Dinosaur since 2010, when I first started as a feelance. About a month ago, I decided it was time to buy a new computer, despite the fact that the old computer still works pretty well. I now have a brand new computer that runs on a quad core AMD chip, and has the humble amount of 4GB of memory. 4GB may not be much this days, but it is still double what I have on the D610.

Untill a couple of days ago, the new computer was just sitting there. I decided I would not let my money go to waste, and set up the new computer. I made space for it on the desk, and set it there with an external monitor. (In fact, I bought a new desk to fit this new machine). Until today, I’ve been using that computer just as a firefox house, playing some music on youtube, and searching for stuff on the web, while I try to little by little get rid of my 50+ firefox tabs on the D610. However, the objective is to gradually move all my work environment to this new computer, and leave the old one as a server. The first step is clear: Find a way to access the old computer (running linux) from the new computer, which runs windows 7. I first thought of installing an FTP server, but I decided I would much rather work over SSH than FTP. So, this is what I did:

1) Installed PuTTy on Windows.

Installing programs on windows is pretty easy: you download the executable file, open it, and follow instructions. The intaller can be downloaded from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

I went for the “installer for everything except PuTTYtel” mostly because I was too lazy to install puTTY and pscp separately.

At some point I considered copSSH, just because it integrates a client as well as a server, but gave it up when they asked for my email to download the software. I get more than enough spam, so, thanks but no thanks.

The second step was to install an ssh server on the D610, which runs ubuntu.

That is even simpler than what we did on the windows machine. Just open the terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

That was all. I can now ssh into the ubuntu box from the windows machine.

I think I’m little by little getting away from that sick relationship I have with ubuntu. I am finding myself more and moe annoyed with ubuntu every day. I am not hopping windows will be better, but at least, when I want another linux distro, I will not fall for ubuntu again.

So, what is next? I think next I will install an FTP server, just becuase wordpress sometimes needs one. Then I might install some version manager system. But the real next steps is to start using the windows machine more and leaving the ubuntu box as just a server.

Some links that were useful, or maybe not, are recorded here for future reference:
http://www.sevenforums.com/customization/19864-ssh-windows-7-a.html
http://principialabs.com/beginning-ssh-on-ubuntu/
https://help.ubuntu.com/11.10/serverguide/C/openssh-server.html

2 thoughts on “Setting Up a New Working Environment

  1. Pal, I find it hard to swallow! It seems to me you are stepping back by switching from Linux to Windows. Windows 7 is a system full of bells and whistles, while lacking fundamental features for computer adepts. It is resource-hungry, slow and highly insecure.

    Moreover Linux has a lot of powerful free software, which is not always possible or easy to port to Windows.

    If you care, another good reason to use Linux is because of his vibrant community. Since the software is free – free as in freedom, not as in free beer – the full source code is available and both modification and redistribution are allowed by license. This means software packed with invaluable human values. People can help themselves and help others, without depending on nasty monopolies.

    What I find very irritating is the difficulty to buy a new computer without Windows pre-installed, but I can tell you for sure that, for example, DELL sells laptops with no operating system or Linux pre-installed – you just have to ask for it.

    I don’t like Ubuntu too, but there are many other Linux flavours that may appeal more to you. For example, my favourite distro is Arch Linux because is fast and simple. The only drawback is that is takes some time to be set up, but that is actually an advantage if you consider it from another point of view. In fact it provides you with a full chance to personalize your working environment and learn a great deal about how your distro works, a knowledge that will be very valuable when troubleshooting it.

    The collaborative Arch Linux Wiki adds a great value to the distribution too. It is a collection of hands-on, detailed but yet well-organized documentation about every aspect of the system, including a wealth of user programs. Gentoo Linux or FreeBSD have something similar, but they seems to me too overwhelming, especially for a desktop user. Arch Linux is the only one to maintain a reasonable trade-off between simplicity and flexibility.

    • Ah, yes yes, I feel the same way. In fact, I am NOT switching to windows, I’m transitioning from one computer to another, and since I don’t have the time to set up a linux system right now, I’m working on windows. Like I said, when I change to another linux distro, it won’t be ubuntu. It is an ugly toy.

      I know for sure that this windows phase will be filled with too many bad things. I am currently working on a client’s machine over ssh, so It feels like home, since the machine is a Mac.

      Well, it actually does not feel like home, because I am pretty restricted on that machine, but still, better than cmd on windows.

      I am also continuously SSHing into the ubuntu box to work on other projects. All my projects are, and will continue to be hosted on that machine. So, the windows is basically an interface to the Ubuntu, and a firefox house.

      Firefox is what Uses up most of the resources on the D610, so, I wanted to stop running it on it, and just run it on the new computer.

      At some point I will go back to linux full time. I have never found any reason to permanently leave linux. I love it, but for now, this is a necessary pain.

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