Sunday, October 26, 2008

Linux learning.

Its been an eventful week for my development in all things ICT. Steep learning curves abound with adventures in linux, iPod Touch and other wonders.

I've often thought of learning linux, as my only OS experience is in Windows. To this extent I had even downloaded a couple of live CDs, but hadn't played with them yet. This all changed early in the week when a student brought her laptop into me complaining it wouldn't start. I don't have a computer repair business but do a lot of repair work for friends. This laptop was by far the most difficult problem I had worked on. Despite having worked on a few computers, I'd never had to deal with a bluescreen of death. Well, this is where the fun began.

Some research into the stop error resulted in a couple of suggestions that required deletion of a hidden file. However this was no ordinary hidden file that could be accessed through normal interfaces. It needed command line work. Now this was exciting. Not since the days of running around in DOS 6 have I done any command line work. And never had I done it in linux. So I tried my live CDs (Knoppix and Ubuntu) and explored the OS while I had the chance. However neither of these systems would find the required file, and at times had difficulty mounting the drive volume.

Some further research saw me download the System Rescue CD, and at this moment I don't even know what linux distro it is!! However, this allowed the drive volume to be mounted and found the offending file. End result – Shane played a lot with simple command line work in linux, and flash looking laptop works again!

This has me inspired. I will soon receive a laptop as part of Queensland's Computer for Teachers program, so I might return control of my EeePC back to linux. Its something I'd love to show students, so they can experience it and understand there are more than 2 OS options out there.

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