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Roadskubuntu 64 Out for a Spin on the Slow, Crowded Internet Onramp with a $215 AMD 64 X2 Vista 32 Ubuntu 64 Box

roadskater's picture
Well after many months of running on empty on an overused underpowered system, Roadskater.net is rolling on the same slow road to the internet highway but with a faster machine...a dual-core amd cpu (not blazing, just 2.2 GHz or so), lots of hard drive space, and 3 gig of DDR-2 800 RAM (waiting to go to 8G soon). I'm not sure if this kit is a bit overclocked but my memtest reports moving faster than claimed. Anyway this whole kit (3G RAM version) ended up at $215 pre-tax as a demo sale so cross thy fingerettes me skateys. I made the Vista Home Premium partition shrink to 120G or so, leaving 240G on the platter for 64-bit Ubuntu Server 8.10. I must admit when I decided to go with Ubuntu I had been looking at the live CD desktop Ubuntu, which is FREE to download and easy to get going. Since I already use Mozilla Firefox browser (free) and Open Office to create my Microsoft Office files (free), and many of the other free applications in that bundle, I found my brief tests to be nice. To get your own and try it, you go to ubuntu.com and download what's called an ISO file (.iso) and that's basically a whole CD waiting to be burned. Smoke that pup on a shiny one and pop it in the spinner and reboot into Ubuntu desktop and you can take a test of how your machine would do with something completely different. There's also a newfangled way to use what's called "wubi" to install ubuntu using Windows to launch it. Slick but a trick so I think the .iso is the way to go if you can find out how to do that (not too hard). So I decided sure I can do that Ubuntu thing for the server, no worries. But the Ubuntu Server software is meant to be lean and not used for much but being a server (duh) so it's not Windowsy at all but DOSsy instead...you know, typing lines on a black screen with white letters and all that. So that's not always much fun but with a browser on another machine for research, it went along fine, just taking longer than I'd want. Why not just install Server then put the Desktop on top of it? Well, the refresh rates are different for the desktop and server versions, and the leaner the server system stays the more hope of bliss there is for these pages. I was tempted often but stayed pure at the little rubber feet of the monolith. Yeah though I wrestled many days to get from the land of Windows XP, Apache, MySQL and PHP (WAMP) over to the light of the Linux (Ubunutu Server) Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) world, you can bet I still fear evil. And of course I had to do it the hard way. I have much to learn and a few things to fix yet (like the "clean URLs"--http addresses without the question q equals part. I'm working on it. At one point on Monday I realized the accented letters had been ported over all wrong, but in all my uberreading and uberworry I had noted I might need the UTF-8 flag for the importing of all the roadskatey stuff...So I killed everything in the whole website and pulled it all back in again with the right character set encoding... mysql -hHOSTNAME -uUSERNAME -pPASSWORD --default_character_set utf8 DATABASENAME < DBIMPORTFILE.SQL And yes, I do find, as some have, that it works better to leave the space out between the -p and password and such. Oh the things you'll learn because of skating, photographing, writing, and wanting to be shared among. Meanwhile I've done a bit of writing about the Carolina Century but am not sure if it's ready. Maybe. I'll go take a look. If this server setup doesn't do the trick, then I'll convert this maching to Ubuntu Desktop and use it as a dual boot system that still have Vista available if needed. Then I'll try hosting elsewhere, or investigate ways of bumping up my server speed by getting a better connection. I'm just worried about the amount of data throughput running up the costs above what I can afford. But I hope this inexpensive system will be a bit faster, especially after I can kick up the memory and play with tuning the mySQL parameters and maybe test some PHP cache options. So there's a lot of tuning up to do and maybe some design as well, if I have time for it, and tons of photos to edit still, and...arrgh! If only I could do nothing but write and doodle and build this web and crop photos and raise some money for people worse off than me and sing little tunes along with my guitar in the sunshine on the grass by the tumbling waters slipping over smooth edges of rose-colored granite fountains, with the smell and taste of free Polish sausage dogs and spicy brown mustard, and wavy percussive reflections swimming in the afternoon breeze. If only. Now we'll see what we get on a cheap box with free software and not much of a connection to the internet!


Greensboro, North Carolina
United States
36° 4' 24.5964" N, 79° 47' 24.576" W


timv's picture

running great right now

Thanks for writing up the notes, Blake. Everything looks like it's working great and page loads are screaming fast right now.

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