The Journey Begins

Posted on Nov 15, 2005

So, I want to run different operating systems on the new Dell I just got. I am a technical person who hasn’t done so much installing of Linux or FreeBSD that I can just fly through it. I’m sure people like that exist, judging on messages I see on the forums, but one has to start somewhere.

My goal with this series is to write a guide for the new Dell owner to get started running other operating systems and to document my own progress with this effort. Since my choice of FreeBSD entails several steps where a lot of waiting is involved, I thought it might also be a good way to spend some of the downtime.

Before We Get Started

I’m installing alternative, open-source operating systems. I’m prepared to do some research, and to try different things in an effort to solve my own problems. At times, however, I find the breadth of two areas staggering: the domain of potential problems that can be encountered when either installing or using an open-source OS, and the set of choices one can make once an open-source OS is chosen. There are almost limitless configurations of a single OS, without mention of choosing between several different ones.

With the size of these sets in mind, in conjunction with the other demands on my time, I am hereby instituting what I’ll call the Ten Minute Dead End Rule, or TMDER for short. I am not really sensitive to the length of time required to solve a problem. I’ll compile source all week until I get it right if I feel confident that I’m learning something. What I am sensitive to is the feeling that I’m doing a lot of reading, but getting nowhere, or jabbing at configuration files and having no discernable effect whatsoever.

If I invoke TMDER, I may return to a dead end if I find no other alternative.

My post about the first step is almost ready, stay tuned!