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C’mon in, the water’s fine!

January 3rd, 2002

I turned off my NT box last night. I’ll still bring it up a couple more times before formatting it for its new life as a friend’s home desktop, but it’s no longer the server I depend on for daily …well …serving.

It was a whirlwind week of learning. I wasn’t starting from nothing – I had dabbled with Linux before a bit – but in order to be confident in replacing my main machine, I had to do a lot of studying. Hard work, but all well worth the investment.

Although the OS cost me nothing but a download and some cd blanks, I did spend over $200 on books, each carefully chosen. Notable ones are:

The heaviest bits of learning and planning surrounded security and permissions, especially on exposed services. Not stuff to be taken lightly.

My family website was a treat to convert from ASP to Perl CGI because I had used ASP with PerlScript. Global replace “$Response->Write” with “print”, slap a “use CGI;” at the top, a couple more tweaks, and Brent’s a happy nerdboy.

I replaced my JSRS Select Box demo based on ASP/.MDB with a PHP/MySql version.

Cool tools:

  • Webmin - great set of tools. The best part is that you can delegate some limited root-only activity to specific users without giving them the keys to the kingdom
  • Mandrake‘s own Software Manager
  • Samba and SWAT – although I like messing with the bare conf file
  • Midnight Commander – an absolute must if you ever used Norton Commander for DOS. Even if you didn’t!

The swimming’s great. Pull up a partition and I’ll meet you by the pool.

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