It's no news that Ubuntu has been getting a lot of press lately for it's ease of install, ease of use, and fantastic packaging system, allowing you to install tons of software very easily. I'm writing this post from my newly installed Ubuntu laptop. I've done Linux installs before, many years ago and always ran into a slew of problems with driver incompatibilities and confusing directions, which usually ended up in me saying, "F- this it's just no worth it," and going back to good ole Windows without looking back. This install was nothing like those days, the long and hard part was the download, once the CD was burned I was 45 minutes from being connected and posting, it was a lot easier than installing Windows.
I just recently purchased a new laptop with Vista installed, I had a long internal struggle about whether I should buy a Mac and use it's virtualization features if I ever missed Windows. I don't mind Vista so much, it's pretty, but what's the point, do I really need a big fat OS like Windows (Mac commercial reference) to surf the web, and do what I need to do? I think with the negative publicity about Microsoft's latest demon spawn and the choices available, a lot of people are asking themselves whether or not they need to continue sticking by Windows. The thing that ultimately kept me from the Mac was the price, I would be paying a premium for the Mac's sexy form factor. My old laptop was still kicking around, so I decided to check out Ubuntu to see how easy it really was, and boy it was easy.
If you want to see what it's all about go out to Ubuntu.com and download the Desktop version, we all have DSL right, and burn the iso to a CD. The CD is bootable and will actually run the OS straight off of the CD, this way you can have a good look around, try out the included software and see if you think it'll work for you, without harming your computer. Once you decide you want it you just click the install to disk icon on the desktop and answer the questions and before you know it you'll be done. My install is on a Gateway 600YG2, 2.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, it found everything, including my wireless card and wireless network and I didn't even have to be involved other than clicking the Forward button. It's taken some getting used to getting around the system so far, but my beloved Firefox 2.0 is here, and my delicious plug-in by Yahoo is installed, so I'm happy.
There's always that time when you need desperately to get into your home computer from work, be it to get financial or tax information or just to kick off a download of that great movie your buddy just told you about. Most of us bound behind the corporate firewall can't get to much of anything outside of 80 or 443 as far as ports go, besides that a lot of us don't even have rights to install new software on our computers. So we need a hack that doesn't require any installation on our work computer, but will allow most of us to terminal into our home computer.
The hack is to allow a remote desktop connection to your computer over port 443, which is the standard http ssl port, and is typically left open for internet browsing by the sys-admin. The hack should work on most Windows 2000/XP/Vista machines. This hack will not work if you're serving up an SSL website out of your house. Keep in mind this hack requires editing the registry and if you don't know what your doing or modify the wrong key it could severely trash your computer, please perform at your own risk.