IT 566 is over

My IT 566 class is over. I got an A in case anyone is curious. I haven’t decided if I’m going to take any more classes or not. There don’t seem to be any online classes this summer or fall.

The two classes I’ve taken in the Instructional Technology program so far have been interesting but not especially challenging. At least IT 566 was an excuse to tinker and play.

The server I was running for the class is no more. I reformatted the drive and set it up as a computer for my daughter . It’s running Edubuntu and has some good kid’s software on it.

I took Windows XP off my desktop machine and it’s running Ubuntu now. I really don’t like the new Unity interface in 11.04. So I’m using the nornal Gnome interface, called Ubuntu Classic. Unity is Ubuntu’s New Coke, and we know how well that turned out.

As a side note, I’m not longer running a server 24/7 So the links to in older IT 566 posts will no longer work.

Upon the Subject of Narwhals

This one wasn’t specifically a challenge for IT 566 but I upgraded by Ubuntu machine to 11.04, Natty Narwhal. I’m not exactly sure what a natty narwhal looks like, but I’m pretty sure I would want to meet one in a dark alley … errr… ocean.

11.04 replaces Gnome with Unity. The interface is quite a change and is definitely more OS X and Windows 7 like.

Ubuntu - Natty Narwhal - Click for larger image

Upon the Subject of Chrome OS / Chromium

One of the challenges for IT 566 is to get Chrome OS. The pilot program for the CR-48 notebook closed sometime in March. Hardware running Chrome OS won’t be commercially available until June or July. So running Chrome OS on native hardware isn’t an option.

Chromium OS is the open source variant of Chrome OS. Compiling Chromium OS requires a 64 bit system, which I don’t have. So compiling isn’t an option either.

You can get the OS already compiled however. I got my install files from Hexxeh. Build images are available for USB, VirtualBox, and VMWare.

I installed the USB version on a 8 GB USB flash drive using these directions. I used the nightly builds I linked above rather than the older Flow build referred to in these directions.

A screenshot of Chromium booted and running off the USB drive is below.

Chromium running off a USB flash drive - Click for larger image

I also installed Chromium on my Ubuntu machine using VirtualBox. VirtualBox can be installed via many methods, including Ubuntu Software Center. After installing I used these instructions to get the Chromium OS virtual machine running. A screenshot is below.

Chromium running on VirtualBox - Click for larger image

Upon the Subject of Using Drush

Drush is (at least from my experience) not that well documented. The commands seem to change slightly with every version

I did figure out how to download themes with drush.

sudo drush dl sky

downloaded the sky theme

But I couldn’t figure out how to switch to that theme using drush so I just switched to the new theme via Appearance in the Drupal admin. In any case here’s Drupal with the Sky theme:

Drupal with Sky Theme - Click for larger image

Upon the Subject of Drupal and Drush

Next in IT 566 land was installing Drupal and Drush. I installed Drupal with a few lines in the terminal:

cd /var/www
sudo wget
sudo tar xvf drupal-7.0.tar.gz
sudo mv drupal-7.0/ drupal

Then I made a Drupal database and user with phpmyadmin
and ran the drupal installer by going to localhost/drupal

The result is below.

Drupal installed - Click for larger image

Drush is a command line shell for quickly configuring Drupal. The recommended version of Drush for Drupal 7 is Drush 4.4

To install Drush it’s back to the terminal

cd /usr/local/share/
sudo wget
sudo tar zxvf drush-7.x-4.4.tar.gz
sudo rm drush-7.x-4.4.tar.gz
sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/drush/drush /usr/local/bin/drush
sudo drush

You’ll know if Drush is installed if you see a screen like this after running sudo drush.

Drush installed - Click for larger image

Upon the Subject of Samba

After a bit of a break, next up for IT 566 was installing Samba. I installed and configured Samba between Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows XP using these directions.

Here’s a screenshot from the Ubuntu side of things.

Samba Ubuntu - Click for larger image

Samba on the Windows side.

Samba Windows XP - Click for larger image

I also mapped the share to a drive letter (U) on the Windows side by using “Tools” “Map Network Drive” in Windows Explorer.

Upon the Subject of Computer Switching

Last month I was lucky enough to get a computer for free to use as my server for IT 566. It works great and I found that I wasn’t using my old HP laptop at all.

So this weekend I decided to switch things around. I installed Ubuntu 10.10 on the laptop, an HP Pavilion with a 1.6 GHz Intel Centrino Duo processor, 2 GB Ram and a 100 GB hard drive. Everything works fine, it seems to run faster than it did with Windows XP Home on it. An added benefit is that I have the power management set to just turn off the screen when I close the lid. So it can sit on my desk out of the way being a happy little webserver. So far I haven’t noticed any heat issues.

When I actually need to use it I just open up the lid and plug in a USB keyboard and mouse, since the keys are falling off the keyboard and the trackpad is mostly dead.

I’m still working on updating XP Pro on the Dell desktop, lots of Windows updates to install. I also found a graphics card for about $30 (refrubished) that should provide a nice boost from the onboard. video. The PNY GeForce FX 5200 has 256 MB of memory. Once I boost the RAM up to 2GB I might actually be able to run an old game or two. Still looking around for the the best price on the RAM.