Title photo
frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Sat, 14 Apr 2012

This Debian Squeeze installation has lasted since late 2010

People are always talking about how long they've had a particular Debian installation, some upgrading the same box through many subsequent releases.

On the desktop anyway, restless, tinkerish people such as myself have a habit of blowing out their OSes for one reason or another -- usually extensive modification/experimentation that breaks things. Others can't go more than a month without either distro-hopping to the next new release.

Since Linux distributions and BSD project releases and the thousands of software packages that are available in affiliated repositories don't cost anything, there's no incentive to hold onto an installation for years and years like with Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.

I think those with proprietary OSes hold onto their installations more to preserve their stash of pirated applications than the system software itself, which usually can be reinstalled easily from the discs that came with the computer. But that's another matter for another day.

In my case, the reasons for keeping this particular Debian laptop running uninterrupted include maintaining productivity (which I want) and not messing with stability (which Debian Stable has) coupled with my current lack of taste for distro-hopping and repeating the work involved in setting up things the way I like them.

I've been careful with this particular Debian Squeeze installation on my Lenovo G555 laptop, and it's been running pretty much every day since late November 2010. And it's now April 2012.

That's a long, long time for me. I thought I "broke" the system today during some OwnCloud client testing, but it turns out I just clicked something I don't normally click in Gthumb, making it impossible to shrink images while preserving their aspect ratio.

But I figured out what went wrong, Gthumb is working again, and this Debian Squeeze install continues to run.