Computer problems

My laptop’s Airport (wifi) is kind of flakey. It reports a good connection and gets a proper IP from DHCP, but then stops being able to talk to the rest of the network. I’m able to keep using it because while it’s at my desk I can plug it into the wired network.

But the laptop is still covered by AppleCare, at least for the next 60 days. So I should bring it in to get it fixed soon. But I can’t leave it at Apple because every day it’s away from me is a day I can’t work. So before I can take it in, I have to figure out how to do my work from my old Linux box, or if that doesn’t work, where to borrow a Mac to work on.

Let’s see, to do my work on a Linux computer, I’d need the following things that I don’t currently have:

  • speakers (I think I have some around, I’ve just never configured them)
  • microphone (I’ve never installed one on Linux, that could be tricky)
  • Skype
  • Dropbox
  • Chrome
  • Remote Desktop Client (if such a thing exists and works)
  • VirtualBox and a Windows environment (which might take care of the Remote Desktop Client)

That will probably be enough to get me going. But it’s obviously not as nice as having my own MacBookPro, or even a loaner machine that I’ve cloned my TimeMachine backup onto.

4 thoughts on “Computer problems”

  1. A modern Linux distro will probably be okay: most random generic PCs of the last five years will have whatever sound chipset Intel was providing at the time (or something compatible), so speakers/microphone ought not to be a problem.

    Remote Desktop, Chrome, and Dropbox are all easy enough. Bunch of different RDC clients around, mostly built on top of rdesktop. It works, though it may not be quite as well-performing as the “real” client.

    VirtualBox should not be a problem. Building the Windows environment will take some time, of course. You may be able to just copy the VM from your Mac and have it Just Work, though.

    Still, a painful adjustment. Here’s hoping they can fix your MBP promptly.

  2. Since Matt’s covered everything else: I’ve used the Linux Skype for a multi-way audio conference, and it worked fine. I vaguely recall it being a pain to get installed due to 32-bit library issues or some such, but that’s probably an artifact of my setup.

  3. It seems, dropbox has some issues with selinux, but mostly its okay.
    I’m a Fedora user, but SuSE is okay most of the time, just a little bit crowded somehow.

    If your PC has less than 4 gigs of ram, I’d use a 32-bit distribution, less issues. I threw out my last “less than 4 gigs” box out probably 4 years ago.

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