Picking Something

october 13, 2006

Humans are silly animals. We are pretty particular about the crap stuff things we abuse use. I had two geeky conversations today with two different people geeks. The first was with JR about his rant. JR and I chatted about the iPod, which he seems to hate dislike a lot. And he had some valid points about the iPod and why not to like it:

All valid and all that I agree with. But, the fact of the matter is that there are a gah-zillion sheep people that are into the iPod. And there has to be a reason for that also. Is it because of the hype? Is it because it is a better product? Is it because it has more features? For me, it was because I like the thing. It is not only functional, but also looks good. The iPod is a status symbol of sorts. Never would someone walk up to you and say, "Oh is that the newest Creative Zen?" I also use an iPod (I have two, a 30GB 4G and a 2GB 1G nano) because I have a lot of music locked into Apple's DRM scheme. But, still there's no reason I would have to be locked into the iPod because of the DRM: I could always burn and rip the music into a non-DRM'd form. Purist will say that would degrade the sound quality of the music -- to them, I say: To hell with that, it is already a low-quality encoding, there is not much worse you can do. The second chat session was with the resident FreeBSD guy, Discher. Discher's old server bite the dust the other day because of a fan failure -- it was enough heat to kill off one of his two AMD CPUs. So, he bought and received his new Dell server on Wednesday. He has been debating what OS to put on his system and how to best utilize his new spiffy hardware. He is thinking about virtualizing on his hardware. I don't think he should -- for the stuff he is doing, there is no real reason to virtualize. But, he is still thinking about it and because of this he may use VMware Server. It is free and it gets the job done. The poor guy though, VMware Server runs only in Windows or Linux. He does not want to learn another flavor of *nix. I have tried to convince him to go CentOS, but he feels that it is too slow and that he won't get all the tools that he needs. That brought us to a point of discussion: What would serve you best? Would it be a stable OS with packages that stay at the same version number until the next full release? That is something like RHEL/CentOS where they never do a big version change unless absolutely necessary. Or do you go cutting edge like Fedora Core where you get the latest and greatest software, but in trade in the security of a stable OS? Or do you go with something like Gentoo or FreeBSD where you have Emerge or Ports -- where you download the source and build it yourself? For a server that will be in a colo a few thousand miles away, I think Discher should really consider going full FreeBSD (without virtualization) because he is comfortable. But, if he is willing to go Linux, CentOS would be a great way to go -- and forget using Fedora Core. Yikes. To each his own, I guess.