I may have been down and out because of my back the past couple of days but I did manage to do something productive. Well the relative merits of how productive it actually was could be debated, but for my purposes it was productive indeed. The chair in the house that gave my back the best support happened to be the one that sits in front of my computer desk. This gave me the chance to play with my long neglected Linux box.

I’ve always had some machine kicking around with some various Linux distro on it. Mostly I’ve been a casual user of it – keeping tabs on it as it grew from a hobbyist system to a surprisingly capable modern day OS. My current distro of choice is Ubuntu(Fiesty Fawn is currently running on it). I’ve kept it fairly up to date so when I powered it on there weren’t too many updates waiting for me. One of the first things that I did was to uninstall GAIM so that I could try their newly developed Pidgin (the GAIM replacement). it reminded me a lot of a simplified Trillian (Windows app), and it was pretty easy to get it up and running with preferences the way I wanted them. It really does make me wish I had a second laptop to install Linux on as I rarely feel inclined to sit at my desk.

What really got my geek juices flowing however was installing World of Warcraft. There is no Linux native version, but I had seen many screen captures of people running WoW on various Linux distros so I knew with a little bit of googling I’d be able to figure something out. It took very little poking and prodding of Wine’s settings (I wanted to avoid using certain virtualizations that were designed to work with it, but cost money) before I was able to get the installer up and running. I learned the hard way not to install WoW, then Burning Crusade, then run the updates. Doing this caused all kinds of strange issues so I was forced to delete the install and start over. This time I installed WoW, logged in until it ran through every update it needed to do, then I installed Burning Crusade and ran through all its updates. Success! However that’s where my geekgasm fell short. When I logged in, selected my realm and character and tried to join the server the loading screen would reach 100%, then hang. Whatever it was doing was eating nearly 100% of the processor. This is where I ended playing with it. I felt satisfied with the progress I made and I’m sure I’ll poke at it again sometime.

I’m amazed every time I play with Linux how far its come, especially seeing how much of the work is done on a purely volunteer basis.