Monday, February 13, 2006

Seeing the light with LAMP

So I am taking the plunge!

I've always loved the application and elegance of open source applications, but have never really had/taken the time to really learn them myself.

This whole past year I've been struggling with Microsoft products, most specifically MS Access, but also a lot of tech support for MS Windows and Office Suite. After all my work, assessment, and discussions with many talented and knowledgeable people...MySQL has been the favored choice of database for the data management solution I've been tasked with solving.

Which brings me to the LAMP architecture:

MySQL is benefiting from the growing interest in the so-called LAMP stack of open-source components for building business applications, Urlocker said. Rather than purchase Java or Microsoft .Net development tools, corporate customers are building new applications on the LAMP combination of Linux; Apache Web server; MySQL; and PHP, Python or Perl scripting languages.
- CNet

I want to eventually become a social entrepreneur and truely help bridge the digital divide gap...seeing this aspiration, it is hard for me to realize accomplishing that goal with expensive, proprietary products. Albeit, open source does not equate to free, it does, however, seem to mean a better, more proactive business model in engaging people to help others make technology better and ubiquitious while collaborating and working together.

For me, first steps are picking a distribution of linux. I am still in the preliminary research for myself of what best suits me. So far, the big ones, Fedora, Debian, and Mandrake seem the most mature and widely supported.

I am just excited at the possibilities!

A little overwhelmed, I will be using VMWare at first, hopefully soon following a total adoption.

I hope to document my learning as I progress: More to come!


Brian R. said...

I suggest trying the Linux distro Ubuntu. I've had great luck with it recognizing all kinds of hardware. It seems to come with a bunch of drivers. Its install is fairly easy. Ubuntu is based on the Debian Linux Distro.

I've used all kinds of other Linux Distros. (Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, Mandrake etc.) This one has been the best so far, IMHO. I like how it deals with software updates. Ubuntu/Debian software is distributed using the application Apt-get. (command line and GUI) You can update across a network and Apt-get will find all kinds of dependencies (other software you need for it to work) for you then download and install them.

Plus when you learn Ubuntu it'll be easier to use Debian for more hard core LAMP server stuff. Though Ubuntu could be a great server OS. There is even a fork called Ubuntu Server.

A good way to try out Linux is with live CDs. This is basically a modified version of a Linux distro that will boot from a CD. It puts the OS in RAM and DOESN’T make any changes to your hard drive. It gives you a fully functioning Linux machine. Only issue is when you restart the machine nothing will be saved. Unless you create a directory to save stuff. This is MUCH easier than trying to partition a section of your windows hard drive and putting a Linux distro on it. Also cheaper than buying a new machine to dedicate to Linux.

The bottom line is find the distro you like and use it.

Calvin said...

Thanks Brian for your valuable insight. I've heard about Ubuntu but only in passing (eg. google building off of it)...but now with your endorsement and how easy it sounds to use, I will definitely try it out first!

I'll also let you know how I progress with using it too!

The more I read about it, the more cool and easy it sounds to use!