This week I once again have the joy of teaching. I’m teaching a course on Java Web Development to be precise. Its about basic Servlet and JSP development. Add some JavaBeans, XML and Tag Libraries and that’s about it. As the course itself consists of about 40% excercises, it leaves me some time to experiment with stuff. As the training wasn’t sold out, the classroom had some spare computers, and I boldy decided to take Java Desktop System for a spin. I won a JDS update 2 software package on my treasure hunt in the JavaOne Pavilion. A lucky spin on the wheel of fortune!
Now let’s go for a little flashback…
About a week ago I tried to install JDS in a Virtual PC image on my laptop. It really sucked! I decided to blame VPC on this one, because it seems that VPC enjoys it to try to make your PC and the image as slow as possible. Cdrom access is about as fast as accessing a 5 1/4″ floppy drive in the eighties. JDS is to blame too. First of all, it simply hangs during the second installation cdrom. To be specific, it hangs during the installation of Korean Baekmuk fonts. Who needs them anyway? This appears to be a known problem, but nobody has a real fix, although there is a whole load of posts about it in all kinds of forums. Everybody claims to have the solution, but in the end the workaround is to simply skip disc 2 when the computer reboots, and continu with disc 3. Yes folks, it is that simple. Then it’s all just hoping and praying that it will still work. No wait…this is Linux man….a REAL operating system! For those of you that do not know, JDS has SuSE underneath. After all discs are installed, the system comes up and looks pretty awful! Ofcourse my display and wireless network card aren’t properly recognized and there is no driver to be found. Welcome to the wonderfull world of Linux! The REAL operating system..yeah right! Okay…3 days of Google later I kind of got things in place. Still no wireless but fortunately some people still have wired networks ;o)
Students are happily coding their first Java Server Pages, so nothing stands between me and my second first impression of JDS ;o) This time…no VPCs, just bare metal! Let’s roll! Disc 1, installing…done! Disc two, installing…HANGS! Oh no…not again… Come on…what is it with those Korean Baekmuk fonts…?!? Allright..second chances aren’t really my style, but now JDS is really pushing it! On the positive side…I’ve been through all of this before, so I know how to fix it. So, a few hours later (students demand some attention too :o) everything was in place. Ehm, well…not really everything because it didn’t really recognize my display…
My actual knowledge of linux is a bit rusty…to be honest I only remembered “ls -la” :o) So luckily Gnome Desktop Manager has a Windows look and feel. After a while I was able to retrieve some more commands from my memory and there is always the internet.
Installed some stuff like Firefox, NetBeans, Gimp, Star Office…all of the stuff I wanted to play around with. Also came across a great site called JDSHelp.org with lots of info. Thanks guys! Last but not least I had to try Project Looking Glass 3D as a window manager! This stuff impresses people, or at least it does impress me. So here we go…java.net, how to install LG3D for dummies…Java 5, Java 3D, JAI….everything in place…read all the forums, all the tutorials, all the help files…finally, everything in place…! Let’s run!
CRASH! ….my video card is not supported… @#$@%^!!#%@%@@!!! Allright! That’s it…my joyride ends here…joyrides suppose to end crashing…so this is it.
About 21 cups of coffee and a few hours later…
In the mean time, I got Project Looking Glass 3D to work on my Windows XP box. Peace of cake, thanks to the clear instructions available on java.net. Unfortunately I can only run LG3D windowed, instead of being the Window Manager which I was hoping for with JDS. I even decided to try JDS on another box, although this attempt once again dissapointed me. The box already contains Windows, so I need to make a new partition out of the space that Windows claimed. This is in fact possible with the JDS installation software, unless the partition is NTFS. There must be some partitioning software that is able to do this, so JDS story is to be continued.
I do wonder what JDS does to me, because believe me…second chances are not my style…let alone second second chances and third second chances, it must be those sweet Java logo’s…I can’t ignore them….I simply can’t…even though there’s linux underneath ;o)