Using a mixed environment - OS X and Debian

Some time ago, I wrote about my first experiences with an old eMac I got from my parents. I've been pretty happy with the system, even if the OS X 10.3.9 is not as fancy as the latest incarnations of this extremely user friendly OS.

I decided to keep the best of two worlds: I kept the OS X installed (no Debian or NetBSD on this system!). Thus I can still use Excel that is unfortunately absolutely necessary for anyone studying economics and business administration. Of course one can probably calculate everything with OpenOffice Calc, but using OpenOffice at home just does not help me in learning for the spreadsheet exam I have to pass using Excel in the computer lab at the school.

For word processing and some occasional hacking, I decided to install Aquamacs. For typesetting the texts, I installed MacTeX.

As I have too much old boxes in my room in the dorm, I decided not to install more open source apps in the eMac. At the moment I mostly use the Debian box (eVectra 1 GHz, 256 Mb RAM) in the console mode using a ssh connection. The box is not connected to a monitor or to a keyboard, but it does have a pair of loadspeakers for playing my collection of ogg files ripped with ripit. In addition, the Debian box is used for doing some math with GNU Octave.

I am sure, there are many readers who would just "liberate" the eMac but, alas, we are not living in a perfect world where we could freely decide which software to use. The world is a dirty place, just like Ivo Welch writes in Corporate Finance: An Introduction after a discussion of finance in perfect markets:

The real world is definitely dirtier than our perfect one, and you can't just close your eyes and wish you were still in Kansas.

Lubuntu test release

Lubuntu (download) is Ubuntu 9.10 with LXDE desktop environment. FA quote from the LXDE blog:
The lubuntu project is advancing. lynxis just published a lubuntu test iso based on the seeds by David Sugar and additional patches. It is just 381 MB and a second one only 292 MB.

Lubuntu is probably interesting especially for the Ubuntu users who have been looking for a lightweight Ubuntu derivative to use on some old box.