Sunday, June 21, 2009

OpenSolaris on the ThinkPad

After a long run of just dealing with Windows on my personal latpop I have finally managed to get OpenSolaris running on it. I've had a continuous hassle with my old Wifi card that seemed to only be truly happy under Windows. After a few years of that I took a chance on a new card from eBay and found that it... WORKED!

I started out trying the latest Ubuntu desktop, which has a great library of packages available for it and fantastic integration. Unfortunatley, its driver configuration seemed to work, then send my wifi into a coma after some period of time. Didn't diagnose it. Didn't care to. My laptop isn't a science project for me, it's a tool I want to just work when I dump a new OS onto its disk.

Next stop was the one I was more excited about: OpenSolaris.

root@saphyra:~# uname -a
SunOS saphyra 5.11 snv_111b i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris
root@saphyra:~# wificonfig showstatus
linkstatus: connected
active profile: none
essid: <>
bssid: <>
encryption: wep
signal strength: medium(10)

Yes, that's right, it's all working. At the moment I'm able to work on a zone / LDAP project from the comfort of my couch enjoying my reborn Thinkpad T23. This thing works like a charm despite being a dinosaur by modern standards.

Before rebuilding it I had pretty much stopped using it because Windows XP was unable to boot in under 5 minutes and it took almost as long to launch an Acrobat Reader session for simple PDF stories I was reading. At the moment everything I do, including web browsing works well and is responsive under only 1GB ram and a 1.1 GHz processor. Sweet.

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