Sunday, December 31, 2006

Getting back to linux

I'm trying to make the move back to linux. I used linux as my home desktop from October 1993 to January of 2006 before the accumulation of windows-only software and gadgets (running watch, digital video camera, etc.) had me giving in. Since then, I've been trying to figure out how to get back to linux one program at a time. To that end I've been toying with the idea of writing a cross-platform replacement for the software my Suunto T6 uses. I've been playing with the enthought tool suite on windows and have made some progress. Now I'm to get what I have working on windows working on linux.

About a month ago, I bought a cast off computer from work and a KVM switch so I could have a linux box sitting next to my windows box. With the holidays, I finally got a chance to mess with it. Trying to install Ubuntu 6.10 and get it set up, I hit a few bumps. The basic Ubuntu installs beautifully. The first headache came when I tried to get flash, etc. installed to "desktopify" my new box. There seemed to be "more than one way to do it" but I ended up using something called automatix2 and was on my way.

Next on the list was installing the packages that I need to do an in-place build of the enthought tool suite. Scipy was a problem. I installed python-scipy and the myriad of stuff it wanted to install, but the build died right away because it couldn't import scipy_distutils. So I tried to install scipy-core which provides scipy_distutils. Unfortunately python-scipy-core conflicts with python-scipy even though it recommends python-scipy. Hmm. Well, python-scipy includes numpy.distutils instead of scipy_distutils so I built with numpy and it seemed to compile OK (some warning, but nothing alarming). Running the testing/ though had lots of failed tests.