ADRIAN’S BLOG

Ramblings of an IT geek

Google

I’ll digress a little here, but what did we do before the world wide web, and more specifically Google?

Yes, I hear all the anti-Google arguments, but they don’t charge me anything and the convenience and access to knowledge they provide is a price I’m willing to pay.  I’ve not really hunted around for alternatives, as I’m pretty sure I’ve found the best.

I remember using Yahoo and Netscape in the early days, but where are they now?  I’m actually forced to use Bing on a clients laptop I’m currently using, and even that doesn’t work quite as accurately as Google.

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Where to begin?

Another great question!  I guess my aim is to see if I could live in eOS should there come a time when I feel the need to ditch macOS.

I’m not going to get into the applications too much in the post and will save that for later when I have a nice and stable system that’s doing most of what I want.  Needless to say, I know I’m not going to get some software that runs permanently on my Mac, but I know of alternatives for some (e.g. MS Office) and will be interested to see if new ones exist for others (e.g OmniFocus – I’d really really miss that!)

One of the reasons I love macOS so much is the interaction with the enormous trackpad.  If you’ve never used an Apple trackpad you don’t know what you’re missing.  If you have, you know what I mean.  Using 2, 3 and 4 finger gestures is something I’d really miss and I’m going to try and tackle this early on.  It’s one of the things that might have broken the 1st (undocumented) attempt, so I don’t want to get too far in only to find I break ‘take 2’

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Why eOS?

Good question, and one I’ve asked myself several times since I started thinking about reusing my MBA to run Linux.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t profess to have a great understanding of Linux or even how different distros come about.  I’ve played with the following (alphabetically) VMs on my FreeNAS machine running in VirtualBox:

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Installing Linux

I’m sure there are several ways to do this and hundreds of Linux distributions to choose from, but this is how I’ve done it for eOS:

1. Download eOS ISO file from > https://elementary.io  They’d like you to make a donation to ongoing development, which I don’t have a problem with as I plan on trying to live with it for a time.  If you’re just wanting to test things out, you can enter a value of £0 and still download.

2.  Burned the ISO file to a blank DVD-R in macOS (simply right-click the ISO file and select Burn to Disc from the menu)

3. Booted MBA to new rEFInd menu with connected Apple SuperDrive and ISO disk inserted

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Prepare to dual boot with rEFInd

Right, macOS (10.12 Sierra if you’re interested) is installed on the MBA. Pretty straightforward once I’d destroyed the whole partition on the SSD.

Pretty sure I’d messed things up trying to boot back into eOS and when I tried to remove the ext4 partition for Linux using Disk Utility from the SSD recovery partition it wouldn’t unmount. Couldn’t fix through terminal either using diskutil, so eventually booted from the USB HDD and zapped the whole SSD!  Maybe a little drastic but it had been frustrating me for a good few hours and it got me back to the same point.

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Take 2

Ok, so after a pretty successful 1st attempt (dual boot working and various applications installed and configured) I managed to break elementary OS (eOS). This was either caused by touchegg (enabling gestures) or Bluetooth (this would be my guess) but it ended up with me needing to start a fresh, which actually resulted in this blog starting. Not all bad then!

Some background:

1. I’m doing this with a late 2010 MacBook Air (MBA) with a 2.13Ghz Intel dual-core processor,  4GB RAM and 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD)

2. I would consider myself fairly computer literate having been playing with computers for as long as I can remember. Mainly in a Microsoft DOS/Windows environments until 2008 when I was seduced by the original MBA and switched my day-to-day computing to OSX

3. About 3 years ago I also started playing around a little more seriously with FreeBSD when I setup a FreeNAS machine to store all my media in 1 place. This also allowed me to run various Virtual Machines (VMs) so I tried and discounted numerous flavours of Linux

So where am I?  Well, in Scotland, although that’s not what I meant!  I’m currently reinstalling macOS from a recovery partition on a bootable external Hard Disk Drive (HDD) after screwing the SDD partitions trying to fix my boot issues!

The following blogs will document the various steps to hopefully get back to where I was without breaking anything again!!

Elementary my dear Mac

A number of things have aligned, resulting in me finally getting around to starting my first blog!

1. I setup a WordPress server a few months ago when working for a client who deployed WordPress to their customers and I wanted to learn a little more

2. I’ve recently upgraded my MacBook Air for a MacBook meaning I had a spare machine to ‘play’ with

3. Whilst ‘playing’ I realised that what I was trying to do might be of interest to others, and if not at least I’d have a record of what I’ve done when I eventually break things (which is inevitable given my limited Linux knowledge)

So this blog will start, at least for the first several posts on the process of dual-booting a 2010 MacBook Air with macOS and elementary OS (a lightweight Linux distro based on ubuntu with a very OSX look and feel)

Wish me luck…