Alistair Maclean's Web Site


I started my interest in Unix clones fiddling with Minix on an Atari ST1040 (just a few years ago). It ran on 2 floppy disks, provided a reasonable intro to Unix and helped to some extent the early days of Linux, too.

I have long since given up the Minix adventures


I started playing with Linux in the mid-90's. The first version I ran was a slackware version that came in a book. It ran on an old IBM PS/2 Mod 50, which had a 66Mhz 486 and about 8 Mb RAM. It was an amiable machine but lacked the horsepower to run the X Window system - at least from the console. I have tried many versions since that time. A main stay for several years were versions from SuSE. The main web server here now runs RedHat, and the most recent version is running on a machine in the house.

Cold Fusion On Linux

This was probably the first package that did not come on a CD that I installed on Linux. I have used ColdFusion on NT for some time and find it to be a powerful tool for building web sites with. I noticed that Allaire were looking at putting out a version of Cold Fusion 4.5 for Linux. It's another big download and time expires, but was an interesting look at how NT product companies try to transport code and applications across to another platform.


I needed a small database system for the website (to store info about the images that are on the site) and hence fell upon PHP and MySQL. I chose MySQL over Postgres because there are books to guide you through the Apache/PHP/MySQL integration. This all worked out really well with few hiccoughs. The primary issue I had was the rate at which PHP and MySQL are updated. I ended up with a PHP 4.0 version and version 237 million of MySQL, or so it seems. See a description of my recent efforts in version number addiction as I try to build the latest and greatest of these packages.

Oracle On Linux

Read about my Oracle installation adventures.


Over the years I have tried a few Linux distributions (distro's). I cannot say that they have all been successful, but several have worked very well and presented me with dilemmas as to which distribution I should go on with. Here is a listing of the distributions I have tried and some of the things I found, good or bad.

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