My Apprenticeship - Thursday, July 8, 2004

08 Jul 2004

In the summer of 2009 I revisited my 2004 summer apprenticeship at Object Mentor. What follows is the original 2004 post and then some 2009 commentary.

Today Paul and I set up the conference room for next week’s class by making sure IntelliJ, FitNesse, and M.S. Visual Studio were installed and current on the mini computers. It’s gonna be a full house for the TDD (test driven design) class – six computers with 2 people at each.

Then Micah gave us a choice: one of us could try to track down a mysterious file on a computer about to be re-formatted and the other was to figure out Word Press and install it. I chose Word Press – it’s a program that can be installed on a server so that blogging (weB LOGging) is quick and easy. We are setting up a blog so we can start the site where individuals can object to Uncle Bob’s (Bob Martin, founder of Object Mentor is often referred to as ‘Uncle Bob.’ I don’t know why either) frequent declarations (like: ‘Debuggers are bad’ or ‘Comments should not be used’ ) and then Bob can respond. But the servers are Linux based, so I needed to install Linux on an old computer they had lying around. Linux is an operating system( like Windows, or Mac OS) favored by nerds. Long have I wanted to get my hands on this O.S. ‘ it’s in all the great nerd literature like Crytomonicon or, uh’ hmm. Maybe something by Coupland? Anyway, the nerds favor this O.S. because, although it’s not the most user-friendly of file systems, it is very stable and secure. Linux servers don’t crash as often as windows servers but even when they do, it’s not too hard to get them back up and running.

So I installed Red Hat Linux, and then I installed it again because I did it wrong the first time. Yargh. After that I downloaded My SQL and PHP. These are programs that Word Press needs to run on a server. What they actually do, I’m not sure, but I’ll have to look into that later because, by that time, I had to go.

Wow, first day using linux. These days it’s easy to forget that I wasn’t alway in love with the *nix based operating systems, but there was a time when I was a windows developer. I remember getting placed on a Rails project and trying to get it up and running on my windows laptop – I think it took about a week. Eventually I gave up and dual booted Ubuntu. After that I made the switch to OSX.

I love the part where I explain that Linux is more reliable than Windows and what a ‘blog’ is. Who did I think was reading this? As if me explaining every 20th technical term was going to make this blog any easier to read. Actually I didn’t even think of those original posts as a blog – It was just sort of an extension of the little stories I’d been telling for years on my crappy website.

Also, take note of today’s date and keep track of how many days it takes me to install WordPress. At the time their website boasted a “5 minute install.” I might have gone a little over that estimate.