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Hitting the Reset Key the Linux Way - page 2

Running a Hotel on Linux

  • May 19, 2000
  • By Paul Ferris
The hardware setup for the MI was incredibly simple. Most hardware requires you to read a couple of manuals, plug some things in, and go from there. I found that, to my delight, setup at MI was simply a matter of inserting a key into the door slot, and we were on our way. The keyboard, however, provided limited functionality, as it would only bring up a few cable selections. Even still, I was able to find a re-run of Bewitched in just a matter of a few minutes--and that was good enough, as far as I'm concerned.

The screen was a 27-inch unit, with pretty poor resolution--your stock television set, albeit a new one, but since the application (in this case, watching re-runs) was not dependent upon a high-resolution computer display, I can't really cite this as being all that bad.

Overall System Operation
All in all, I found the layout of the hardware to be extremely ergonomical, and the hot tub was great at relieving stress. Given that a good portion of the computer hardware I come in contact with seems to cause more stress, this was a real plus. Still, I must add that if you come to the Marblehead Inn, you should not expect to sit in the hot tub, get relaxed, and compute.

Besides the fact that you will likely be mixing a more stressful action (computing) with a stress-relieving action (sitting in a hot tub), you're likely to get the laptop wet. Possibly worse, you or the laptop might die of electrocution. I'm sure Rick would not be amused, either.

The beds were firm, but very comfortable. Rick explained to me that some of his customers do complain about the beds being just a bit too firm. I have to say, however, as a seasoned road warrior, that these people must not stay very many places or they must be used to quicksand or something, because the beds were just right.

I found the general arrangement of the room to be fine for setting up a laptop although I wasn't able to test the quality of the phone lines, as Internet access was strictly forbidden. Not by Rick, but by my wife, who threatened that she would throw my CDs out of the car at the next opportunity if I didn't stop thinking of work. That alone might not be so bad until you realize that I keep my CDs in a case with the laptop, and that at that point she would be in no mood to sort out which was which.

So, I kept it low key. I spent some time in the hot tub, drinking ice water (we were done with the wine by this time) and enjoying myself. All in all, I have to say it was one of the most relaxing and pleasant experiences I've ever had with Linux hardware.

And what did Rick have to say about using Caldera and his hotel application? Well, it just works. The application support people might improve the product if it worked with more varieties of laser printers, and it's a pretty stable product. They do reboot it about once a week when they update software, and no, I don't know if that's necessary. After all, a good system reset from time to time can't be all bad. Who knows? I am sure of one thing--the Marblehead Inn likely has very few problems with viruses in their management software.

I recommend that if you're up in the Marblehead area, you at least stop in and say hi to Rick. Maybe get some wine and rent a room. The room rates are reasonable and the hot tub is sure to undo some of the tension you recently incurred configuring sendmail.

And you'll likely find that running Linux doesn't have to be a stressful experience at all.


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