[triangle-zpug] boot camp preparation

Tom Bryan tbryan at python.net
Thu Dec 23 14:13:35 CET 2004

On Wednesday 22 December 2004 10:25 pm, AM Thomas wrote:

> I'm not sure if this question belongs here, on the Plone list, or on the
> special boot camp mailing list; please forgive me, this was my first
> guess, and feel free to direct me elsewhere.

I'm not sure how Chris and Joel feel about it, but I would move this 
discussion to the boot camp mailing list.  

> When I signed up, I asked Chris whether I'd need to set up Plone to run on
> my laptop.  The answer seems to be yes.

I'm not sure.  I imagine that it would make things *much* easier so that one 
could actually experiment with Plone during the week of class.

> I've got an older laptop (about 5 years? Not completely sure - it's an
> Asus L7300) with 64M memory, a Pentium Celeron processor, and a Red Hat
> 7.3 partition that I *think* I will attempt to outfit for use in the boot
> camp class.


> I'm guessing I'll have to replace the OS with something more modern (I
> looked through some Plone and Python install pages & it looks like I'd
> want Fedora core 1, then Python 2.3.3, then I can set up Plone); 

You could try.  With those specs, I'd be tempted to stick with what you've got 
and just build/install Python, Zope, and Plone by hand.  Or make RPMs locally 
from the SRPMs.  

> I wonder if the system is going to be too slow to run Plone satisfactorily.

I don't think so.  It won't be the zippiest thing, but if you're using a 
lightweight window manager, then I bet you could squeeze Plone in there and 
still keep up.  It's not like your laptop has to handle a lot of traffice.  
It just needs to serve one local client (you) while you play with the course 
material.  If you set it up this weekend, then you could try it and see just 
how fast it feels.  Of course, if we do much with Plone + a RDBMS (e.g., 
PostreSQL), then you may start swapping a lot.

> Any clues?  I have gotten Zope 2.5 to run on it -- not too terribly

I'm not familiar enough with Plone to know whether Plone adds a lot of CPU or 
memory overhead beyond Zope itself.

> My question is this: should I even bother?  Or will it be too slow?

I would bother.  Then again, I still own a (rarely used) Pentium 166 Thinkpad 
laptop.  Probably similar specs to yours.

> I'm not that smooth with Linux installation/configuration 

Hm.  That could be a problem since you'll probably want to be careful to make 
sure most services are off and that there's not a lot of extra overhead.  
You'll also probably want to run a lightweight window manager (not KDE or 
Gnome, if possible).

> only to find it's annoyingly slow.  

Depends on your definition of annoying.  

If you upgrade to a newer release of a Linux distribution, you will probably 
find that it takes wants more memory and disk space.  It may take you a while 
to trim it back enough so that it runs reasonably on your hardware.  Some 
distributions are probably better than others in this regard.  

If you stick with the version of Linux you have now, then you already know how 
fast it feels on your hardware.  Zope isn't *that* heavy.  Of course, then 
you'd probably have to install Python, Zope, and Plone from source.  And with 
an older distributioin, there's some concern about security holes (depending 
how open to the campus network we'll be).  You would also be running an older 
browser, which could cause problems with CSS.  

Another option is just to use your laptop to take notes and run a browser.  
Then you could hope that someone else will have enough spare horsepower to 
run a second Plone instance for you.  That way, you'd have your own Plone 
instance to play with while we're on the network, it just wouldn't be on your 
own box or available when we're disconnected.

> In a related note, how much do I need to get out of "Diving into Python"
> before Jan 3?


> OK, I probably should have sent this to the boot camp list, but I'd like
> confirmation of that from someone.

Agreed.  There are a lot of people on the general TriZPUG list who aren't 
going to the Plone boot camp, and some of them aren't even interested in 
Plone or Zope.  Please trim the general triangle-zpug e-mail address off of 
further replies.


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