Developing Elgg from Vista to Ubuntu 9.04 - the complete setup

It's about a year since I digged up Elgg to develop an new social network. The reason for choice was that Ning was too much on its own - darkish - track and we needed open source. Well, and between all the open source candidates Elgg proved to be the most active.
** Windows
As most people, I used for many years a Windows machine, since 3.1 I believe. XP was great but then I bougth a new Samsung Q210 laptop Nov 2008 and the Vista nightmare started. Well, not so obvious as to say immediately Vista sucked...but it crept in. Some things stopped just working suddenly, the harddisk was abused at times without any clue why...etc ...etc
For Elgg I already had a test server on Ubuntu and also another old laptop to play around. Then reading up what was going on in Ubuntu and Microsoft announcing that Windows 7 really was much better than Vista and that they were pleased to allow me to *buy* at about full price Windows 7; after only one year while admiting the product sucked???
** Ok... time for a change!
I first went through the long list of the applications I used on Vista. And to my pleasant surprise, all " must- have"  ran natively. I really did not want dual-boot. I am here to produce -did I tell you marketing is my profession and not programming?- so the native solution is welcome. A few little apps I tested on Wine...and they all did what they had to do!
So, popping in the Ubuntu 9.04 CD and off to format the first partition to ext4. Wow... easy, simple and 20 min later Ubunutu was smiling at me. Hm, took me quite some time to get the webcam working on Skype. Lost half a day on that. Other, no substantial issues. Happy.
** The hardware
The 12inch Q210 laptop is perfect to travel, I write this on an airport in Ukraine, going back to Holland. But in the office I use a 26inch 1900x1200 monitor... and yes the Q210 drives both its own and the large one at the same time...with great speed.
** The software
I love Avant Window Manager - gives me a Mac-feeling and helps me to keep the desktop very clean. Some other small utils, nothing to write about.
** Development environment
Ubuntu runs apache at easy... installation took like 10 minutes. Elgg another 10. So, yes, developing is now local. And for that I use Netbeans with X-debug. Great-great-great. Ever run into blank-Elgg screens? I did back in Vista time when I had Notepad++, and although Netbeans runs ok on Windows too; the breeze with local apache and x-debug makes live fast and simple.
A test server we have on a standard hosted site. Production on a dedicated hoster server...again with Ubuntu;)))
Two weeks now with Ubuntu on the laptop... and I love it The user interface is a lot more wow than Aero on Vista; it boots FAST, it runs fast..
** Memory
Oh and did I tell it uses when I have all my aps open (Netbeans, Firefox, Google Chrom, Thunderbird, some Filemanager)... just 600MB RAM of the 3GB I have?  Yes only 20%... in same world Vista took me to the full 3GB and started swapping...
Really, life is more simple than 3 weeks ago. Ubuntu I now recommend to everyone using a PC for all ok, except gaming so the kids will stay on Windows... ))