September 6th, 2008


Weeeee! (I suppose)

So, here I am typing away on my brand new machine running my brand new operating system using my brand new journalizer software. Pretty snarky, huh?

Yeah, well . . .

Linux kind of takes you back to an era of reduced expectations. Remember the waning day’s of Reagan’s second term how, when he appeared in public, the pundit chatter was all about how alert he seemed that day and that he only dosed off once in more than an hour and a half? Forget what he said or didn’t say; if he could keep his eyes open and move them once in a while, it was a triumph. Well, as you endeavor to bring up your Linux machine and get some stuff running on it, you learn to savor and celebrate the Possible, forget Easy or Quick. You come away saying to yourself, “Far out! It was entirely possible to download that tarball and extract it and install it!” Now it took a couple or three hours to figure out how exactly to do that, but it was possible. Hallelujah!

The first harbinger of contention was when I tried to use my work-supplied thumb drive to move my saved e-mail folders to the new machine. It is password protected by bureaucratic mandate, but guess what? The password unlocker app burned into the drive runs only on Windows. Geez. Not a big deal (there are two other thumb drives sitting on the same table as the computer), but, as omens go, it could have been better.

And this LJ thingy isn’t as wysiwyg or as cool as Semagic, but it does exist and it does seem to work, so I’m counting my blessings. And there may be others out there that I will stumble on eventually.

Yes, we are having fun. Already!

Stepping boldly into the twentieth century . . .

What ever pride I took in my Zen-like detachment was a sham.

I’m getting ready to take a computer down to Computer Recycle Day at the local Local and I don’t want to let go. That’s the last 5.25“ floppy drive I’ll ever see, dammit! And that means that the four drawers of 5.25” floppies can go out with the moldy pasta salad next Wednesday. It turns out the drawers fit CDs perfectly, so that’s not a complete loss. Come on, let’s face it, it’s not a loss at all. I have not hooked that machine up in the six years that I’ve lived here. I seriously don’t know if it’s even a Pentium processor; it could be the last of the 486s. Geez. No, it was a Pentium, but it was like a 333MHz Pentium. I just had a grief-induced flashback of the doof in the next cube saying, “I coulda got ya a 500MHz for the same price. Why didn’t you tell me you were looking for a new computer?” Because I wouldn’t buy a bag of Fritos from you without checking the seal; that’s one reason. It also has a tape machine in the front that got obsoleted when I went from 6GB to 40GB hard drives (the tape machine would do 8GB on a tape and there was no way in hell I was going to do multiple-tape backups--they were about thirty bucks a piece).

So, even though this forty-pound tower with outriggers is full of rilly, rilly cool stuff that not everyone had at the time, the point of today’s exercise is to keep it from landing in the landfill and poisoning our drinking water.

There’s a comic seen in one of Casteneda’s books where Don Juan is getting all over Carlos for his attachment to the accoutremma of his daily life. He turns to Don Genero and says, “Yes, Carlos even says goodbye to his turds before he flushes them.”

Time to say goodbye to some of these turds. Be careful what you get attached to,

Maybe we'll just skip the twentieth century and go straight for the two-thousands.

I am going to get a modern monitor for this machine, though. This “perfectly good” ViewSonic 17 (that was HOT in its day, by the way) is bugging me with its fish-eye spheroid screen. To its credit it has no problem displaying 1280 x 800 video at 70Hz; it’s just that everything is rilly, rilly small. By 17“, in those days, they meant 17” from one corner of the tube to the other inside the case. The viewing area is seriously less than 15“.

So that's what a near death experience is like.

Kudos to Comcast and the ever lovely, if somewhat ethereal, Juanita. I screwed up my e-mail accounts trying to “manage” them, as they say and “managed” to delete one that many people and vendors and such know me by. Turns out, barring divine intervention, a deleted account stays inactive for 90 days before it is turned loose into the ether for subsequent reincarnation. St. Juanita was able to redirect my wandering persona away from the light and get me back in my body.