All entries for July 2006

July 28, 2006

An odyssey with Linux

How long can you have a conversation with somebody about something? Chances are a few minutes, if you can be bothered, and you already know a bit about the topic in question.

Ok, so what happens when discussing Linux with a penguin–head? Ten seconds? Even if you have a modicum of knowledge, it seems to encourage them to go deeper and deeper into it until you’re well and truly lost. And what happens then, is that if you showed a bit of initial interest, they took it as permission to ramble on endlessly, ignoring your body language (such as shuffling in the opposite direction…).

Linux has definitely got its attractions. Mainly, it’s free, and that * Microsoft lot haven’t found a way of making any money out of it yet. (and SCO are trying even harder).

It’s just that my attempts at installing it, and getting it to do what I want, have not been successful. I’ve always foundered in a sea of devs, vars, etcs, dhcps…the list is endless.
Linux to me is like walking around a marquee, trying to find the entrance, and becoming more and more convinced there isn’t one. The few times I’ve spotted a gap, I’ve looked through, only to find that there is another * marquee inside, again with no sign of an entrance.

Anyway, I’m not best pals with Windows XP. Not only am I really racked off with those little yellow boxes that keep appearing every time I let my mouse pointer stay in the same place for more than a second – what are they called, by the way? They always cover up the bit I want to read.
BUT ALSO Microsoft have stopped supporting Windows 98, even though I am quite happy with it, and my machine hardly ever crashes these days.

Let me put it another way. My house is 97 years old. My car is 13 years old. I have 4 guitars, between 14 and 30 years old. All of these things are serving me nearly as well as if they were brand new, but Microsoft think an operating system is fit for nothing but the scrapheap after 8 years. It probably would have been much less, if Windows Me hadn’t been such a mound of manure.

Also, I’ve got a Hauppauge Freeview card, which a quick look at the DigitalSpy forums assures me works much better under Linux.

So here goes. A voyage of discovery.
Hopefully I’ll keep in touch.
Helpful, encouraging comments are welcome. Even ones which take the proverbial, if they make me laugh. Just no jargon.


July 17, 2006

Have I been here before?

Double red lines
Stuck in a line of slow–moving traffic with mild panic setting in
Did I give myself enough time?
Will there be any spaces left when I finally get there?
A row of vast concrete blocks separate us from the traffic crawling the other way
Through the maze of portakabins and plywood walls until
We finally reach the building
Light and airy, with corridors going in every possible direction
Small groups of people, gazing upward at signs
Hoping for guidance as to their best direction
Others wait nervously, in multi–coloured chairs, for their time to
Go and sit in other chairs in other, hidden rooms

Ladies and Gentlemen
Walsgrave Hospital
has turned into Heathrow Airport…


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