Remember how this has been a Montana blog for ages? Since its inception, even? Well, no longer. I am in fact living in Tennessee at this very moment. Now, don’t worry, I’m in the eastern part, closer to Charlotte than Nashville. There are mountains. Smaller, more quaint mountains, but mountains.
There was a Tea Party sticker left on one of the windows of my apartment. Next update I’ll be wearing a confederate flag t-shirt and have an “In God We Trust” license plate. You won’t get a picture of that because it would cause emotional distress and that’s illegal in this state.
(I actually do like it here.)
This week I will be without my main computer and I’m having my wisdom teeth pulled.
This week is going to suck.
Of all the days to not be able to find my stocking cap. Christ. -10 degrees makes for a long walk across campus.
Also, car seat warmers > you.
I came into the CS program having done little more than HTML and a chapter of a Java book. That first Java program (after “hello, world,” of course) was one where when my brother’s name was entered in a prompt it printed “you suck” and when anyone else’s name was entered it printed “you’re cool.” Good times.
Perhaps it was a function of being distracted and depressed after reading The Road yesterday evening, but this morning I came to the conclusion that I should switch back to Windows.
I’ve been running Ubuntu for the past two years or so as my primary OS (dual booting XP, however). I don’t regret it; there’s a lot I like about Ubuntu and the Linux software ecosystem (there’s probably a better term for what I’m describing). A quick rundown:
1. Package management. Synaptic in particular. I can’t express how much I love repositories and package management. The ability to search for a piece of software and have the ability to install, uninstall, reinstall, etc with the click of a button is fantastic.
2. The shell environment. The Windows command line sucks. It’s almost completely useless to me. Linux’s shell environment is the opposite. That’s largely due to having used it daily for the last two and a half years (and often in the four years before that), but it allows me to do certain tasks quickly and efficiently and that’s what I want.
3. Amarok. There’s lots of Linux software I like and some that I like more than anything on Windows. Amarok is more than that. It’s far and away the best music application I’ve used on any platform. It does exactly what I want it to and it’s easy to use. There are good Windows music applications (like Foobar2k), but as far as I’m concerned Amarok beats them hands down.
4. Open source culture. Who doesn’t like free shit? More seriously, while there’s lots of open source software for Windows, it’s still a closed OS and doesn’t encourage as much open source development.
There are other little things, but that’s the gist of why I like using Ubuntu. I was tempted to put Gnome on there, but it’s honestly not a huge improvement over XP (and I wasn’t particularly impressed with KDE, when it was stable on my machine). So why am I switching?
Most of the problems Ben lists here, really. Multimedia is a huge to me. X is annoying and slow. Audio is a mess. Pulse-audio is supposed to fix that, but right now it’s caused several of the apps I use occasionally to not work and the stuttering audio problem in some programs has mysteriously returned after I messed with some configuration settings (ok, maybe that’s not so mysterious). I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. That said, the biggest reason for me is probably games. I’ve started gaming more in the past two and a half years and rebooting is annoying. It makes me less likely to play. I can’t be on Steam and jump into a game when one of my friends comes online. Wine is simply never going to be a good solution (it’s often passable, however) and if you want to play the latest and greatest and have them look like the latest and greatest you’re out of luck.
This is, of course, from the point of view of a home user. For software development, I prefer Linux without question. I just don’t do all that much development outside of work to justify it.
I will probably make the jump to Vista instead of going back to XP. Maybe it’ll suck, but it doesn’t seem too bad from what I’ve used of it. Plus, I want a 64 bit, DX 10 OS for gaming and I was thinking I’d take the plunge next year when I do a Core i7 build anyway. Maybe there’ll be a post here in a month or so ranting about Vista. You never know.
So there it is. I’m guessing this post will become search engine bait in the near future. Though it’ll be hard to touch my rolfing post in that department.
I’ve been slacking off as far as blogging goes. Not sure why, but oh well.
People are claiming Palin is finally becoming less popular with the electorate. I gotta say, according to the chart in that link, it looks the McCain-Palin ticket has dropped. Her drop started earlier, but for the most part it mirrors McCain’s. So I hesitate to say it’s really about her. Not that I’d feel bad if I’m wrong.
Schweitzer spoke on the MSU campus the other day. A pretty nice turnout, too. There were some anti-Schweitzer protesters there, too. Five to ten, maybe. Signs included “Election fraud isn’t funny” and “Bully” (a couple with that). Sounds like hand-wringing pussy talk, but what do I know. There were also people handing out some kind of literature on the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul-types, presumably. Nice timing, if nothing else.
Working for a university gives me certain benefits, one of which is discounted tuition and fees. So I’m taking suggestions for further education. A CS master’s? History or philosophy? Underwater basket-weaving? My future is in your hands.
I have two items:
1. Good ISPs in town? Currently, my DSL is controlled and administered by a company hired by the owners of my apartment complex. This means I have less control that I want to have (and it’s slower than I want), so I’m thinking I’m going to go off an get my own. Suggestions? I don’t really want Bresnan and I’ve been looking at Bridgeband.
2. Roy Zimmerman is playing at the Labor Temple this Wednesday. If you don’t know who he is, well, watch this:
See, clearly you need to go see him. I believe it’s $15 and benefits the Montana Women’s Lobby.
Not having a working Internet connection in my apartment for the better part of last week has really shown me how hopelessly addicted I am to it.
On the other hand, I managed to watch four movies and significant number of Arrested Development episodes. Eventually I assume I’ll get tired of that show, but I’m nowhere near that point yet.
Clearly, I have too much spare time.
It’s the tenth anniversary of the mp3 player. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the Diamond Rio PMP300, but the MPMan F10.
So, I almost have a collectible piece of gadgetry. In high school I got an Eiger Labs F20V, which is the second generation of the MPMan F10. As far as I know, the thing still works, though it’s probably lost somewhere in my parents’ house. Still, second gen of the original isn’t bad, right?
It brings back fond memories, too. Like after a basketball game when a teammate of mine was talking to someone about how he heard about these cool things that you could put songs on from your computer. I got to interrupt the conversation and go “oh, that thing you’re talking about? You mean this.”
Then there was the time I discovered that because our computer speakers sucked and the sound quality on the player was so poor I could encode mp3s at 64 kbps and it sounded fine. That made my early mp3 collection largely useless after a few years, but luckily my tastes had evolved enough that it wasn’t a big deal. I still had some of those 64 kbps mp3s when I started college.
All right, I’m done now. I assume this is what my generation’s nostalgia looks like. I’m sure you old people were drooling over your 8-track and record players in the same manner.
We’re so much cooler than you were.
Just three years late, I’m finally starting to watch Lost on DVD. While I have nothing more substantive to say than I like it so far, a couple of peripheral things amuse me. The opening “title” on the season 1 DVD looks like a second rate comp sci graphics course project. Also, the designer of the DVD case really needs a good talking to. I have other cases like it and the whole having to remove a disc to get to another one thing is annoying.
In any case, this is what I’ve been reduced to. Substantive thought outside of work is apparently the first thing to go for me.