I've been a Linux die hard for the past 8 years, and I continue to be. I run it at home 24x7 hosting a few websites, sharing files and printer with my Windoze and Macs, routing my Internet traffic, etc. The challenge with Linux seems to be that the Linux desktop, although getting better every day, is never ready, and I'm not getting any younger.
I recently bought a MacMini, mostly because I loved the new Apple Remote control, and because I figured I could use it to play the 500+ Gigs of videos stored on my server, on my TV downstairs thru my wireless LAN.
I never had an Apple before, and I promised myself I’d never buy a computer again, since I learned how to build my own cheaper and better. I especially hated Apple because of the premium you have to pay for the “boutique” technology. However when the MacMini first came out I thought I’d be really cool for playing DVDs and web browsing on my TV, which hangs on top of my fireplace. However, after doing a proof of concept with my best friend’s Apple Laptop, I abandoned the idea in favor of a hypothetically upcoming PC Mini, which should be cheaper and would allow me to install Linux on it.
The Media Industry is once again geared to screw consumers over. They are pushing hardware/software makers to include Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection on DVD Players, future versions of Microsoft Operating Systems, CPUs, Motherboards and even Graphic Cards. DRM protection will restrict our use of media/content to what the Media Industry calls “Fair Use”.
Example 1: I can’t record a TV broadcast in HDTV and play it on a different computer. This is not piracy. I have multiple computers networked at home. I store all my content in the server and want to play it on any of my other computers.
It's 3:20am here in beautiful Bremerton, WA, and according to my GNOME desktop weather ticker, it's 54 degrees and partly cloudy. My return from Phoenix last weekend has left me with a fall in typical Seattle winter mode. Really, we only have two seasons here; the 3 months of a beautiful summer, and 9 of gray hazed winter. In reality, the winter doesn't bother me much at all, but then again after being in submarines for too long, any sky-light is better than none. I'm suddenly saddled with all sorts of stuff coming up: preparations for school, finishing up personal projects, and my band is playing a show each of the next two weekends.
I wrote up a list of weekly goals a couple of days ago, and of them, I've managed to only start this blog. I made some progress towards sending my friend Jim's mom a PowerMac 7100/80 that was taking up space in my garage; I ended up blasting it, installing a copy of MacOS 8.5.1 I had laying around, and upgrading it to MacOS 8.6. I can't remember what exactly, but I've been told that 8.5 has some major bug (perhaps memory manager related????) that was fixed in 8.6. Either way, it was cool to sit back at a pre-OS X desktop for the first time in a while and admire the simplicity. It's been almost four years since I switched to near exclusive Linux use for personal stuff, and I must confess that if Apple had managed to make a classic themed MacOS that had decent multitasking and didn't turn into a Lockintosh with one or two additional extensions over the system default, I'd probably still be using them. I'm sure I'll be fanning the fire here, but in my opinion, OS X licks balls. Ron uses it almost exclusively, and I've had accounts on his machines, and while I'm thrilled that Apple went with a BSD type system underneath, and even uses egcs/gcc, the front end execution is 90% flash, and about 10% substance. It really bugs me; damnit, I don't want my desktop taskbar (or whatever they call it) doing bizarre magnification dances. Yes, I know I can just turn it off, and maybe even make it smaller, but even then, it's just in the way. I actually really like the way app. switching and observing was done in the original MacOS, with the finder at the top right. What was even cooler was when they added keystroke switching with 8.6 or whatever.
Oh well, maybe it's time that Job$ left the fort. Constantly making something flashy and abandoning it 12 months later has really made me shake my head at Apple for the last few years.
Cleo is going crazy around here and knocking stuff off of every flat surface in sight. In fairness, it's the first I've seen of my computer table in a month or more. I've also got a big ass headache, but perhaps the Tylenol 3's (left over from my dental implants in the navy) I took a few minutes ago will put a stop to that. I think what's really going on is that my glasses simply bug me. My prescription hasn't changed, but something about the nose bridge or something is killing me here. Perhaps I should have followed my desire to blow some of my post-navy nestegg on PRK or Lasik. Then again, now it's getting cheap! Anybody reading this that's had it done?
What has made this evening tolerable was a great playlist on KEXP tonight. They've got some guest DJ on, and as usual, they play plenty of stuff you've never heard of. Better yet, you don't have to hear the same Staind, Papa Roach, or other cookie-monster band music that your local ClearChannel, Intercom, or Infinity broadcasting outlet is pushing on you. KEXP, KBTC, and C89.5 (I still can't believe this is a high school station!) are the few stations that make Seattle area radio bearable. I hear KAOS at my future school is also pretty good, but they don't seem to be on the air right now. KEXP also rocks with their terrific streams, including the uncompressed 1.4 megabit stream, but apparently only for Windows (l)users. If you don't live in this area, you should definitely listen to the streams; no matter what type of music you like, they will play it at some point in the day, depending on show and the mood of the DJ.
So that's about it. Susie is coming by tomorrow to use my computer, since she doesn't consider internet access worth the money. She needs to fill out some stuff online. I can't wait to see how she handles Mozilla on Linux. Perhaps I should fire up the SGI Indigo2 on my desk and let her have a crack at Mozilla on IRIX! I guess I should pull my big travel duffel bag with nasty laundry in it from my Phoenix trip off of the living room floor...