January 9th, 2008

weird science, Eye: RCA Magic Eye, tech

My New Year's Resolution is 800 x 600.

The desktop is currently a Big Blue Brick, as mentioned previously.

I'm working from my 2001-vintage IBM Transnote, a funky little specialized laptop that's nto well-suited as a desktop substitute. For those tasks that require a screen bigger than 800x600, I'm using quelonzia's iMac.

Since I am still stuck in "consulting" mode (i.e., lots of hunt, not much job), and since Further Confusion is right around the corner, it's going to be a long while before I can remedy this situation.

Weep not for Your Obedient Serpent, however. I find this strangely liberating. The Transnote screen tightly restricts my ability to multi-task -- and so I find myself doing one thing, actually getting it done, and then moving onto the next, rather than my usual state of Doing So Much I Do Nothing At All. My years and years of bookmarks are locked onto my old hard drive, paring the time I waste web surfing to a minimum.

Needless to say, Second Life would make this poor thing explode like a breached warp core.

If I had actively resolved to "waste less time online" in the New Year, I could not have devised a better way to accomplish that goal.
Eye of the Dragon

The Hoard Potato: The Spirit of Radio

So what am I doing now that I'm wasting less time online?

Well, I finally got our stereo set up in the bedroom/office.

It's nice to have music that doesn't demand system resources. I'm listening to Greg Kihn on KFOX. Kihn does a lot of live stuff on his morning show, showcasing new bands in the area. This morning, he's just noodling with some friends, composing a song on-air, and laughing because the melody keeps trying to turn into "Wonderful World".

This is something that MP3s can't offer. Sometimes, I like to hear stuff I don't own, in an order I didn't select but isn't purely random (or pseudo-random). I like to hear new stuff. I like to hear the unrehearesed and the spontaneous.

This is what I miss about MTV and VH1, back in the early-to-mid '80s, when they played music 24/7. I love music videos -- the ones that tell a story, rather than just show a bunch of guys banging on their instruments. I miss having a source of background music with interesting visuals. Having to wait for a specific two-hour Music Video show squeezed in between the game shows and retrospectives just isn't the same -- nor is Video On Demand, where you have to spend as much time navigating the menus to cue up a new song as you do listening and watching.

I don't know how the MTV channels stick around and multiply -- I honestly don't know anyone who watches what they show. Even people who weren't BORN when MTV actually showed music videos complain that it doesn't show music videos anymore.

But, que sera, sera. I still have radio.

And I like radio.
  • Current Music
    KUFX 98.5 (K-Fox) - "I Love Rock'n'Roll" - Joan Jett
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weird science, Eye: RCA Magic Eye, tech

I CAN HAS DESKTOP PLZ

So, I worked myself through all five stages of the Kubler-Ross model and achieved a nice, serene state of Acceptance.

And then, earlier this e'en, hinoki replaced the power supply in my shiny blue brick with andreal's discarded unit.

Lo, it works again!

Ubuntu's reinstalled; dragon mascot or no, I'm not going to try Kubuntu again until I have a better feel for configuring X the hard way, with config files and command lines and blood sacrifice.

Things are MOSTLY working smoothly at this stage, though Firefox is pulling one of those stupid "You need to install this plug-in/This plug-in is already installed/You need to restart Firefox/You need to install the SAME PLUG-IN" things. It should settle out somehow, though, thinking about it, my grandson's machine has run into the same problem.

Grrr, when stuff that Used To Work refuses to work, that means there's probably some sneaky little problem hiding somewhere.

Tomorrow, I have some quality time scheduled with Package Manager. Gnite!