Sunday, February 8, 2009

I hate computers...

Yes, it's true, I despise computers, despite having programmed them for nearly 20 years and continuing to earn a living from the silly things.

I have a nice big rant building up inside me about how Linux is only the lesser evil among a selection of evils ranging all over the map in power and degree of vileness (is that even a word?), but for now, let's just say I hate computers in general. Every beeping one of them.

Why, you ask?

I've been trying to setup a new computer for 2 days now. Not much luck.

Oh, it runs, sort of. But I can't get the device driver for my graphics card to work, and the sound drivers completely fail too. But my OS is from April of 2008, so clearly it's just too old. The proprietary video driver is only supported by the latest version, and it appears that version may have better support for the open source driver too.

So far today the only thing that has gone right on the computer is this: I managed to replace the busted keyboard in my laptop with one that works. The stupid little trackpoint thing was causing the mouse cursor to move whenever I typed on the keyboard, and since I use focus-follows-mouse, that was a bit of a problem. Plus, once it started moving it was sometimes 30 seconds or so before it stopped being wedged in a corner of the display. Very irritating.

So at least that's working again, which is an improvement. It's actually possible to use it as a laptop again.

So, while I continue waiting for Surfnet's lousy network (don't get started... don't get started...) to download an ISO image of the latest Linux version - in the desperate hope it will deal with the video and sound options in my new computer a bit better, even though it will have bugs too, some of which I am already familiar with from other installations - I am going to go do something much less painful: tax preparation.

That should give you some idea of just how screwed up my weekend has been thanks to these infernal "labor saving" devices.


  1. Dude, you should have gotten a Mac. :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I had too many typos in my first reply and blogger didn't give me a way to edit it. *sigh*. Trying again...


    If only the world were that simple, my Jobsonian friend.

    I've owned Macs in the past. They're great if you want to do only and exactly what Steve Jobs and his band of misfits want you to do.

    If you have any desire to do something different, you're screwed.

    Oh, and for certain older machines, a printer and a modem don't mix. Ever. (Don't ask.)

    No, the sad truth is that Apple cannot save me, and Microsoft is far from better. Linux stinks, but it's the best I've got.

    Some of the sysadmins at work are whispering "Open Solaris! Open Solaris!" Can you hear them?


    I can't either.

  4. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, when's the last time you used a Mac?

    These days it's just BSD with a fancy GUI. There's even a command line interface. And it has tabs.

    Python works like a charm on Macs. So does Perl. As do all the open source compilers (if that's your cup o' tea). Yep, we've even got Java.

    You want to do GUI programming? Qt works as well here as it does under KDE or Gnome. You want shell scripts? Yep, we've got those too.

    Somewhere I read that there's some odd-ball languages floating around this system (Objective-C??) but I don't know anything about them because I have no reason nor need to know about them.

    Thus far everything I've wanted to do with a Mac (and I've wanted to do some seriously weird things) I can and have done.

    I'm not saying this lightly, btw. I was a hard-core Linux user for about 10 years before I switched to a Mac. It made my life oh-so-much easier because not only can I now avoid the driver tap-dance that Linux requires, but I also have access to mainstream apps (such as come from Adobe) without fighting with weird things like Wine.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as an Apple Salesman. It's just ... you should have gotten a Mac, dude. :)

  5. Oh I know all that, Steve. There are many Jobsonians here at work, and they sing the same siren song that you're giving me now. (There are also some malcontents like me who won't use Macs, but they're in the minority.)

    But I've owned Apples, and I don't want to do so again. I can't put all of my reasons in writing since I don't want to be subject to lawsuits, but what I can say is that I've owned two different Macs and they both had their problems.

    As a result of those experiences - and other things - I am unwilling to give Apple any more of my money.

    And it's too late in any event. I already own my next computer.


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