Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All Quiet

I know I haven't posted much, but I really haven't had a lot to say. This is just a ramble so I'll know what I was doing for an entire week.

For one, I've been busy getting ready for a yard sale. I am hoping to put a serious dent in 20+ years of accumulated shit. My ultimate goal is to fit all my worldly possessions into a couple suitcases. I actually think I can pull that off, for the most part. My concern is the CD collection, my books (including a seriously large to-be-read pile), and movies. I'm not much of a movie buff, so switching what few movies I really want to drag around from VHS to DVD should cut way down on their volume, but I may have to modify my goal to "a couple suitcases and a big plastic bin." Still, it would be a vast improvement over my current biggest-moving-van-you-can-rent full of mostly worthless shit.

I received my notification from Xandros that I was eligible for a discounted version of Xandros 4. From what I have heard, this upgrade is a definite step up. I will likely move my user files off to my external drive, plus make a full backup of everything to DVD, then do a clean install. Many of my recent Xandros complaints are addressed in version 4, so we will see how it goes. I really don't use a PC for much; it shouldn't be hard to make me a happy camper. I've already moved a couple spreadsheets onto Google Spreadsheets. It just works. For what I use a spreadsheet for, it is more than adequate. Writely, if Google ever gets it running, will take care of my word processing needs. If they delay much longer, I will likely upgrade my Backpack account. The only problem with using Backpack for word processing is that there is no spell check and limited formatting. In any case, I can easily see the day when I won't even need Open Office on my home machine.

Except paradise will have to be delayed. It seems our cable is out, so I have no internet connection other than when I'm stealing from my employer.

Those who keep up here know that I've been contemplating just giving in to the Borg and buying a copy of WinXP, but this has encouraged me to tough it out with Xandros for now. Microsoft has definitely gone over to the Dark Side. There have been rumors for several years now that the point of product activation and other scary measures is to give Microsoft the ability to disable your machine and make your data unavailable. That sounded like black-helicopters-spying-on-us-through-our-toasters bullshit paranoia, but every move Microsoft has made since reinforces the paranoia. Two thoughts: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, and what if I just decide not to play? If I'm running Xandros, why would I give two shits what Microsoft (or Apple, for that matter) does or does not do? If it turns out to be just paranoia, then so what? If it doesn't. I at least have a fighting chance to maintain control of my data and my hardware.

Other thoughts. In the interest of getting mobile, I have considered purchasing another laptop. But the more I think about how I use a computer, I'm wondering if it wouldn't make more sense to go with a small-form-factor PC running basic components (meaning a standard Intel motherboard using the on-board video, sound, and networking). It would sure as hell be a lot cheaper. I could build a kick-ass, small-form-factor PC for half the cost of a laptop and have the added bonus of a full-sized keyboard, a real mouse, real speakers, larger screen, etc. If I could load Xandros on my existing laptop, thus freeing it from the Borg from Redmond, that would be icing on the cake. It's old and beat up, but I could probably get another few years out of the ol' girl.

Of course, as I have said before, I have zero cash right now, so I seriously doubt there is an all-new PC in my future. At best, there may be a new monitor in my near future if I do some serious selling this weekend.

And I should probably get back to work. It's getting harder every day to focus on what I am supposed to be doing. September 22 can't get here fast enough.


At 2:29 AM, Blogger cliff said...

Besides Google spreadsheets, there are other free online spreadsheets available which you may wish to try. EditGrid and Numbler are 2 I recommended.

At 2:41 AM, Blogger Justa Drifter said...

Thanks. I'll check those out.

This is a trend I expect to see continue. I expect that in ten years, "installing software" will seem as quaint as flippies and CGA graphics do today.


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