Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, October 17, 2003

  The camels of the dark side...

The morals of the next to last blog entry are manyfold. The first thing I realized after writing it - was that I was talking about letting camels in your tent. Once I knuckled under and said, OK, I'll use XP again, the applications for it started to multiply. I had to beat them back and remember the purposes I use Linux for - and then start coming up with a more reasonable network and system design that incorporated the best of both worlds, and solved existing problems.

The second point I was making to myself (again, not realizing it until after I wrote it down) was that the knock of the Jehova's witnesses was much like my own attempts at convincing others to run Linux on the desktop. It's religion. It's hard to convince skeptics....

1) That "finish 5 jobs, 400% of the effort" thing is really true. You have to buckle down to finish them to have room in your brain for more stuff. I've been buckling down using newton's law "An object in motion tends to stay in motion". OK, I have a hard time sitting still for a long time or focusing on one task. For the past year I've been working on the sensory deprivation model - getting my life and house so quiet I could hear myself again. I think I'm doing that...

But historically that's not been how I function best. I used to tell time via music - I'd pile up a whole bunch of records and tapes back to back at the beginning of the day, and play them. The passage of each song or record would keep my calm and clued as to the passage of time. Simultaniously the TV would be on - just imagery on repeat - like Philip Glass's film that I can't spell the name of right now. I'd have something like sidekick going for the random thoughts. I used to have a dual monitor system, with 4 virtual desktops, which gave me a place for web/email/work and misc. There'd be a virtual desktop running windows for the windows things....

Now I've got things organised closer to that. There's a workstation for writing, surrounded by writing books (dictionaries/strunk and white/etc). There's a space for programming and diagramming with all my programming books. And there's a machine for fun, not even connected to the net - but connected to the stereo so I can play back music I was working on while I'm working.

The cacaphony of all this stuff going at once gives me an outlet for actually focusing on the things I need to finish - it's getting it all going at once that takes too much time now....

Anyway, I had 5 tough jobs in front of me earlier in the week, and facing any one of them was putting me off. I got 2 of them done yesterday, and hopefully a third today

2) I'm not going to convert my main box to XP. Yet. I may decide to try Win4Lin or vmware again, but for now, the machine is rock stable, and does most of what I need. Better to focus on getting a firewall and web server up (actually, to decide whether or not I want to run web and email services at home first) - and even then, these are indoor activities that I can do best at night. Gotta focus on what I can do via business hours. I do need a working scanner, bad - have to convert all kinds of documentation, and I still can't find the power supply. I found 15 other power supplies.... anyway... off to run some errands.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
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Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
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