Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

With Pencil in Mouth

I've been chewing on a few ideas recently. First, I might want to get a Segway -- it might make sense for me to have one to get to certain places I'd like to go more often without driving, and they're also fun. Apparently, CMU is also Segway Friendly, which is pretty spiffy (and not at all unexpected). Segways are, of course, expensive purchases, so I'm going to wait a month, and if my enthusiasm doesn't fade, I'll seriously look into getting one.

A complication is that my laptop is beginning to have problems, and I might need to get a new one. This would be a mixed blessing -- the main problems with the laptop are that a key fell off the keyboard and the touchpad is now prone to going crazy, randomly zipping around the screen and producing hundreds of mouse clicks. It does this maybe once an hour, and apparently the kernel notices something is wrong because it helpfully notes:

psmouse.c: Mouse at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost synchronization, throwing 2 bytes away.

External mice show no problem, which makes me think that I could actually schackle my laptop to a desk, attach an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor to it, and use it as a desktop, were I to get a replacement laptop. Unfortunately, now is a bad time to be shopping for a laptop, at least if you're me. Dell (with whom I get deep discounts if I use) doesn't appear to support AMD (I don't want to go Intel). Nobody else appears keen to pair 17" LCDs to AMD processors, for some reason (although to be fair, not many companies have 17" LCDs yet for laptops). If I'm willing to go with a 15" LCD, I can get a pretty nice laptop for $1600 or so from non-Dell vendors. For the curious, I don't care about CPU speed (although 64-bit AMD is close to being requisite), I want lots of RAM and a big HD, a big screen, and as long a warranty as I can find, but without the frill of onsite service or similar. No floppy, serial, and parallel are all a plus, CD burning is a must, DVD burning is a nice bonus. Weight is absolutely no concern -- the thing can be quite heavy. Everything should be Linux friendly. One thing that's kind of shocking to me is that my current laptop, now a few years old, is still competitive with high-end laptops. That kind of thing makes me very unenthusiastic about replacing my system.

A third thing I could spend money on is a house, which would be a very smart thing to get started on. Right now, $700/month is being sunk into useless rent. Alternatively, I could attempt to find a cheaper apartment in Squirrel Hill -- I have a lot of unused space, and have been getting rid of junk recently.

I recently discovered that I have a font making utility on my computer called fontforge. I'm keen on learning to use it, so I can make a font out of the 'clean' form of my handwriting.


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