Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Sidekick as Messager

Starting Sunday, this has been a traumatic weekend. The first was rather surprising to me -- I bought a used gaming system and a game for it, and after getting it home, I started to feel intense guilt at spending money on myself in that way. I guess I've prided myself on not really needing or wanting very much in the way of purchased amusements, and apparently that's become enough of a habit that I don't like having dropped decent money on that kind of thing. I don't seem to mind books so much, but a gaming system feels wasteful to me, and I felt really bad about it for most of the evening. It still feels like an empty purchase, and I'm still tempted to get rid of it. Who knows, maybe I will.

After gaming night with friends, when I got home my laptop died -- it failed to do anything at all when I pushed the power button, but every 30 seconds or so would briefly start to turn on on its own (according to the LEDs -- the screen remained dark), think about it for about 5 seconds, and then turn off. It did this both while on battery and on AC (with and without battery removed). I futzed with it for about half an hour, and eventually found that if I interrupted the briefly-on period by removing all available power sources (remove battery, disconnect from AC), for the next boot it would mostly come up, and I could copy some data onto my USB hard drive before it decided to turn off again. It is not usable as a computer anymore, but at least I don't need to get a mini-IDE to IDE adapter to get the rest of the data off.

This is not a good mental place for me though -- I get computer withdrawl easily, and even if I bring back up one of my desktops, I don't think I'm going to feel fully at home on them. I suspect at the very least I'll be grumpy/irritable until I get it back.

At work, I am going back to where it all started -- I am using a terminal session (full-screen VT) on our group's webserver to do my work. It's reminiscent of when I first used Minix on one of the family's computers, the bulletin board days when I would logon to Unix boxen using boyan (and later RIPTerm), and at University when I first installed Linux on my spare computer, a Pentium/90 (Usually telnetting to it from my PPro/200, which still was dual-booting OS/2 and WinNT). In other words, the good old days. Although Linux has matured for the desktop, it is pleasing that there have been some advances on the terminal front too. screen makes my life easier, and links is a much better browser than lynx was. Unfortunately, most of these advances have been technical -- there was a lot of wonderful terminal culture that was part of early Linux distros that don't seem to be very widespread in modern distros.

Oh, so yeah, if any of you are regularly in touch with me online, expect that not to be the case for awhile. I have no machine to run GAIM from, and I am likely in a bad enough mood that you wouldn't likely want to talk with me anyhow. I probably will be completely off the net at home.


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