Linux:1 Me:1/2

Posted in Follies with tags , , , on March 3, 2008 by AppliedPeople

Pop Culture Casualty bought a sexy new computer the other day, and as a result, I have pseudo-inherited her Dell Laptop. What this means is that I have pseudo-free reign to tweak it and use it and delete stuff. Pseudo-free reign. Remember that, as it will be important later.

She transferred her personal documents over to the new computer and last night, while consulting her (e.g. You don’t need Roxio right?), I uninstalled and deleted a satisfying amount of stuff from the laptop. Having the day off today, I felt it was time to finally make one of my dreams come true and install a Linux based operating system on it.

I had tried this a few weeks back on another laptop which I had fully inherited from my step-father over the holidays. I went to ubuntu.com, downloaded the CD image file, created the installation CD and got to work. Except it didn’t work. It got all the way to what I assumed was the desktop before having weird graphics issues. I tried the same thing with xubuntu (a more pared-down version designed to run on older systems). Same problem. Gave up.

Today would be different I said. Very different. And it was. Very different. I got xubuntu up and running, and as I type now, I am doing it on the laptop which is now running a Linux OS. A Linux OS that asked me if I wanted to partition the entire disk prior to installing. A Linux OS that tricked me. A Linux OS that would have no gods before it and killed Microsoft XP and, presumably, all the files and software that PCC and I agreed shouldn’t be deleted just yet (just in case).

Godfuckingdammit. All I wanted was to be a full-fledged computer geek…without taking the time to actually learn enough to know what the hell I’m doing. Don’t worry baby. I hear the real geeks can retrieve the stuff that idjits like me delete.

He Said/She Said (Episode 1: Be Kind Rewind)

Posted in He Said/She Said with tags , on March 1, 2008 by AppliedPeople

This post is the first installment in what I hope will be a more or less weekly feature of this blog. He Said/She Said. The idea is that Pop Culture Casualty and I will report back to you on a movie, play, dogfight, catfight, or some other less civilized form of entertainment that we both experienced together. Two people, same place, same time, same event, two perspectives. One last note, on my rating system…

ω = sucks balls

↔ = on a scale of 1 to 10 it’s on the scale but I’m not taking the time to come up with an exact number because it’s just not worth it <relative to ω it’s better, relative to everything else it’s worse>

¿? = WTF

¼/½/¾ = how much of the film or whatever I enjoyed <if it’s ½ or more I suggest going to see it because that’s about all you can reasonably expect from American entertainment these days>

$ = I’d go again

$$ = I’ll own it if it’s ownable

Ω = if there were a God, he’d be a little jealous.

See? Simple really IS better!

So without further ado, I give you Be Kind Rewind, produced, written and directed by Michel Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame and starring Mos Def, Jack Black, and Danny Glover. For those of you who don’t like to read too much, I’m giving this film a ¾.

Some parts I liked: after Jack Black’s magnetization he is attracted to metal objects with hilarious inconsistency. The chain link fence below the overpass? Yes! See Jack fly into the fence to the delight of all. The steel girders supporting the overpass above Jack? No! See everyone’s disappointment… The main source of enjoyment for me though is the sort of low-tech creativity that was prevalent in The Science of Sleep, another Gondry film. It’s as though he looks around him at all the junk and odd people and says, “This is beautiful. I bet I could make a movie with this and help other people see how beautiful I think it is.” I’m a sucker for that kind of imagination… Danny Glover’s hair… Best line: The past belongs to us. We can change it if we want… The closing credits song = Ω.

Some parts I didn’t like: !!!WARNING: SPOILER MATERIAL AHEAD!!! Why was Danny Glover’s competitor sleeping in the x-rated section of his video store and why did he lend his projector at the end? Alma’s mustache… the huge pimple on the first customer’s nose.

So that’s it. Be sure to read Pop Culture Casualty’s take on the film!

One Laptop Per Child or The Gods Must Be Crazy?

Posted in Cool Stuff with tags on February 29, 2008 by AppliedPeople

I have a fetish for the OLPC XO laptop. I like the project’s vision and mission, and I love the little green and white whizbang. It’s open source, it’s full of features, and it’s virtually indestructible. Did I mention that it’s a mere $200? Or would be if you could get one. Well you can on ebay, but don’t expect to pay $200. Nevertheless, the project and the product have critics. These people will have to get it open before they can decide which side of the fence they are on.

Elegy for CA53W-1

Posted in Bartending Stories with tags , , on February 29, 2008 by AppliedPeople
My (former) watchI’m a bartender. As such, it is my job to get every penny I can out of my customers while showing them such a good time that they hardly notice. It’s especially satisfying when the guest in question is an asshole. I’m not saying the guy last night was an asshole. I’m just saying he seemed like one. So I was having a pretty good time helping him rack up a $300 dining bill for him and his buddy.

You know those guys with the black metal Amex cards? The one with the spending limit that small countries are envious of? Well, this wasn’t one of those guys. This was the son of one of those guys. He had shaggy hair and the sort of casual arrogance that is birthright, not affectation. He also had a subtle accent that was unidentifiable due in part to his conspicuous consumption of sangria that had left his teeth blue and made slits of his eyes.

How he noticed my watch with his eyes closed is a subject for another post. He starts going on and on about how awesome it is and how he had one in 7th grade. Where did I get it, how much did I pay for it, and then: “I’ll give you fifty bucks for it.”

Now I only paid $15 + $4.95 shipping at Amazon. But I really like my watch so, naturally, I say, “gimme a hundred and it’s yours.” Long story short, he liked my watch a lot more than I did, and I can’t help but wonder as I think back to all the other Mr. Franklin’s I saw nestled in his Italian leather wallet, did I sell you short CA53W-1? Did I?

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