gall and gumption

Friday, December 08, 2006

Today I Feel Like A Genius

Mark P. gave me a Dell desktop a couple of months ago, just to get it out of his apartment mainly. But it had the password protection turned on and I couldn't get into it. He said, "Just wipe it," i.e., erase the whole hard drive but I had never done that before. My upstairs neighbor is from India, a really smart guy on one of those geek visas. The day after Thanksgiving he went to Best Buy at 3 a.m. and found a line of people who had started camping there at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. By the time he got into the store the place was almost stripped clean. So he went to Staples or somewhere and picked up a laptop for a few hundred dollars and felt he had done not too badly. He told me that he doesn't use Windows at all. I am a Mac devotee but most of the places I have worked use PCs. My neighbor said he uses Linux, and he told me about some of the Open Source software I could get to use with it, and I thought, well, one really ought to learn it, and here's that Dell PC sitting here useless and it's free...

Well, last night I installed Linux on the Dell desktop and got it running. It has a very clever GUI, quite simple once you get used to its looking a bit different -- that would take all of about four hours if you were not in a hurry about it. You can download Linux from lots of places, it's basically free because it's an Open Source system, and so is the software. I bought this book that had it on a disk inside the back cover. The installation and learning to navigate the desktop took me about 2.5 hours. The CD comes with a word processor, presentation software, a database builder, a spreadsheet program, an email program and the Firefox browser. Also several games, music and sound applications.

OK. Linux is much easier to use than it was in the days when people had to type in commands in a black screen. But still. Still. I feel like a Genius.


At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've just stumbled across your blog and i've noticed how meticulous and observant you are. nice to see good writing still exists.


At 1:09 PM, Anonymous leslie said...

You are an inspiration.


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