Saturday, January 12, 2008

@ Border's

@ Border's, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

truth in advertising

truth in advertising, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Leaving the Dark Ages

Ten years ago, the last time I seriously tinkered with Unix - it was SO not ready for prime time, at least for general use. Apparently it is now.

A clip from the show Veronica Mars (subtitled for non-geeks):

This was so geek-hip, probably going over the heads of most people watching it. To translate, they were arguing about which Unix based operating system was better, Apple's OSX or the Linux Ubuntu. I love the line "Ok fine - live in the Dark Ages!". Really, thats what the argument is about.

To weigh in on that argument, they both both have their good points - but I will come down on the side of Ubuntu. Like they USED to say about Apple - "It just works." Ubuntu works so well on the desktop I have decided not to buy a Macbook Pro laptop. Even with Leopard, the growing feeling I've had for years is Apple have lost their way, and my short experience with the new Linux has me feeling it is finally time to consider OSX irrelevant.

And the feeling is growing. A serious, well-known Mac user named Mark Pilgrim, created a wave of geek-troversy in 2006 when he publicly announced he was stick-a-fork-in-me-I-am-done-with-Mac:

Mac OS X was “free enough” to keep me using something that was not in my long-term best interest. But as I stood in the Apple store last weekend and drooled over the beautiful, beautiful hardware, all I could think was how much work it would take to twiddle with the default settings, install third-party software, and hide all the commercial tie-ins so I could pretend I was in control of my own computer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to my eye Apple isn’t beautiful anymore. I’ve worked around it or ignored it for a long time, but eventually the bough breaks.

I had my own breaking point moment last year finishing up an OSX upgrade project. I was attempting to do something geek-simple, adding mac users and groups to a Windows network. A process that shouldve taken several hours instead took TWO WEEKS.

Why? Because things didnt just work. Although I eventually signed off on the completed project and it is still working, it bothered me on a professional level that a project that shouldve taken a month took 5 months to complete. I'd rather be known as efficient rather than heroic.

Soon after, my personal Mac died. I picked up a almost brand new HP computer for $100 (4 times cheaper than what I paid for the Mac), and my personal productivity became exponentially better.


However, I didnt expect to totally put the Mac world out of my personal life. And only because I found a good alternative to switch to. I just didnt expect it to be Linux.

I feel like I am indeed leaving the Dark Ages.

Sentimental crap

Sentimental crap, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Friday, January 11, 2008

night puddle

night puddle, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Honey Dews

Honey Dews, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

There are 5 fruit stands within a square block of my place.

I've only started eating more fruit recently.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rainy in Frisco

Rainy in Frisco, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

SF Transportation

SF Transportation, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Rainy in Frisco

Rainy in Frisco, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Years fireworks

New Years fireworks, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Being a geek is for the young

Back in the day, an intellectual challenge would get me going, staying up for days at a time, obsessing over ways to make things work and finding sheer joy in the process.

Nowadays, thinking too hard makes my brain hurt.

It helped that back in the day, my caffeine intake bordered on the obscene - several liters of Co-Cola a day, large 20 oz cups of coffee, averaging 10 cups daily. But Im paying for that insane excess now. Decaf is all I can handle. And two cups per day is my limit.

I finally got around to installing Ubuntu Linux on a laptop today, and after a hiccup or two - it installed beautifully. But as Clint, who was doing a Unix install of his own, put it..

JPennant: how is it working?
mcclint: basically all i got was the equivalent to C : \ >
mcclint: I found myself saying "ok now what?"
That's when the thinking started for me. It's not that I dont know Unix, but the best way to quickly learn anything is hands-on, and requires a fair amount of brain power.

My brain may not be up to it. :)

Still, it is fun - cryptic command lines notwithstanding. Playing with this reminds me of how things USED to be, when mainstream operating systems werent so locked down for monopolistic and security reasons. Took me back to the old days.

But, in the old days, I was hepped up on caffeine. :)

Golden light

Golden light, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Fact: Over a billion valentines are sent each year making it the second largest card-sending holiday (behind Chirstmas).

Rainy in Frisco

Rainy in Frisco, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

On the line

On the line, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

@ the Bookstore

@ the Bookstore, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Ive bought but one Brit photo magazine in the past 2 months, and only because it was relevant.

Lord, Ive spent a lot of money on these things.

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year fireworks

New Year fireworks, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Getting the power back on

Getting the power back on, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Herculean efforts to get the power back on during and after the storm, when power to nearly 2 million people was knocked out.

San Francisco mantra

San Francisco mantra, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Cruisers parking on New Years

Cruisers parking on New Years, originally uploaded by Itinerant.