Monday, July 18 2005
I had another bad day at the hands of Linux, the open source operating system that has yet to supplant Windows despite the fact that it is free in every sense of the word. The problems with Linux are many, although there are a number of distributions that I've been able to install and get to to work: Mandrake (now with the unfortunate name Mandriva), Slackware, and Ubuntu. (I've tried Debian several times and have never been able to get it to work.) Today I was trying to install various small Linuxes onto an old barebones Toshiba laptop but I had no luck at all. I'd get crashes at various stages of the process and have no solution for fixing the problem, so then I'd download some other installation ISO file, burn it to CD, and try that. This is all pretty typical computer installation hell, but it ate up literally hours of my life that might have been better spent, say, watching paint dry.
If I sang the blues and sang them with feeling (not that I even like the blues), many of the songs would be about the mental suffering and frustrations experienced while at the mercy of machines, just like if I was a sharecropper in Mississippi I'd sing about cantankerous mules. Speaking of the blues, did you know that the theme for the original television show Batman was the blues? It's very distinct in those nunna-nunnas, but since it's part of my childhood I never really thought about it, just like it never occurred to me that there was anything the slightest bit foreign about the last name Taniguchi. The Taniguchis were friends of the family from a little before my time.
Waves of powerful thunderstorms passed through the area all day. Gretchen and I were both in the house together and I had the sense from her that I was getting in her hair. As big as this house is, we each need to get time in it alone or we go crazy.
At around 10pm the power went out and stayed out, reducing us to 19th Century lighting solutions. Ironically, though, the power outage made the neighborhood less peaceful than it normally is. The übërsübürbänïtës across the street, unwilling to spend even ten seconds in the pre-suburban age, were filling the humid summer air with the monotonous drone of their generator. I suspect that more than anything else they don't want to imagine a world in which their security system is off. Willie Horton is out there somewhere, perhaps dressed as a bear.
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