09 January 2015

mannerly in absentia

my name is ace and i am THAT incredibly annoying starbucks patron.

(hi, ace!)

scouting the available seating on arrival, i quickly conclude the best-remaining-seat in the place is next to a fastidious man sporting tidy khakis and quarter-zip navy sweater who's manning a sparse digital outpost of ipad (with keyboard) and iphone. i ask him, gesturing at the open seat, anyone here?

no, he replies in a voice that's simultaneously soft and clear.

so i drop my coat and bag and head to the counter to order fragrant minty green tea and a bagel with cream cheese. when i return, he's stretched his loafered feet to under the chair directly across from his - the chair where i've dropped my things.

not wanting to (a) sit straddling his legs or (b) ask him to move, i sit at the head of the table, putting me rightnext to him. i mean, rightnext in the sense that Head and Left Hand Man are rightnext. i can't see his device screen, for instance.

they call, grande mint green tea, so i retrieve and return and immediately have to remove the cup lid because the tea's too hot to drink. green minty waves waft freely. i open my old school toshiba netbook and it won't power on, so i proceed to plug it in. the three words "plug it in" do a poor job of describing the awkward, flailing nature of this action.

they call, multi-grain bagel, so i retrieve and return, and now the real show begins. there's removing the bagel from the bag, removing the plastic knife from it's plastic wrapping, tearing the bagel into pieces, opening and spreading the cream cheese (a luxury splurged on due to having earned a free treat on my starbucks loyalty card and having spent an hour on the stationary bike earlier today).

i am a fragrant, spastic mess of food and drink, equipment and puffy coat.

before i schmear the first schmear, he packs up (i.e., closes his ipad's keyboard cover) and departs with a nod. good on him. i take over the freshly available best-remaining-seat in the place and it's warm, but only in the very most fastidiously appropriate way. i am impressed with his ability to be mannerly, even in absentia.

04 January 2015

minty fresh

i have a ton of experience with computers. most of my experience is with windows PCs, some with apple macs, and a tiny bit with linux systems.

i am not a futzer or a hacker. i am not a "next big thing" follower. i like my computers to work - period. my preference would be to use windows-xp on every system i touch.

i don't think this makes me a luddite. i am not opposed to technology. in fact, i like it. technology generally makes life easier, except when it doesn't. it's those times that it doesn't that bug the hell out of me.

like i said, i am not a hacker. i want to use the tech, not build it. it's like, i am a carpenter, not a hammer maker. somehow when it comes to computers, folks assume the expert carpenters are also tool makers. i have no interest in making hammers or saws or nails. i want to build tree houses.

so naturally, yesterday i replaced the installation of windows 7 starter on my netbook with something called peppermint OS.

why the hell not, right?

windows was bogging the poor little guy down and begging for constant updates. more! more! give me more! stupid fat greedy windows. you know, mr gates, the best solution isn't always the biggest.

windows is very communistic, very unitarian. windows is everything for everyone. problem is that being everything takes up a lot of space. obviously, i've just admitted not knowing much about OS's but IMHO windows is not elegant. i base this assessment on the knowledge that if it were elegant, it would be smaller. windows is this giant, fat, hairy thing stumbling around and making messes on the floor.

as stated, i just want my tech to work. that's why i've stuck with windows. it was on the machine when i bought it. open the machine, there is a familiar interface. i can be reasonably productive, as most of what i do is on the browser.

but the machine was increasingly slow, the browser increasingly non-responsive, the updates increasingly fast on each other's heels. i was starting to realize this technology wasn't working for me.

i asked around and learned about peppermint OS. read up on it, and it seemed really simple. yesterday, i took the plunge and it was simple, so i installed it and i felt free. i was tired of living in a house, and now i didn't anymore!

joy filled the world.

that is... until today, when i learned my computer isn't talking to my printer. i tried to join the help forum, but i couldn't run the diagnostics command that was meant to be part of the install and when the help forum wanted to know what version of peppermint OS i am running, i had to admit i had no idea what the answer was and even less idea how to determine the answer.

should i have stuck with the devil i knew?

only time will tell.