Tag: Ubuntu

Maverick Meerkat

Courtesy linuxtree.blogspot.com

Dear Windows,

You and I are done personally.

Professionally we can still work together. It’s not like I have a choice in that. And I’ll still know my way around in you so that people can call me up for tech support at odd hours of the day and night. Because, you know, that’s what happens when you work with or even claim to know computers. Suddenly you’re everybody’s tech support hotline.

But at home? I’m sorry, but I shouldn’t need to jump through a series of flaming hoops to prove I haven’t stolen anything from you. And anyway, what would be the point? There’s no reason for me to try and pull a fast one on you when a perfectly good operating system is available for free that not only does everything you do, but provides me with all sorts of granular control over aspects of its appearance, operation and technical workings.

That’s right. I’m leaving you for Ubuntu.

Specifically, the Maverick Meerkat. How does that nickname not have appeal? “Maverick Meerkat.” It’s like Timon ditched the big boar, found a Punisher t-shirt his size and decided to start meting out his own form of jungle justice. Or took up flying fighter jets. In any event, with the way it’s up and running on my desktop I really have no reason to go back to you.

Sure, some kinks need to be ironed out in the way certain games and applications work. And I’ll need to find a good Linux-based video editing suite if I ever want to do another video version of IT CAME FROM NETFLX! but this is a small price to pay. That is to say, it costs me nothing financially. And after I finish backing everything up, I’ve half a mind to get the latest Xubuntu build on a flash drive and reformat the laptop again. Clean up some things. Get everything running more smoothly.

I’d say I’m sorry it had to end this way, Windows, but let’s face it… I’m not.

At least you still have my wife’s computer.

For now.

You Are Your Work’s Super-User

Unix code

guest@blueinkalchemy:/$ make me a sandwich
What? No! Make it yourself!
guest@blueinkalchemy:/$ sudo make me a sandwich

Eagle-eyed readers will see right away that I pretty blatantly stole that gag from xkcd, specifically from the unixkcd portion introduced on April Fool’s Day. I’ve done this for two reasons. One, I have sudo command lines on the brain since I was wrestling with Ubuntu and Wine last night to get World of Warcraft working on my jalopy of a laptop. Two, I do in fact have a point to make about writing that this little joke illustrates.

The existence of writer’s block is somewhat dubious. Sometimes it’s easy for writers to say, “stop whining about being blocked up and just write something” when the subject comes up, and sometimes those same writers stare blankly at an empty document wondering what the hell they’re supposed to type next. Sometimes this stare goes on for hours. Sometimes they just type “tits” over and over again. …Wait, maybe that’s just me. Let’s move on.

The point is, when the well of words seems to dry up, “sudo” yourself in some way. Do something you normally wouldn’t. If you feel your weak point is dialog, write out a new conversation between the characters in the scene, even if they’re arch-nemeses. Sure, Doctor Mercury has got Codpiece Johnson tied to a Table of Doom, but having them chat about drywall while she sets up the vivisection lasers will help you structure the verbal back-and-forth of two characters. Not normally into action choreography? Have ninjas burst into a room where the housewife is making breakfast for her kids. Those are her kids, man, and she has to protect them. That’s a great time for her to re-discover her ancient and as-yet-unrealized potential as a mistress of kung fu.

You don’t have to keep it after you write it. But it shakes off the cobwebs. Shifts you out of your comfort zone. Makes you think. It gets the creative wheels turning in your head again, and maybe a line of that drywall conversation or a bit from the epic ninja showdown in the kitchen will inspire you to go back to your original thought and carry you through another few thousand words.

I realize this isn’t a perfect metaphor, but I’m trying to keep this blog at least tangentially about writing. I’m not done with Mega Man 10 yet, I haven’t even imported my character for Dragon Age: Origins: Awakenings: Return Of The Son Of The Colons: This Time It’s Personal and now Ye Olde Laptope is giving me guff about video compatibility. Hopefully I can keep the theme of writing advice going before my comments become completely inane.

guest@blueinkalchemy:/$ cat
You're a kitty!


Recovery All Around

Ubuntu, Courtesy feeblemind.org

I’m still a little sore and feeling somewhat post-op after yesterday’s wisdom tooth extraction, but two side effects have emerged. One is the occasional nosebleed, but I haven’t had one since yesterday (or last night, I think) and the other is these fucking hiccups.

Seriously, hiccups annoy me. It makes it difficult for me to maintain the line of a conversation and sometimes even a train of thought because of these irregular and somewhat random spasms down in my diaphragm. I’ve tried holding my breath and drinking water, as well as this cure and so far have only had mixed results. On to a spoonful of sugar, I guess.

Anyway, my computers seem to be faring better. A little Systems Restore magic on the main desktop got him working again, and I’m currently working around the various little bugs that emerged from upgrading the Ubuntu version on my laptop.

I love Ubuntu, by the way. It’s a great introduction to Linux. The OS is flexible, the community’s friendly & responsive, stuff looks pretty damn good on it and if I can get Wine working again, I might even be able to run games on it. Like, modern ones. I doubt it has the graphical oomph for, say, Aion, but it might be worth a try.

With these problems fixed and updates underway, I figured I could finally get around to recording this week’s ICFN, even if it means using the sub-standard microphone on the webcam. But guess what happened as soon as I settled in to do that.

The fucking hiccups came back.

So, tomorrow, maybe. For now I’m going to stop stressing and do something relaxing, like write, or shoot Collectors in the face with a shotgun. Maybe download Perfect Dark on the XBLA. I hear it’s “a stupid good time.”

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