Hmm .. Thursday morning. Quick cappuccino before we are off for a day to Antwerp. As Nyana is getting ready to present her lovely sellf to the people of planet earth, I softly send tapping sounds along the silent kitchen, tapping away on my Ibook. Many of you who may read this might be in the same spot then I am. Willingly or unwillingly you are : The family Geek. The one uncle Paul and cousin Dan turns to when computers go astray. The one people call for advice when they want to buy a new gadget. The one that helps them out when they are in techno trouble but always gets introduced as ‘the computer freak’ ( MAN I hate it when people do that.) For me its the same thing. From time to time the family rings me up that there is trouble afoot in computer land and if I could please stop by and fix it. This week was no exception. My niece phoned me up to gently declare that the two computers she had where ‘not doing anything anymore’ and if I could please take a look at them. "If they are dead" she said "just tell me if I have to buy new ones". As noobs can be noobs (and she is a darling noob) they cannot see the difference between hardware and software errors. The fact that she has 2 kids rattling away at the machines is not realy helping to improve the stability of the XP systems they own. I had however reinstalled BOTH machines some 4 months ago and was surprised to hear that they managed to frack up these pretty sturdy installs. But probably clicking YES to every single pop up does that kind of thing to windows.
Now I have the choice. Do I go down and once again reinstall the whole deal or do I do something different. Because quite frankly I know that when you do the "same thing" to the computer you did last time, and THEY do the "same thing" to the computer they did right now, we will be in the SAME PLACE in exactly four months and journey to the dark side is complete (oops , wrong quote).
So i’m going to look into their ‘computer behavior’. What do they do on the computer : Surf around, do stuff for school, email, chat .. Stuff like that. And if their computer needs are not eccentric or proprietary oriented (what a word) : I might just hook them up with linux. Grandma Jeanne (the Gran-EEE grandma) has been using Linux on her systems for over 2 years now and is loving it. Perfect stability.. Perfect performance record. Even now, when she is planning to go online, I’m not worried at the slightest. Looking at what the average user does, a Ubuntu distro would be perfect to meet their needs and give them a perfect computer experience.
Because, you have to think of it. We all are techno-geeks right.. We love to embrace people into our world of technology and communications. Get on Skype, Get on Facebook, Come join me on Gmail etc etc .. But being this kind of cyber-preacher does mean you have to support all the stray souls you brought into our brave new www-world. And that means that we need to give them something they can use and that will free us from the bother of having to spend every family visit behind their computer removing spyware.
So I’ll keep you posted on my nieces situation and wether or not I can "Ubuntify" yett another one.
There are things you dream of, Things you aspire to own one day. Things that linger behind shop Windows and call out your name when you walk by. Most of these things we pass up on. We look at the price and gently remind ourselves that there are bills to be payed and there is still a little bit of common sence left in that one part of our brain that makes sure the Visa card stays tucked away.
I have been looking at the 24 inch Imac from the very first day I owned a Mac. To me it was like a computer for giant people, because quite frankly, it looked out of proportion. But still.. The size of the screen is fantastic. A compact yet giant workstation .. something of a paradox. This week I got lucky cause I managed to sell both my old G4 powerbook AND my 17 inch Intel Imac. The trick for buying new stuff ever so often, is not holding on to the older stuff until it isn’t worth anything anymore. So the 17 inch Imac that had been my companion for nearly a year will find a new home this week. The powerbook ( that i aquired of the course of this year true a very nice deal ) is also out the door. If you want a new toy ? You gotta sell and move fast. Both sell offs brought me to the point where I could choose what i wanted next.
I had looked at the 20 inch Imac model and thought it was really great. But … there was also the 24 inch model… and I went for that one. What can I say. Its fracking fantastic. I actually have to move my head from right to left when I want to see the total surface of the screen. The only thing I have circumvented is the size of its internal hard drive. The 300 gig drive is nice, but I would like to have that little bit of extra storage space to make sure I can store all my music and movies in the bowels of this "power station". Planning to use it as the central computer of the house it will also take care of the central filestorage. So i’m really looking forward to finishing up our office upstairs so I can plop this baby down and ..Uzze MA Bigazzz Imac.
Its almost ten o’clock on this lovely summer evening. I sit outside, in the comfortable deckchair that overlooks our garden. The dramatic, almost pathetic screams of one of our neighbors peacocks echoes eerily through the silence of the city. A pale pink moon turns its face towards the setting sun over our ever rotating planet. Light classical music plays from the speakers of my Macbook pro.. its tones reaching no further then their audience of one. The titanium (is it titanium or just aluminum) of the laptop feels cold to the touch. Something I never quite got used to after trading up from the warm plastic of its white predecessor. Stalking me, on the edge the table lies the creature responsible for my bad blogging behavior of late. Kate Mosse’s "Sepulchre". Its six hundred pages beckoning me to read them. To be engulfed by the mystery that lies in waiting of the next page turning. Of the scent of paper and ink, the rustling of the pages as they shuffle through the silence. Their story, capturing my imagination and making me pause in this mad world that we live in. Somehow, reading this book ( The Dutch version !) has reminded me of times long past.
Life on the edge of Cyberspace might be wonderful and exiting, but more and more I realize how we need to run and rush to keep up with its ever changing pace. Information, however carefully distilled and managed, still overpowers us with the daily tsunami of progress. Its pace ever faster, steps ever lighter.. Becoming more and more superficial. Closing the laptop lid and turning down the noisy chatter of interaction and interruption.. I listen only to the sounds of the world around me and notice the setting of the sun by the fact it is becoming harder and harder to read due to the fading light. As I look up, failing to pinpoint the crickets location that just disturbed me, I see how the skies pink ribbon of clouds is now but a deep purple velvet cloak. A rich evening gown before the clouds go to sleep.
Too seldom do we take the time my friends. Hidden away behind our screens, hooked up to the ever faster moving cyberspace around us .. We seldom need to look up the location of the stray cricked.. Google earth might just do it for us. Or perhaps the cry of the lone peacock is washed out by the beeps and bleeps of yet another twitter message. My feline companion feels differently about our high tech-high speed lifestyle. As he returns from another evenings escapades through countless backyards, he pauses on the porch to overlook the evening fall gently. Yawning turns around and goes inside for the night.
Tempted to join him, I endeavor to continue this little squabble, just to make my point to all of you (who by now, must be thinking I have suffered dementia) The more we slow down in the pace of life the more we sometimes enjoy it. True enough I love living on the cutting edge of technology.. And yet again.. There is no post on Digg that can ever compete with the simple joy of watching the moon rise .. Listening to the lone cricket… Sensing the sounds and smells of the coming night. My mind struggles to put the paradox of all of this into words. Somewhere someone must giggle at the absurdity of it all, perhaps that someone is me.. but .. In a world of progress and communication.. Powerful and potent. It is the absence of it all that empowers us to appreciate the simple things. To find peace and inspiration in the simplest of things. A setting sun .. a lone cricket .. A 600 page book that takes the time to tell us the story .. and that makes us slow down and take the time .. to listen.