August 6, 2012

Geek Weekend.

So I spent the entire weekend being a geek. This is something that I like to do from time to time, and on-call weekends lend themselves to being of a geeky nature anyways, so I figured I might as well just jump into the geek with both feet. It was a wonderful feeling.

A geek weekend for me is kind of like a weekend for Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory”. A few seasons ago he mentioned that he had delightful plans for his weekend by installing several different Linux distros on his laptop to see which one he liked the best.

That’s what I did!

I tried several different variations of Linux on both my non-Mac laptop and my old desktop PC that resides in the darkest corners of our basement. Just for kicks I threw in a second test install of Windows 8 and determined that I still hate the learning curve associated with the completely new interface of Microsoft’s latest offering, so that quickly gave way to another Linux test. I laughed manically as I wiped out Windows. I haven’t done that in a long time.

Earl and Jamie were off to a concert on Saturday night so I had the house to myself. Being alone in the house and in complete geek mode is one of the most recharging things I can do. I suppose that if I were in the same situation a century ago, Earl and Jamie would have been going to a different kind of concert and I would have either been reading a book or taking apart the Victrola. I’m sure I would have felt that “recharged feeling” on the Monday after that weekend a century ago, just as I am feeling recharged today.

Part of my geek weekend was inspired by the fact that I upgraded the studio iMac to Mountain Lion. We purchased this 21-inch iMac in 2009. With the upgrade to Mountain Lion, I now have a dark band across the screen, 1/8th of the way up from the bottom. The gradients of the gray background now look like the stripes in one of my favorite Atari games, “Super Breakout”. I don’t know if Mountain Lion gave the iMac a heart attack or if it was just a coincidence, but I’m really disappointed that an Apple piece of hardware is failing at only three years old. With the premium price paid for Apple hardware, one would expect further longevity. The aforementioned desktop PC is nine years old and it’s holding it’s own just fine and it was cheap!

I’m going to continue to use the iMac for as long as I can still see what I’m doing but when it comes time to replace the studio computer, I’m probably going to reconsider the Apple approach and go with something that can run Ubuntu Studio (Linux). The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software I use (Ardour) works in both Linux and on a Mac, we might as well save some bucks if the hardware experience is going to be the same. I get a tingle of delight thinking about the geek weekend involved with changing out the studio computer someday. I don’t usually tingle very easily.

So after trying out all these different distros of Linux (and the two instances of Windows 8), I have decided that Ubuntu Linux is my distro of choice. I am making a concerted effort to not purposely break the install on my laptop to see if it can hold its own for a month.

Being a geek for the weekened does have me recharged. I guess it’s the ISTJ* in me. That’s not a bad thing.

* I’m not usually a fan of labels, but this one doesn’t bother me as much. Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging.