April 2005 Archives

Email rots the brain worse than weed does

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| Email Worse Than Marijuana For Intelligence?                       |
|   from the as-an-evergreen-state-graduate-i'm-unqualified-to-commen|
|   posted by Zonk on Friday April 22, @20:35 (The Internet)         |
|   http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/22/2146251              |
wallykeyster writes "The Guardian is reporting that a recent study at
King's College indicates that the [0]average IQ loss of email users was
10 points (or six points more than cannabis users). Details on [1]The
Register as well. The Register has a related story about how [2]computers
make kids dumb and an apparent "problem-solving deficit disorder"
observed in children who use computers. I thought it was television that
rotted your brain?"
Discuss this story at:
    0. http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1465973,00.html
    1. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/22/email_destroys_iq/
    2. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/21/how_dumb_kids/

I suppose it's not ironic that I picked up this priceless Slashdot tidbit via email, and that I am now wasting my time with this pointless blog entry.

The Trouble With Blogging

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Who has time for this bullshit?

Why I Don't Use Microsoft Windows

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I got my very own first personal computer from Gateway in 1991. It came with Windows 2.0. Then Windows 3.0 came out and I upgraded. Woohoo!

Years rolled by, my computers morphed into different animals as I replaced and upgraded parts, and eventually I upgraded to... Windows 95! Woohoo!

Like a million other consumers I must have assumed that blue screens of death and other mysterious problems were just part of life. People would write funny haikus and stuff, remember?

Around 1996 I started getting interested in making HTML pages. Then I got interested in writing CGI scripts. Then I got interested in web/database programming. I had a shared web hosting account on a Unixoid system and wanted to simulate that environment, more or less, on my development machine and learn more about all that stuff. Over time, I tried several Linux distros and FreeBSD 4.something. Each time I got a little closer to a fully functioning system, but were problems too difficult for me to surmount, and I gave up and stayed with Windows.

Once upon a time, around 2000, I was doing PHP/MySQL development on the computer I had bought from the now-defunct Quantex Systems. It was running the OS that it came with: Windows 98. I was trying to run a reasonable code editor, a browser or two, a MySQL (database) server and Apache (web server). I had a lot of physical memory, but things just kept crashing, and I naively wondered what was wrong.

There is undoubtedly some precise technical explanation of what was wrong, but the high-level, plain English explanation is simple: Windows 98 was a piece of shit junk consumer operating system that was never intended for serious work of the sort I was attempting. I vowed that someday I would leave this abusive relationship and never go back.

I finally did it about three years ago: got a fully functional Linux running. I don't do Windows anymore, I extremely rarely crash, I can do everything I need to do, and my wife -- who is not technically inclined -- can sit down in front of it, browse the web, process words, etc., without knowing or caring whether it's Linux or Windows or something else.

I am never ever going to buy another PC with Windows on it because there is no reason why I should pay for that crap, and neither should you. I have friends and family who struggle with Windows spyware and viruses and I tell them they don't have to put up with that if they really don't want to. Nobody is obligated to put up with Windows anymore. You can get a Mac, or a PC with Linux pre-installed from somebody like Monarch Computer, or even <gasp!/> install it yourself and be happy. I'm serious.

Pope Shmope

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I can't see why so many people are falling all over themselves to praise the Pope. So he preached love and peace -- so what? He was the Pope, right? Espousing basic Christian values is his job; doing his job is hardly above and beyond the call.

Let's see, what else? Lacking the balls and/or the wisdom to break with centuries of fucked up dogma and continuing to discourage condom use among tens of millions of people in impoverished, AIDs-ravaged regions like Africa. Way to go fuckhead.

I say good riddance.

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