September 24th, 2001


Spacefem (and the computer she loves)

Wow, hi, I'm here. Alright, I might as well announce that the only reason I opened a LiveJournal account was that everybody else around seems to have one and I'm starting to feel left out. I have a "deadjournal" now I guess - it's in a composition book I got at Wal-Mart for $.60 and I use a ballpoint pen to write in it. Or I could use my $1000 computer for the same thing. Horray for technology!

I feel like talking about my computer. I love my computer, I built it this summer and I really belive it's the only thing that got me through, I hated my life so much. Oh, that's a whole other entry. But on to computer stuff, right now I'm running top behind this screen so I can watch what's going on, who's eating up resources. It's not that resources are precious around here, RAM is cheap and processing is fast, I just like to know who the culprits are. X is the culprit. What do you need 29% of my system for, X? What exactly are you doing? Keeping track of my fonts? Serving GUI? I still don't understand all the ins and outs of Linux, everyone around me tells me I'm smart to run it, and have done a good job with configuring it, but when it comes down to coming down I feel very dumb about it. Maybe that's what operating systems are all about - making you feel dumb. Windows 98 didn't have anything like top though, so I guess I was in the dark about being dumb. Linux: Honesty Is Harsh.

I did understand that hardware parts of my machine, that was really the fun part. I was so amazed when I finally fired it up and it all worked, after all the reading I'd done on chipsets, bus speeds, video cards, sound cards, power supplies, etc. I was sure that there was no chance in hell that everything in there was going to work perfectly. I guess I'm too used to building circuits in the electronics lab: there's always some bad chip, capacitor, or switch that keeps your whole plan from coming together and being a good student is all about finding and replacing that component by the time the sun sets and rises and it's time for the next class to come in.

It's a 1.2GHz Athlon with 266 FSB, 256M SDRAM, 30G hard drive (7200 RPM), 32M video card, 8x CD RW, 300W AMD certified power supply, ASUS mainboard with KT133A chipset. Lost of numbers. No one has any idea how much I read about all those numbers before I bought them, that's why I feel so close to my computer. Oh, stealthy black case.

Why did I care? Why did I read so much? Because a company was paying me lots of money to not use my mind at all. Gotta do something with the money. Gotta do something with the mind. Read chipset reviews then. I didn't know a whole lot about hardware, but it's easy to read about, not much learning curve at all, and you can pour yourself into it. Very nice.

Kmail just jumped up to using 5.9%. It must be check time. Check baby check baby! Cute email client, could be better, but could be worse too. Hell, could be Outlook, ewe! Ha!

LiveJournal doesn't seem to have a straight Linux client, what's up with that? There's a Perl one. Hmm. I'll download that, I might not use it, but I like Perl so I'll maybe just read the code.

I got screwed on my video card because I didn't know a GeForce 256 was different than a GeForce2. It's just not something I cared to read that much about. Also the guys told me it was a creative labs card, and you know what? It wasn't. But it didn't identify itself until a few weeks later when it was in the machine and by then I just wanted to run things, not deal with arguing to a bunch of freaks I met a month ago at a computer show about cross shipping. You got to live and learn.

Linux: I love Linux! I love being an activist about my operating system, and the stuffed penguin (guess his name, c'mon) that sits by my monitor watching me. I love learning about it - people in Windows message boards talk about how to do things in Windows, turn the backgrounds different colors and stuff. Linux message boards are about the system - what it's doing and why, the really in-depth stuff, things you can do that you never would have dreamed about wanting to do in the first place. It's hard to explain, but technical help is meant to make you think a bit, it doesn't talk down unless you really want it to, and once I had a little bit of intellegence thrown at me I was addicted. Thought! What a novel idea! Windows is like a cave, you know? You walk where you need to, get the rocks shuffled into the right place, you don't worry about what's outside or new or better. I feel like I've stepped out into the light now - I see so much more, I can't believe I was ever afraid to do it.

Crumbs I wrote a lot! See, I told everyone I could talk about my computer forever. LiveJournal isn't half bad, huh?