Wherein I Say “Goodbye” to Linux

Last weekend, I officially bid Linux “adieu,” and installed Windows 10 on my laptop. And while this may not seem like a big deal to you, it’s a fairly significant milestone in my life.

Since ’96 or ’97, I have always had at least one computer running some derivative of UNIX. And since about 2002, that’s meant a GNU/Linux distribution. Well, there was that year I owned a Mac Mini, but the less said about that the better.

Twenty years of Emacs, binutils, and a shell that made sense. But also twenty years of hardware woes, incompatible file formats, and moving-target user interfaces.

Well, things change.

My level of patience, for one.

I have a six-month-old Canon printer in the other room which only barely works under Linux.

Half the time, I have to power cycle both the printer and my laptop to get it to work, and Linux has not once condescended to allow any other computer in the house to even see it.

My printer is also rumored to be a scanner, but anyone who has ever gotten a scanner working under Linux should probably be burned as a witch.

And yes, I’m sure there are solutions to these printer/scanner issues, just as I’m sure there are solutions to all of the dozens of problems—both big and small—which have plagued me for years.

But that’s just it: we’re talking years. Twenty of them.

And after twenty years of reading HOW-TOs, digging through mailing list archives, and suffering through “helpful” advice like “switch distros” whenever something’s broken, I just want to plug a printer into my computer and have it work right the first time.

So, over the last few months, I weened myself off of all those things I’ve used Linux for, and last weekend I pulled the trigger.

I’ll miss the good things a nerd-friendly OS gives you. The lack of Emacs alone is something my therapist and I will probably be talking about for some time. I’ll cope, though.

And my printer will work.

I’m Terrible at Fun

I should really play a video game one of these days. I’ve got, like, several dozen, but I never touch them.

Almost never, anyway. Shawn and I have a kind of sporadic, Europa Universalis IV campaign we’ve been doing for a few months, but we haven’t gotten back to it in a couple of weeks, and don’t know if we’ll be picking it up again.

Grand Theft Auto 5? Great game! Played about two hours of it a year ago.

Cities: Skylines? Played a lot of that, but the last time was months ago.

FarCry 3? Told it still holds up really well. I wouldn’t know, though, since I think I bailed ten minutes into the thing and that was that.

I tell myself that it’s my machine—that some of these games (GTAV most notably) are just a bit too clunky on my two-year-old rig, and that I’ll get back into them once I’ve replaced it.

“One day! One day, I’ll have a computer capable of running Cities: Sklines without choking to death trying to simulate a traffic system more complicated than two intersections and a bike path, and then I’ll be a gamer again!”

That’s what I tell myself. But in truth? I don’t believe it.

I think I’m just bad at having fun.

Bad at relaxing.

Bad at just chilling out and not worrying about what I have to do next. Even last week, when Alex had her vacation, and the two of us spent most of the time walking or just hanging out together—I couldn’t go more than a few hours without thinking about all the work I wanted to get done, but wasn’t.

Ultimately, I think I’m just bad at being healthy.

Some days, I feel like such shit that when I wake up I wonder how the hell I’m going to get anything done. So on the good days, when I can actually do things, I work. I get my ass in gear and take care of business, checking off tasks as fast as I can, because who knows how I’ll feel the next day.

I need to fix that.

Once in a while, I need to take a good day, and claim it as mine.

A day to just chill.

A day to play games, watch movies, or read something with a sleazy detective and a femme fatale who’ll probably wind up dead by the detective’s own hand.

A day to just be healthy.

Anti-Social Networking

I’m awful at social media.

I’ve lost track of how many accounts I’ve started and abandoned within days. And how many I’ve gone back to with every intention of sticking around, only to watch them be ignored and fall once again into oblivion.

Then again, I’m kind of awful at being social in general.

A few years ago, I saw some web comic (or maybe it was an article, I don’t know) that explained introverts and extroverts more or less like this:

Introverts gain energy from being alone and doing alone-type-things, and spend that energy when they interact with others. Extroverts, on the other hand, spend energy when they’re alone or do things on their own, and actually gain energy by being around other people.

I don’t claim this explanation has any real scientific or psychological validity, but it seems to describe things pretty well from where I’m sitting. For me, interacting with other people takes effort. And sometimes that effort could be fairly compared to scaling Everest without the benefit of supplemental oxygen.

Or sherpas.

It’s not that I dislike people, mind you. Or that I don’t enjoy me a party every now and then, or can’t have fun with friends out at a bar or wherever. I like people, but they’re exhausting. And you know, I always find it weird when I see others criticize this view, or when friends claim that I don’t actually like people, because if I did, hanging out with them wouldn’t be so draining.

You can really like running, but you’d be totally justified in collapsing after a marathon.

Shit, this post has gotten way off topic.

The point here is that I’ve decided to give social media another go, make an honest attempt to interact with people, and not let it all fall apart within a week. I’ve resurrected my Instagram account, and I promise to use Twitter as more than just a place to write “I’m tired” every other day. Then there’s Tumblr, which I guess is like having another blog, only somehow less useful.

I’m also on Facebook, because I’m old and most of my friends are old, but I really only use that to share music I’ve found, repost memes, and make (often terrible) jokes. I also complain about technology, but that shouldn’t surprise you.

So, click one of those links (or use the hard-to-see, unclickably-tiny graphics in the “Social” widget on this page) and follow me on the social network of your choice.

 

If I keep this up long enough to clutter your timeline, it’d be a miracle.