I recently mentioned to some colleagues that, in my family, I’m the tech guy. I’m the guy who installs antennas, digital set-top boxes, ADSL modems and other assorted technology that usually sits in boxes until I arrive home in Lismore. In some ways, I guess I’ve always been the tech guy. From an early age, for example, I was erecting rooftop antennas to pick up short-wave radio or television stations from nearby Brisbane. I was stripping cable to arrange speakers at various locations around the house so I could be an at-home “radio announcer”. And then, aged twelve, I became a volunteer at my local community radio station and became even more of technology nerd. I then became the guy at high school who knew how to work sounds systems and video cameras etc.
I was never an early adopter with computers though. Throughout high school computers were the preserve of the “maths group”. The kids who read “Lord Of The Rings” and played “Dungeons and Dragons” were the kids who knew how to use computers. It wasn’t until my final year of university that I submitted an essay using a word processor. I’d always had a type-writer, but somehow computers had escaped me. It wasn’t until I was about 23 that I had regular use of a dumb-terminal for in-house email. It wasn’t until I was about 25 that I regularly used a computer. And even then, it was my friend Kate’s young son who showed me how to transfer data to a floppy disc.
Oh how things have changed. I’ve had this website for about 6 years, and before that was creating my own pages with html. I was an early adopter in creating websites at work, and also created our first intranet page at work. I had nothing, however, to do with the new website at work.
And most recently, I’ve become a Linux and Open Source nerd.
My transition to Linux came as a direct result of a bad experience with Vista. Twelve months ago, or thereabouts, I installed Vista, because I lost my XP disc. And then few months ago I wanted to re-install Vista and found myself unable to, with a constant error message which told me something about how my version of Vista had already been registered. “Yes, it has, to me you XXXX idiots, It’s registered to me”, I found myself screaming at the computer.
At that point, I had been toying with the idea of moving to Linux. And had actually tried to install a version several years ago (about 1999, I think) without success. But with a more easy to use installation program, I found the transition this time much easier. Aside from an early problem with my ADSL modem when I tried to use SUSE, it’s all been smooth sailing. I use GOS, which is a stripped down version of Ubuntu by the way. Everything has been incredible easy to use and to install, and my computer seems much happier for the transition. You know that grinding hard-disk sound you get with Windows? Yeah, well there’s none of that. My computer just hums along happily.
So if you’re a bit over Windows and you think Mac users are wankers, I’d recommend Linux.
Q: What’s the one ting a Mac user can’t do?
A: Shut the #$^%& up about how good their Mac is.