Computer Troubles(?)

One of the side benefits of finishing the novella edit effort this weekend was that it meant that I could now restart my computer without fear. (There was a file open that I didn't want to loose my place in, a minor thing, but none the less).

Now to the windows users out there, this might seem a bit odd, by I probably hadn't rebooted Zoe--that's the computer for those of you playing along at home--in at least a month, and maybe more like two or three. And I'm not even using the newest and bestest version of the operating system! But anyway...

I can tell that a new computer isn't, in the grand scheme of things, that far off. Zoe is great, except that there's a bunch of stuff that I don't do because Zoe doesn't have the power to handle. Like pod-casting and any sort of video editing; and frankly image editing is something that I'm trying to do as little of as possible, because it's a bit of a strain. Although I have R.app, the open source SAS/statstics package, and even an old version of SPSS, I really can't fathom a situation where I would want to run such a program for more than a moment or two. And though I would open Excel if I needed it, I'm trying not to need it.

Anyway, so a new computer is something that I'm thinking about. Because of my leading comment, we can imagine that I'm probably not likely to stop using a mac, and frankly I really love these laptops. But after 2 and a half years with a 15 inch pro-level computer, I'm not seeing the great benefit to going with the bigger machine this time around. As near as I can tell the Pro-line has: nicer screens (not just bigger ones, but nicer ones), a card slot which I've never used on my present computer (though, with EV-DO becoming cheaper/more available, it's something to consider), a slightly faster processor (but not considerably), firewrire 800 (something I do actually use), better graphics (but again, sometimes I watch DVDs and youtube, I don't need power graphics). In contrast the consumer line has: a better (but less familiar) keyboard, a cooler closure, it's smaller and lighter, it's a thousand dollars cheeper. The only thing I'd miss is the firewire 800, which isn't really so big of a loss.

This leads me to the other computer related thought that I've had recently: There are a bunch of tasks that I do with my computer which, are by normal standards, insane. I run a bit torrent client, my subversion repository is locally hosted (I have a backup repo, never fear), I organize and manage a small herd of hard drives, also doing production work (image/video/sound), even web design work on a laptop, is kind of crazy. Buying a Mac desktop is really out of the question, but I've figured that a Ubuntu/Linux could probably do a pretty good job with this. I priced one of the Dell Ubuntu boxes for about 500, which seems really quite good by my standards. Not counting a monitor, but this is the kind of box that probably wouldn't get a lot of direct use: I'd probably just ssh/telnet in and mount the drives over the network. If it were stuck doing all the things that the laptop couldn't/shouldn't deal with, I think I'd be a happier camper. And, you're (I'm) still under the price of the pro-level desktop.

Anyway, that's enough for me.

Onward and Upword!

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