Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Ubuntu

Another day, another 6.5% swing in the Dow Jones Industrial Averagemarket. I think this volatility in the equities market is here to stay. I wonder what it must be like for those nearing retirement that just took a huge hit in their IRAs. I think that since the days of defined benefit plans are long behind us, many boomers will unfortunately will be able to ever truly retire as planned.

But I don't really understand retirement. I've taken many breaks in my life from work - maybe I could call it stints of semi-retirement - and I'll probably have a few more. But work is fun, and I find it to be invigorating, so why would I ever want to stop? Just give me a few years here and there in my forties to sail the Pacific or live in France and I'll be satisfied.

But on the Linux versus Windows front, I have to say that the Ubuntu (Linux) continues to pull ahead. Both laptops (Lenovo R400 running XP and Dell 1525 running Ubuntu v8.04) are pretty much brand new and I use them equally throughout the day. Here's what I feel so far.
  • Dell (Ubuntu) - I turned the computer on and started using it. Open Office was already on it, so I did literally nothing but start typing away. Yes, it was frustrating learning a new operating system, but the layout was logical and it reminded me of using a Mac-type operating system. No crashes yet, but I did get a nasty error when I tried to unplug the USB flash drive, but it forgave me. The mouse was quite sensitive, but that was more of a hardware adjustment.
  • Lenovo (XP) - We were lucky enough to get these laptops with XP on them versus Vista. Our IT guy needed to install the newest Office, so that took a few days. But it was worth the wait to get all the trial software off of it. And there was the enjoyment of learning the new Excel, dramatically redesinged for reasons unbeknownst to me. Oddly enough, Open Office is more closely related to the old Excel than the new Excel, if that makes sense. Numerous ongoing Office crashes, and this morning a horrible sound when I tried to close a spreadsheet file. A co-worker and I both agreed the computer may be possessed. Another quality product from Microsoft. Keeping your fingers crossed while typing also makes Windows a bit more difficult to use.
Sorry about the geek update. I really am not one, but this juxtaposition of these brand new laptops is quite entertaining, and I am sure that you will hear more about this foray.

The picture above is looking down my street towards the high school on a day when there was sun. Certainly not today. My place is by the VW bus. And the arboretum is the hill in the background.

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