Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ubuntu. Say it, it's fun!

I have lots of adventures and thoughts on recent changes running around in my head lately. But whenever I try to write about them (which isn't often enough) the words just seem stale. Maybe I've let them sit in my head for too long.

Maybe I'll tell you about a fresh new adventure that is happening right now. Lost Boy installed Ubuntu (Linux) on my laptop! I frequently complain about how slow my laptop is. It is pretty old. I try to uninstall programs that I don't need, but I'm pretty sure the registry needs to be cleaned up and freeware just isn't fixing the problem.

So we decided to wipe my hard drive.

I transferred ALL of my documents, my favorite programs, and my Chrome profile to our external hard drive (EHD) last week. (By the way, Lost Boy found our hard drive on sale. It has a terrabyte of memory. That is super huge. I have about 27 GB of data on the EHD and we have way more than 27 GB of photos and audio files on the EHD, but the drive is less than three quarters full!) There is nothing on the computer that I'm worried about losing.

Lost Boy installed Ubuntu two days ago, and we've been playing around in it. It is fun to explore new menus and see what new programs are available. Ubuntu isn't as different from Microsoft Windows as Mac is, so it has been pretty easy to find all of the stuff I want to use (Internet, spreadsheet, etc.). One of the great things about Ubuntu is that it is Open Source, which means it is free. All of the programs (and games) available for Ubuntu are free too.

I usually prefer my computer not to make noises at me. So I set the sound scheme to silent. But Ubuntu makes sounds like African drum beats and rain makers. I'm not tired of them yet, so I've left them on. Ubuntu is an African word and philosophy. It is kind of deep, and I'm still digesting it, so here is a quote from Ubuntu's documentation,
Ubuntu is a South African ethical ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept, is regarded as one of the founding principles of the new republic of South Africa and is connected to the idea of an African Renaissance.
A rough translation of the principle of Ubuntu is "humanity towards others". Another translation could be: "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".

Pretty neat!

Windows is still on the laptop, so the next step in this adventure is to learn how to wipe the hard drive. We've downloaded Killdisk and the 31 page guide. I started reading the guide and learned that whenever we delete things or move them to the recycle bin, they're not actually getting deleted or overwritten. They are still hanging out on the computer somewhere. If you know where to find them you can restore them. Killdisk completely overwrites whatever you're wiping so it can't be restored. I think we're going to take it slow and just try to wipe folders that we know aren't important to practice. Unless I get impatient and decide to try a huge chunk of the computer all at once.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wrinkle Free

Photo: Microsoft Images
I'm ironing Lost Boy's new dress shirts today. They smell coming off them as I iron is the smell of a brand new college campus building. I love that smell!

However, I'd like to complain about the fact that I'm ironing these shirts. I just bought them and they're labelled "wrinkle free." They came with some very stubborn creases, which I suppose might be from the tightly folded and pinned way they're packaged. But I washed them and hung them up right away!

I just noticed that the water I've been spraying on them isn't absorbing very well. I sprayed them a few minutes ago so the water could soak in and get them slightly damp. When I ironed Lost Boy's old dress shirt there was no problem. It was the perfect amount of dampness and the creases faded away quickly under my iron. But these new shirts still seem kind of dry! I tried spraying one with water, then rubbing my hand over it to make the water absorb and spread out, because I'm ironing it right now! But the water just beaded and scuttled away under my hand. Strange!

There must be some kind of chemical on the fabric that hasn't come out in the wash yet. I wonder if it is the "wrinkle free" chemical? Whatever it is, it's thwarting me!