Something to be Happy About

April 10, 2006

Those that know me know that I'm not a very positive person. I am habitually pessimistic, cynical, and negative about almost everything. Every once in a while there is something that I am generally somewhat fuzzy (as in a teddy bear or Dan, not as in vague or unclear) about. This is one such thing.

My brother recently had some computer trouble in the form of a dead backlight on his monitor. As always it came at a time when he had much work to do and it was all on his computer. As we were discussing options for getting him a working system while Apple repaired his monitor I suggested — half-jokingly — that he could always use my old iBook. Provided it a) had a working OS on it or b) the cdrom drive wasn't as broken so that he could install a working OS.

Long story short, he took the iBook and was able to install OS X on it. He subsequently removed OS X and installed Ubuntu instead. He had expressed a desire to play with Linux again (he was the computer geek when we were both in high school) and I suggested that Ubuntu was probably the way to go if he really wanted to use it again. And so, for the past couple of days, I've been helping him figure out how to get things like sleep working. For the most part, though, he's actually been figuring a lot of it out on his own. He did his own research into why sleep wasn't working, found a couple of solutions, and started trying them.

This has been a small source of joy for me — especially considering how bad yesterday was. This isn't one of those, "He has seen the light and left the dark side of computer OS's and joined a more enlightened society of computing!" I could care less what kind of software anyone uses. It's just a tool. People don't have religious debates about hammers, why should they about an OS. What I find so enjoyable about Klye's foray into the world of Linux is seeing him play with computers: figuring things out, discovering new tools and toys, and generally having a good time playing with computers. It reminds me of how I got sucked into this field in the first place.

I'm not sure how much using my old iBook with Ubuntu has actually solved the problem of being able to get his work done, but at least he seems to be having a good time.


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