Urgh

by Mark on

Its somewhere in the wee hours of Friday night here and I find I can’t sleep.

Online relationships…my advice is to avoid them. There is always, to begin, the temptation to lie. To say you are more beautiful than you really are, to say you have a better life than you really do and so on. Lies are a trap. One leads so easily to another and eventually you found you’ve spun for yourself a home of gossamer. One breath of wind and it will all fall down around you. Thankfully, in this instance I did not lie. I made that mistake once, years ago and have had someone lie to me in the more recent past. I know well what its like to be at both the dispensing and recieving end and ultimately both are bloody unpleasent.

Lies are the first pitfall.

The second pitfall is the sheer distance itself. I found it truly hard to find feelings for the person at the other end of the IM conversation or the voice at the other end of the phone. But I did, and I have. The problem here is…weirdness. When problems arose, I had a scant two hours a day to deal with the person and the problem. For the rest, she was offline, I was asleep or I as at work. At those time, there was no point worrying over matters, so I set it aside. Come home and deal with it again. Go out and don’t. On and off constantly. At the end, I felt very disconnected from matters.

Distance is the second pitfall.

Not to ramble or rant on about it, but I felt the best thing for both of us in the relationship was to just end it fully as it would drag on otherwise and leave us both hurting badly. Maybe we’ll be friends after and I can repair the damage wrought unto others from this. Maybe not. Time will tell.

At the end of the day, just say no to online relationships!

But at the end of that little rant, I find I still can’t sleep. Joy. I threw myself into repairing my laptop as one way of burning off my energies. Laptop of olde, arise from thy grave and all that. Its an Apple iBook G3, purchased second-hand. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it from the first, as it has been its wont to die on me at the worst possible time. I bought it originally as while I wanted a laptop, I had my absolute fill of x86 laptops. Its not that Windows is a problem – Gentoo Linux is my main operating system, no matter the hardware, but I wanted to try something different, as I find all I do at work, day in or day out, is fix x86 laptops. So I purchased an iBook. I learned more than I possibly wanted to know about the iBook’s hardware while installing Gentoo.

Just to veer off on a side track about Gentoo for a moment – its installation method and indeed philosiphy is vastly different than any other flavour of Linux out there that I’ve tried. There are no fancy GUI tools or installation menus for Gentoo. Its all done by hand – partitioning, installation of software, configuring your kernel and setup and so on. Its very involved and you will pick up a hell of a lot about using a Linux system while performing a Gentoo installation, guaranteed. The basic philosiphy behind Gentoo is that you install an absolute barebones system, tweaked to your exacting specifications. From there on you install whatever software you wish, via Portage, again to your exacting specifications. Yes, we’e the ricers of the Linux world. A parable came to mind while I was in the shower:

A Fedora user, a Suse user and a Gentoo user all meet at a Linux convention and begin to talk about how they played World of Warcraft.

“Well,” said Fedora, “all I had to do was install the Cedega RPM, click a few buttons in Point 2 Play and I was frost shocking away not two hours later!”
Suse smiled mockingly at hearing that. “That’s all you did?,” he asked. “After installing Cedega and WoW, I used YAST to disable unnecessary services and to apply various optimal settings for better performance!”
Gentoo guffawed loudly at hearing this exchange. “Why,” he exlaimed, “I created a custom kernel configuration omtimized for gaming and then spent an hour hand-tuning the Cedega and WoW configuration files, recompiled X for 5% extra gaming performance and then applied go-faster decals to my computer’s case for extra effect!”

As a side note within a side note, the Gentoo live CD is an excellent Linux recovery tool if you’re not too pushed over using a GUI. There has been many a time when it has bailed my ass out.

But I digress! My problem, as I said, is that my laptop has this knack of dying at the worst possible moment. Its hard drive utterly imploded after my trip to London where I met Gabi. I thankfully didn’t lose any information as I mostly used the laptop to sandbox with different tools, both in OS X and Linux itself (to learn more about Linux on PPC architecture). Anyway, the hard drive died and after leaving it to rot for a few months, I finally caved in and took it to a local Apple service centre. They took over a week to swap out my old hard drive with a new one for the princely sum of 180 euro.

After I took my iBook home, I found I had utterly lost my OS X Tiger DVD (the recovery media only installed Panther). After over two weeks of downloading several Tiger images from torrent sites that wouldn’t boot, I finally found a four CD set that installed flawlessly. Once I had this operational, I set about reinstalling Gentoo Linux on the iBook.

It died again a week later. I have no idea as to what caused the failure and several forum postings has resulted in several possible answers. The fault was that I came home from work to find the iBook wouldn’t come out of standby, nor would it turn off. I finally had to remove the battery and power supply to turn it off. After that point the iBook absolutely refused to turn back on.

One thing to try to remedy was to remove the battery, power supply and any additonal RAM sticks, allowing the iBook to sit afterwards. Which I did. I was going to add much more here, pictures and explanations and all that. But I managed to fall asleep twice just now. So much for moody insomnia? I’ll post all the rest on the ‘morrow.

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