It’s always difficult to find good online communities. I was hanging around Reddit for a long time, but I deleted my account today because the community was going downhill fast. When I first signed up, people were willing to participate in intelligent discussions and half of the links on the main page were actually interesting. More recently, however, almost every link has been about politics of some sort (I’m sure most of that has to do with the upcoming election) and rational discussion is almost impossible. If you disagree with the popular Reddit opinion on an issue, you’re downmodded into oblivion and few people are willing to debate with you. What’s worse is what the popular opinions often are. Any article about police will have a highly-rated comment about how all police are pigs and should be shot on sight. It’s depressing that anyone would agree with a sentiment like that. It’s the same with religion, politics (especially politics), and even technology. Not as bad as Digg with respects to hating Microsoft, but you still see the occasional dollar sign in place of the letter “s”.
I suppose I could have ignored all that for the good links I do sometimes find, but those links are few and far between, buried amidst all the noise of articles about how dumb Sarah Palin is, or the antics of some religious group, or stories about how the police tasered a guy who may or may not have attacked them first. I know what you’re thinking. “Cody! Unsubscribe from the politics, religion, and atheism subreddits!” I did, and somehow political and religious links still snuck in, under the guise of the funny subreddit or the WTF subreddit. It just wasn’t worth sticking around if I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the website. What did I want? Interesting links, complete with intelligent discussion of said links. What did I get? Uninteresting links, complete with unintelligent babble about how the government is going to take over everything and use religion and Tasers to force everyone into submission. The gradual transformation into a mainstream version of /b/ didn’t help, either. Yeah, there were some pretty awesome memes (100 pushups, anyone?), but memes aren’t a good substitute for worthwhile comments and there are a lot of meme comments on Reddit.
My absence from Reddit probably won’t last. I doubt I’ll create another user account, but I did get a fair bit of my news from Reddit. Maybe the community will get better sometime in the future. Maybe not. I suppose I can’t avoid what I don’t like forever.
Following my computer problems of a few days ago, I decided to go ahead and make room to install a distro of Linux on my laptop alongside XP and Vista. I have to say, it was a lot easier than the last time I triple-booted. I installed XP first, then Vista, and finally Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu’s bootloader to it’s own partition, which allowed me to use Vista’s bootloader to load up everything (configured with EasyBCD). It all works perfectly.
I took the chance to try out the latest beta version of Ubuntu, which is due to be released in about 8 days (as you can see by the nifty counter in the sidebar). Compared to past versions of Ubuntu I’ve used, 8.04 is amazing. Sure, the actual interface doesn’t look or act much different (it’s a little shinier, perhaps, and the new search function is pretty cool), but the main difference I noticed is that I didn’t get a debilitating error upon start up. See, with older versions of Ubuntu installed on my Dell laptop, the wireless and graphics cards would not work, and the alternate drivers Ubuntu tried to use would break the system, forcing me to drop into a command line interface to install a special script. But with 8.04, everything actually worked upon start up, displayed in my native resolution of 1280×800 (instead of a rather blurry 1024×768). I had to do some minor configuration to enable the non-free graphics and wireless drivers so I could use my graphics and wireless cards to their full extent, but it was much less work than before.
I’m definitely pleased with this version of Ubuntu. I still doubt that I’ll like it enough to abandon Windows, but at least I haven’t needed to wrestle with it just to make it work right. Hopefully it’ll just get better once it’s out of beta next week.
This seems to be a theme with me. I get my computer to perfect working order, and then I decide to mess with it. Why? I don’t know. Some kind of weird compulsion, I guess. Whatever the case, I broke my computer. Again. Well, that’s not completely true. It was only partly broken. For a while, I’d been dual-booting Windows Vista and Windows XP. In case you think that’s odd, I’ll explain why: I use XP for games and Vista for everything else. Games played in Vista tend to have a lower framerate than when they’re played in XP, so I’m sticking with XP for my gaming needs. However, I prefer the Vista interface, which is why it’s my primary operating system.
I recently bought a 320 GB hard drive for my laptop and completely reinstalled everything from scratch. Everything was going great. Then I tried to install Linux. Again. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I have to try this time after time. Maybe I figure that I’ll like it this time, even though I haven’t the past 17 million times. At any rate, it shouldn’t have been a problem to resize one of my Windows partitions and try out a new distro of Linux I downloaded (the beta release of Kubuntu with KDE 4, ’cause the screenshots looked pretty). Turns out, it was a problem. Vista didn’t want to play nice, so I turned to GParted. That stalled out, so I booted up XP and tried out Partition Magic. That completely corrupted my Vista partition, making it impossible to boot into it. Luckily, XP still worked fine, so I was able to go into damage control. Damage control failed horribly (even when I turned to the Vista install disk’s repair function).
Luckily, I had, in my infinite wisdom, completely backed up Vista the night before. Since the only important information on XP was saved games and a few documents, I backed up a couple of folders on XP and wiped the hard drive clean. This time, I was going to reinstall everything and include Linux with it. But I abandoned Kubuntu and went with plain ol’ Ubuntu 7.10, which has worked for me in the past. In a couple of weeks, Ubuntu 8.04 will be out, so I’ll be able to easily upgrade.
The problem now is that I still need to copy over all my documents to the reinstalled Vista. And then I need to reinstall all my programs. And fix all my settings. And update everything…
I just did all of this a couple of weeks ago. It’s killing me.
Apologies for the lack of posts recently. Contrary to popular belief, I have not been abducted by aliens, killed by the government (or 9/11 Truthers), or lost all my fingers in a freak finger football accident. Maybe I’ll rant about something soon. I know there’s enough material out there…
I can’t believe I actually did it. I bought an iPhone. Updates (maybe pics) to follow. Sometime.
I’ll just say it right now: it’s awesome. Seriously. A very much needed upgrade from my old phone. It was a good ol’ phone, but its time had come. Now it’s off to be recycled, while I enjoy the awesomeness of my iPhone.