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June 08, 2006

Monoprocessorial

cdesk0608.jpg

My PC is beginning to cause me some issues: its ethernet card is only intermittently functional, and it's reached that point that every Windows box eventually reaches, in which the system is collapsing under the weight of all the crap that fires up whenever you turn it on. Rather than spend a whole lot of time being frustrated with it, I'm sending it down to the minors, which is to say to Athena's room, and for a while at least I will return to my monoprocessorial ways, with only the Mac in my office.

This should be less problematic than it might have been; I've been using the Mac for online stuff anyway, and most of the important documents I had on the PC were on a external drive, which I've now attached to the Mac. I bought and downloaded Photoshop Elements, which should be able to handle most of my picture processing needs, and all those other heavy-duty programs I use on the PC have sufficient Mac analogs. About the only thing I won't be doing is killing things via first person shooters, but inasmuch as I have a book to write, this is probably just as well.

Also, you'll note, I've cleaned up my office. Proof that even I have limits on squalor.

Posted by john at June 8, 2006 09:19 PM

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Comments

Alex S. | June 8, 2006 10:08 PM

Looks like someone reads The Whatever ;)

Michael G. Richard | June 8, 2006 11:05 PM

OMG! You're posting on the internets, but nobody's sitting at your computer. It's magic!

;)

Hijackqueen | June 8, 2006 11:19 PM

The room won't last. It will get messy again. Time will tel. Ha!

Gina Spadafori | June 8, 2006 11:39 PM

Will your wonderful wife take a blowtorch to my office next?

John Scalzi | June 9, 2006 12:04 AM

Actually, I cleaned it up myself. And I'm prouder of that fact than I probably should be.

Anne C. | June 9, 2006 12:24 AM

Your office looks so unnatural that way, like one of those awkwardly posed high school photos.

"it's reached that point that every Windows box eventually reaches, in which the system is collapsing under the weight of all the crap that fires up whenever you turn it on."
I am *so* glad I'm not the only one who experiences PCs this way.

Anonymous | June 9, 2006 12:33 AM


It's funny, because your messy room just looks like that one, only shaken down by an elephant charging the house.

Gary Denton | June 9, 2006 12:48 AM

I postpone that day of reckoning by every six months going on a register cleaning, startups blocking and program killing spree. Probably time I turned serial killer again.

Soni | June 9, 2006 01:15 AM

Dude...you do know that you can just reformat the suckers and reinstall a lighter load of crap, right? I do it every so often and afterward my hard drive is all minty fresh and clean like it just came back from the dentist's office.

A pain, sure, but a short one. And I get a like-new drive in the process (all of my standard files are on a partition, so I only have to format the work drive without futzing around with massive file backup headaches).

Of course, I'm one of those McGyver geeks who duct-tapes, back-slaps and twist-ties shit to the edge of sanity trying to eke out every last drop of soul-juice before letting whatever it is I'm currently zombie-running die a way-later-than-natural death.

I just can't let go without a fight. 'Splains why me and hubby are still together, though. :-D

La Gringa | June 9, 2006 01:50 AM

Dude, I'll give you $50 an a case of beer if you clean up MY office.

Andrew Cory | June 9, 2006 04:36 AM

Start menu->Run->”msconfig”->ok->Startup.
Now, start unchecking boxes. Warning! Don’t turn off your anti-virus program by mistake. If something looks weird, Google it. Seriously, just type “MBM5.EXE” (an actual program running on my computer) into Google and it’ll almost always tell you what it is. Doing this once every couple months makes things _so_ much nicer...

Maria Y. Lima | June 9, 2006 08:15 AM

Dude, seriously impressed. I'm having a bout of "clean-up-itis" right now, myself. I have a not-so-sneaking suspicion it has more to do with a book deadline than the desire to de-clutter.

::ignores the little voice of distraction::

AliceB | June 9, 2006 09:10 AM

Now if this were one of my kids' rooms, after waking up from a dead faint, I'd go check the closet. Of course that might actually get me killed... by falling objects. (A photo of only half a room is mighty suspicious in my neck of the woods. :)

Best,
Alice

John Scalzi | June 9, 2006 09:26 AM

I didn't put a thing in the closet. Which is not to say that you wouldn't get killed by opening it. Just that you wouldn't get killed by anything new.

Dave | June 9, 2006 09:43 AM

Dude...you do know that you can just reformat the suckers and reinstall a lighter load of crap, right? I do it every so often and afterward my hard drive is all minty fresh and clean like it just came back from the dentist's office.

It's an impressive testimonial to the deep and persistent suckitude of current IT infrastructures that this and the other solutions suggested are viewed as reasonable maintenance, rather than showstopper product defects. I wonder how much of the Macintosh "Switch" campaign success is driven by this sort of abortion.

PeterP | June 9, 2006 10:46 AM

I find that between Firefox and Microsfts antispyware tool, my machine has stayed fairly useable.

The other alternative, of course, is to install Linux. Fedora Core 5 is very nice, and installed seamlessly for me.

Jas | June 9, 2006 11:21 AM

I'm honestly surprised you've lasted this long on the PC at all, John. It's just so darned strange to think that, with that shiny new Mac there, you would ever turn back to Windows.

Heaven knows, the only time I boot into Windows outside of my workplace is to play games, and the two games I play (Sims 2 and Civ 4) are available on the Mac, so I'd never look back.

But nice going on the office redux. I'm doing much the same this weekend, if the wife'll let me stop working on other "more important" rooms long enough to do so.

Kelly Brown | June 9, 2006 12:11 PM


I'll happily play the gremlin on the wing to your William Shatner.

Doom3, Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, and Wolfenstein are all available for your Mac.

Civ 4 is due out RSN so there really is no excuse to be working.

John Scalzi | June 9, 2006 12:19 PM

Damn you, Kelly Brown!

Yeah, but I'll resist the temptation. For now.

Dave | June 9, 2006 12:34 PM

Hey John, time to upgrade to an Intel iMac, then you get the nice OSX interface and you can dual boot into XP or Vista for your gaming fix.

John Scalzi | June 9, 2006 02:38 PM

Yes, well, wake me up when they start making Intel PowerMacs. I'm not going that route until then (although I'm very likely to go that route when they show up).

Tripp | June 9, 2006 03:37 PM

I'm no fan of Microsoft, not at all, but I have to second what Andrew said above.

Using msconfig can give the same sense of satisfaction that, ummm, well cleaning out an old storeroom doesn't cut it. It gives more the thrill of when you are playing an PRG and some bad guy is kicking your butt and then later you've beefed up and you can go back and beat the bad guy's butt.

Yeah, macs can let you coast along passively but with a little savvy Windows lets you kill vermin.

Jon H | June 9, 2006 06:19 PM

"Hey John, time to upgrade to an Intel iMac, then you get the nice OSX interface and you can dual boot into XP or Vista for your gaming fix."

You can also run Windows in a window, using Parallels, at pretty close to full speed.

Chris DiBona | June 14, 2006 10:22 PM

I'm happy you fixed your office. It was chaos, hurt my eys, and made the baby jesus cry. I'm just saying.

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