Down But Not Out

iBook and *nix Ruminations from Heathrow

Dirk Pilat - 2003.08.25

Evening all!

Long time no hear, but you know what it's like: travel, travel, travel....

As I am sitting here with my trusty old 500 MHz iBook in the Servisair Lounge at London Heathrow. Surrounded by Dells, Gateways, and HPs, I can't help but noticing that I am the only Apple user sitting in this rather busy lounge.

How many of you portable Apple geeks feel the same way, I find myself asking. These days finding two Apple users in the same room creates the same sort of response Citroen 2CV drivers were used to in the eighties - happy and gleeful waving, knowing one drives a superior but almost extinct car.

Additionally to that, I seem to be eyeing Pentiums and AMDs these days, running OpenBSD and SuSe 8.2 very successfully on two fairly old desktop PCs, always thinking how wonderful the KDE desktop would be if I would run it at 4 GHz instead of 200 kHz.

Yes, I admit it, I have been led astray by the *nixes and BSDs, which are cheap, seem to work on cheap hardware, and run pretty well these days. Over are the days when you had to have a PhD in informatics and hardware design to install a Linux machine, as my SuSe OS installed itself on my old Siemens Scenic M5 in one hour inclusive PPPoe and DSL interface without me breaking into a sweat once.

Even my mother (who has a G3 upgraded 9600 running Mac OS 9.2) would be able to install that, so we are already thinking about switching my dad's old Pentium running Win 95 (he's the least computer literate in our family) to a PII running Suse 8.2 and OpenOffice.

Additionally to all these temptations form the Linux/AMD people, my Apple hardware has been falling apart: My 1 year old iPod seems to have acquired the HD's click of death (clicking noises when connected to the iBook, including crashing of the iBook's Finder), and my iBook's CD-ROM drive is broken. I admittedly travel with these two items about 80,000 miles a year, and they receive a fair bashing by me and airline staff, but still....

Then again, looking at the new G5s made me drool, but then, there are some good looking small footprint MiniATX machines out these days....

Anyway, these are petty thoughts about computers and little lifestyle tidbits, when our thoughts should be with the Iraqi people and the UN Staff in Baghdad, which seems to be suffering much more than a clicking iPod.

Peace and out. LEM

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