Dateline: At one of the moments in our lives wherein a new computing device is added to the repertory
Setting up a new screen* can be an immersive, revealing, fulfilling experience. In this case, I’m dealing with a popular-brand laptop of a very portable size with enough resources to do anything and an LCD that responds to touch. The personal computer shipped with that one operating system, the closed source one whose very existence as a competitor in the software marketplace makes me absolutely sure that average users are in a state of insanity.
*(by “screen” I always mean something like “a device with a screen at which one will be looking very often” and it could be a desktop computer, a laptop, a telephone, a television, a tablet, a wristwatch, even a HAM radio really. A screen for our purposes is one of a software hacker’s main meta-tools / workstations).
Goodness, oh how I judge the operating system in question! While the machine was en route to me in the post, I noticed myself thinking “of course the first step is to remove the evil software and replace it with a real operating system,” and I said to myself then:
y’know, J.R. Nydel, a lot of the people you’ve known and loved probably use that thing — the thing you don’t even want to name, but let’s go ahead and do it – Micorsfot Wnidwos — and think it is not only fine-because-it-is-all-they-know but maybe even something-they-think-of-as-good.
& I did not like how automated my dismissal of Wnidwos was. When I took a moment to think about it, I realized that I hadn’t really used that thing in several years, and 3 major new versions had come out since I disavowed it.
Do I want to be the type of person who checks himself for dogmatic practices, the way one checks oneself for ticks after spending a summer’s weekend in tall grass; or do I want to be the type of person who fancies himself immune to lime disease and other similarly sour afflictions of the body, mind and spirit?
Of course, I should be the former! Right!?
So for the first time in i-don’t-know-how-long, instead of bulldozing my new preassembled personal computing device vis a vis software, I gently formatted half of the internal disk and configured a simple boot selection menu, enabling me to easily both/either boot the hardware using this KDE-heavy Debian-like Linux that I built optimized for a portable laptop, or using the MS Windows that most people would use. I did this so that I can try and either a) see something good in Windows by using it now and then over time or b) confirm my suspicions that Microsoft’s operating system is an evil subjugation machine as well as simply inferior software to anything open source and based on something akin to the kernels of Linux or BSD or Solaris.
If A happens, well, there won’t be much more to say aside from “hey nydel, you should check yo-self more often, n’gga” .. & if B happens, well, at least I’ll be a bit closer to the struggle I – admittedly – do currently believe exists for the majority of you; to confess in plain English absent of any exaggeration or rhetoric… well… I think everyone who uses MS Windows is an ignorant slave.
Obviously though, that is not the point, not for this particular motd anyway. Rather, the point is that we need to be careful about remembering to at least occasionally reexamine things that we’ve accepted as being good to make sure they still are or ever were good, as well as the things we’ve accepted as being bad.
So I guess it’s pretty cool if one can find the thing for which of one’s disdain’s validity one is one particularly sure in their justification, but then still participate in an experiment proposing the opposite of one’s hypothesis on account of that one’s brothers and sisters so overwhelmingly disagree.
When one is able to do this, one feels that one’s mind is of the open variety. And I think that’s a good thing.