Beware the Ides of March

Actually, not much to beware at the moment, things are doing pretty well. I made a quick trip to Fry’s Electronics, something of a Mecca for computer geekery, in order to pick up a DVI cable to plug my G5 into my television, which works smashingly. I wouldn’t think that it would take Fry’s to get a DVI cable, but apparently they’re just hard to find right now. The Apple Store didn’t have any, Radio Shack not only didn’t have any, but were rude about it (and tried to tell me that DVI was being replaced by HDMI, which is bullshit: HDMI serves multimedia consumer electronics, DVI serves the computer industry. While there’s some overlap what with the proliferation of media pcs, HDMI is NOT a replacement for DVI. That would be UDI, which isn’t even out yet). Office Depot had one DVI-D cable, but for $70, which seemed a bit exorbitant. So, Fry’s it is… for $30 (and I could have gone cheaper). For those not aware, Fry’s is a honeytrap for geeks… it is incredibly likely that if you go in for one item, you’ll leave with that item PLUS several other things you didn’t realize you needed.

So now the G5 is hooked up to a nice big 32″ LCD TV, fresh up on software updates, and currently downloading the Gentoo PPC64 Linux Distribution. You might be wondering why: well, I have two very nice computers serve as my primaries (a 24″ iMac Core 2 Duo, and a 15″ MacBook Pro Core Duo), so using the G5 to explore another operating system and set it up as a server becomes remarkably appealing. I looked around at different systems I could put on it, notably Darwin, which is the BSD variant that underpins OS X, and Ubuntu, which is a popular, easy to use distro. Darwin simply didn’t have the user support, what with OpenDarwin closing down, among other things. As for Ubuntu, while they MAY have better PPC64 support in their next 6 month seed (ie, this April), they currently don’t really support 64 bit PPC chips fully yet, and I’d prefer to make a full leap if I’m going to. This didn’t leave many options, but of the major distros, Gentoo supports… well, pretty much every architecture you can think of, including PPC32, and TWO variants for PPC64 (one using a 32bit user space, the other using a 64 bit user space). I’ve heard good things about Portage, which is their package handling system, so Gentoo it is!

This is all part of a general process that I’ve been working on, and want to explain a little bit: 1) self-improvement. I’ve been doing a lot of job searching lately (imagine that), and it seems like I’m MOSTLY qualified for a lot of things, but am missing a few key fields which would make this process a lot easier… so if I can fill in the gaps while finding something I CAN do in the meantime (and who knows, maybe something even better… there are a few positions I’m applying for that would kick some serious serious ass, and are things I feel like I could really settle into and not feel like I’m “tiding over”), awesome. And besides, Linux is free, so all it’s taking up is my time. 2) Organization. I’ve been thinking a LOT about how I use my computers, and reorganizing my data to make everything a bit more efficient and accessible. I realize that this is something of a holy grail, considering the daily use of computers is a prime example of entropy, but you’ve gotta try, y’know? If nothing else, it’ll put me in prime position for when OS X 10.5 comes out, for a clean upgrade.

Unpacking continues through this all… after all, it takes a while for CD ISOs to download, burn, and install, so might as well make good use of my time, no? Of course, I say that, but then I took the time to write this, so…