While you figure that out, I'm going to keep talking. You can do two things at once, correct? Good.
Hi. As of June 2, 2000, I'm a fifteen year old sophomore at a random high school in random small-town Washington. Even if I told you the name, it likely wouldn't register...put it this way, no one ever knows where we're talking about unless we mention the drug seizure auction, so if that gives you a better picture, good for you. If not, sorry I mentioned it. Anyhow, Life? My life is at a rather interesting point, where I'm in at least ... lemme count ... 6 different friend circles, and they don't quite all mix. The punks tend to clash with the "normal" people who stay low-level and don't make waves, who tend to completely misunderstand the techies/geeks, most of which want nothing to do with the drama department, many of which hold an odd deep disdain for the "smart people"(note the ambiguous "many of which..." statements, there are several exceptions in all cases). The only people that seem to get along with everybody is the choir, and I have no idea why. The world may never know. Anyhow, let's see... I get my taste in music from a variety of sources, though mostly the indie/punk scene. I also have been known to do jazz, oldies, techno, and pretty much anything in French, particularly lounge style jazz and swing. I tend to run screaming from ameripop and rap(in which, if you didn't know, the 'c' is silent). Fave artists and groups include, in no particular order: Tori Amos, Marianne McPartland, Pink Martini, Serge Gainsbourg, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Björk, Hole, Nine Inch Nails, Huggy Bear, 8&1/2 Souvenirs, Juno, Jude, Ani DiFranco, and *early* Barenaked Ladies--their recent stuff lacks inspiration. If you're looking for some new music to try out, I highly recommend "All Hands on the Bad One" by Sleater-Kinney(indie rock), "Not a Pretty Girl" by Ani DiFranco(folk/grrl guitar), "Happy 2B Hardcore" by various artists(techno), and "Happy Feet" by 8&1/2 Souvenirs(multicultural swing).
But that's just to listen to. What I play is an entirely different story -- I've been a friend of the piano since 1st or second grade, and have in the process learned that music can be pretty impressive... Most people will toss up aimless admiration at a short little sonata or something, which is nice for a cheap ego kick. My favorite styles of music to play are classical, jazz, and showtunes(only 'cuz they're so much fun around other people (-: ). Composers I frequent are Chopin, Beethoven, lots and lots of Bach, Clementi, Hayden, Mozart, and when the mood hits, myself. Something interesting I've discovered is that if you're bored after a test, have a song stuck in your head, and start writing it down on paper, people start asking all sorts of questions, like "You can just hear it in your head and write it down?" Well yes, would I be writing down the music in *your* head? How about just random notes? Not hearing it? s'Fun. I think I figured out I had some talent in the musical department when (a) people started asking the above questions about my little scribbles on paper, (b) when I realized I never played the dumbed-down versions of songs any more, and (c) when I picked up an old book. The first song had been really difficult for me, so I quit playing out of it. A while ago I found the book, and played it cover to cover, sightread the whole darn thing. Scared the heck out of me.
Fortunately, there is an OS which lets you get at whatever you want, make your own special specifications, along with maintaining an impressively high level of elegance(i.e. things work, if they don't, you can fix it, otherwise the OS stays out of your way, is logical, and the docs are useful rather than mindless/braindead). I got interested in Linux via a computer class this past year, and have done about a month's worth of fiddling around on a copy of LinuxPPC 2K(link1 - link2). It's a really cruddly installation, has about 80 screens' worth of package discrepancies, but it... works. Somehow. There is relatively little installed help, unless you count man/info pages...a downside, but it's more than I can say for DOS. If you can manage to get the internet working on it, you've got infinite resources at your fingertips. *Everybody* writes Linux docs. On every possible subject conceivable. For instance: I was trying to get the poor thing online, which has several complications...our house routes through a Mac IIci in the closet with no monitor, running IP NetRouter. I was able to find some guy's site online who had the exact same setup, with screenshots on how to do it, which was great 'cause at that point I was scared to death of the CLI and was relying almost completely on GNOME. Outgrew that pretty quick, seeing as only a handful or so of the "control panel"-type apps actually *work* in the GUI(like I said, I did a really cruddly installation) plus I do too much development now to let the GUI trip me up, and until I fully learn emacs or vi I'm perfectly comfortable with pico, gcc, and g++. CLI is more usefull in many ways anyway; I can do one line + return instead of point, double-click, point, double-click, point, click, click, point, click, type, point, hold, drag, save ... anybody who cross-platforms between GUI-based and CLI-based OSes knows some of what I mean, perhaps. Anyhow. I guess the result of my little twiddlings in Linux is a(yes, yet another..)quote(I enjoy these, bear with me) which I find hilariously funny:
"Linux for development,
Macintosh for productivity,
Palm for mobility,
Windows for laughs."
So. What've I got? "my" computer is a teeny little 68K laptop on its last legs. She does have a 2.5 gig hard drive, which is nice, but I have to run DiskWarrior on her about once a month, and any browser I have ever found is a bit too unstable for my taste. I used to have about a 10 minute surf limit before the poor dear froze, now I've got it up to about 10-15 surf sessions. I use Netscape and iCab because they don't put a gazillion little tiny useless files on my drive like explorer does, plus they don't make explorer for 68K macs. My email's on Eudora(hah! in your face, outlook...), I develop(sort of, she doesn't like it much) on Metrowerks Codewarrior(C/++/Java), FaceSpan(AppleScript), and Resorcerer(a ResEdit variant, fun to play with. Be careful though -- I had tweaked some image or other on another comp in the house, and dad thought we'd been infected with a virus...he got halfway through a run of disk First Aid before I caught him), and am thoroughly familiar with MacsBug, Apple's version of an emergency CLI useful when a program goes berserk and you have to stomp on it. She's on OS 8.1, and that's probably as far as I'll go -- any more would be more trouble than it's worth.
My sister's box is a 5200 series Performa running MacOS 9. I don't know anything about how stable it is; Ash keeps her room locked most of the time, and you don't want to get her angry at you. I do know however that it is excessively tedious despite the myriads of RAM and memory we've chucked at it. Performa. Pff.
The family comp is a beige G3, OS 9 w/ multiple users enabled, 1.4 + 5.8 Gig hard drives, 96 meg RAM. It is the most idiotic computer in the whole house. I restart the darn thing at least once a week, on average three times weekly, if not because it's locked up(again), login's unexpectedly quit(again), or it's frozen(again), then just to make some attempt at keeping one of those from happening. The reason for this is probably because my brother, being 5 and already too familiar with a cd drive for his own good, is content to install every piece of shareware he can find in the house. We get a shareware cd monthly from a company called Software USA, on which maybe 5-10 percent of the programs are useable and don't trash the computer. Everything else screws over the System Folder to the point where I've quit trying to reverse the process, and am working like h*ll to keep things from getting any worse. Geez. Coincidentally, this is also my Linux box, which has not crashed once since I installed. I've known core dumps, survived kernel panic, but never has it frozen or locked up once booted. Of course, the longest amount of time it's been up consecutively was for three days when the parents were out of town...but considering the crufty programs I've run on it(netscape, for one, is crap on linuxppc, not to mention the "practice" progs I write) that's still pretty neat.
My dad's computer ... is the object of just about every ounce of jealousy I've got in me. G4 laptop, equipped with Connectix Virtual GameStation, running a *stable* version of MacOS 9, Windows NT on VPC, and maybe even a version of Linux though I doubt it, he's left that to me lately. He could, there's plenty of room. Dad works in an all-Microsoft environment...I think it's twice now that his has been the only working computer in the building because they get infected with viruses. He doesn't have printing or network problems(other comps in the building do) and has no cross-platform problems to speak of. He unplugs from the office every day, comes home, sets the network to "home" mode, and is up 'n' fine again. The only thing I've crashed it with is MS Word. He could work from home were it not for several crimps to work out in the telecommuting software somebody wrote, that says certain administration functions must be done on-site(dumb? maybe). Man, I want that computer.
The other working comp in the house is the one in the closet, which runs OS 7.5. Besides running our internet connection, it also runs XTension, which is a home automation program that runs about half of our house. Fans, lights, doorbell, reminders for mom to pick people up from practice / club mtgs / whatever(the computer talks, is connected through the house speakers). We have to fire up Timbuktu about twice a year for maintenance and fixes(the only way it seems to break is through Scary Chime On Startup disease -- why, I don't know), otherwise it plugs away in the dark all happy by itself. If you're looking for a really good story about the life of a macintosh, check this guy out.
We used to have a little Mac Classic, which was mom's computer since she only ever needed it for word processing and solitaire :) (of course, now she's got the G3 and surfs all day). A couple years ago the monitor portion of it broke, and though we tried a couple times, we couldn't fix it. The rest of it's fine, we just can't seem to get the monitor back on its feet(or a new one either, if I remember correctly). So if anybody needs Classic parts .... :)
Heh Heh Heh. Two companies ago dad got to work at home, and we got all sorts of little toys ... an ISDN line, a Sun box, and a Wintel machine(though why, I don't know. Of course, it took forEver to network...it couldn't see anybody, but everybody else could see it.) 'Twas fun, fun, fun. Small taste of UN*X, but wasn't really into much then. Sorry I passed up the chance now, but oh well. Such is life.