Technologically impaired

I’ve been taking the last few years to get to know the Linux operating system. I was before then a Windows sort of person; but became increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of control the operating system allowed me to have over my own machine. In the end, it was also a lack of control over my own privacy that brought me to my tipping point. I didn’t take classes, I didn’t buy a book … the last act of the Windows operating system on my computer was to download and burn to disk my first Linux operating system. Baptism by fire, so to speak.

The good thing about Linux is that it gives me tremendous control over what I can do with my computer. The bad thing? It gives me tremendous control over what I can do with my computer ;-)  I am, when it comes to computers, a hopeless tweaker … and Linux will very happily allow a user to tweak his or her self right into a crashed computer, as my own experience has now numerous times demonstrated. For a while, I even named my computer ‘GhostBook,’ because of all the times I resurrected the poor thing with another reinstall of the operating system.

This past week saw yet another crash. I didn’t tweak this crash into being … it just sort of happened. Although I am getting better about trying my hand at repairing a corrupted operating system, rather than just flattening the hard drive and starting over (I have become a master at installing Linux … now I’m concentrating on repairing Linux), this week’s crash left me with no viable options beyond flattening the hard drive and starting over. The problem, and it is one I’m somewhat embarrassed about, was that I had allowed myself to grow somewhat lax in my backup strategy. I lost everything from about a month. Pictures, e-mails, all sorts of things. This was my fault, I’ll admit – born out of what I feel to be the greatest technological impairment that there is, laziness. We employ technology to help us … then we let ourselves get lazy when we rely on technology to keep things easy. Although it brings a rueful smile to my face, I now understand the logic behind mathematics teachers who refused to allow us to use calculators in school.

So now that the operating system has been freshly installed, yet again, and it would seem I have managed to recover all of the individualized functions (most of my preferred tweaks I can now do from memory, without having to first consult various Linux forums). It’s photos, graphics, videos, and other personal files that I’m going to have to accept having lost. I have implemented a regimented backup strategy – keeping in mind an old teacher who was fond of saying that there are only two kinds of data, the kind of data we have lost, and the kind we haven’t lost yet – and with luck, when my operating system crashes again in the future (as I’m sure it will … otherwise, I’m obviously not trying hard enough!), I won’t lose as much data :-)  What was the question Bruce Wayne’s father asked him in the movie? “Why do we fall down?” Well, now I’m back up and running … with luck, it’ll stay that way a while!

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7 responses to “Technologically impaired

  1. Hehe, I am writing this from a Mate-life-CD system, coz I got internet connection problems. For some reason my installed Mate can’t get online via cable any more (only W-LAN, I used my neighbour’s with his permission, but he’s off, so my bad).

    Which Linux do you use?

    As for backupping – each time I lost stuff (probably not often enough) I didn’t really miss it. I am storing way too much… I am so impressed with Derek Sivers ( https://sivers.org/gifts ) who claims he deletes his hard drive every year. I envy him, I wish I could do that. X)

    Still, that said, I know how it feels to lose personal files, pix, vids and docs (or odts ;) ). It feels AWFUL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the way Derek Sivers thinks :-) As for the Linux distro I’m using, it’s Kubuntu. I started with Ubuntu; but since control over my computer was important to me, I was not happy switching from Windows to another operating system with a permanent tool bar on the screen. Looking around, I discovered Kubuntu and have been a fan of Ubuntu in a KDE environment ever since. With your internet connection, is it possible that the hardware has gone bad?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, same hardware right now, different OS. I’m gonna do what you do: flatten the hard drive and start over.

        I started with Ubuntu and LOVED it, and then came Unity, their new desktop environment – permanent tool bar an all. I hate it with a passion.
        I changed to Mate, which also feels less bloated than newer Ubuntu (I got an old machine).

        For some reason I never got used to KDE. Perhaps too geeky for me. X)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think Linux distros are a bit like religions, in that we tend to go with the one that fits … and when we find it, we tend not to walk away from it so easily ;-) In your case, you were betrayed by Unity (seems like you are definitely not alone with that feeling). I’ve not tried Mate yet … Cinnamon I have, though, and thought it was also okay. KDE is just the environment that really spoke to me, I guess. I plan to pick up a used computer at the flea market at some point, and then really start testing out all the distros I can get my hands on. I’m really keen to give Arch a try … and then there is the Pantheon DE that I’d like to try on Elemental OS (the fact that they named the current release Freyja was almost enough to convince me to give up KDE this time around!).

        Flattening the hard drive – especially if you have reliable backups – is something I think of as fun. I like tinkering on fresh installations, mainly because with fresh installations I haven’t already reloaded my personal data from backup ;-)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s why I always install a secondary hard drive just for files (no operating system)… or a USB external drive… As far as the operating system I find myself to be a DistroHopper – I have yet to find that *Perfect* Linux install – and realistically I know it doesn’t exist!

    Liked by 1 person

      • (sorry, am on my phone and hit Send a bit prematurely) … along with Mint (essentially the same, from what I can tell). I have as an ambition for down the road Arch; but before I do that, I’d like to pick up a used computer to dedicate for learning other distros. My personal data is not a very great thing … it fits on a 64GB thumb drive (hence the extreme embarrassment for my laziness in backing up!). Thanks for commenting here – I also looked at your blog and will soon follow :-)

        Like

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