10 October 2005

The old cat is retiring

Many friends have, during the years, witnessed my proud tinkering with an old Thinkpad 380XD: a solid brick of black plastic like only IBM used to make. Obtained in dubious circumstances involving shady working-class block basements (I actually come from the italian version of "the projects", yo niggaz) and people who had to part with it VERY fast, I kept the machine with me for a good 6 years. I discovered today that it's actually a 1998 model, making it an almost 7-year old piece of hardware... I brought it with me to Milan, Preston, London and eventually Manchester; I pumped up his muscles with a whopping 64mb RAM expansion, added a PCMCIA modem (broken), PCMCIA ethernet (smashed) and even a CardBus wireless network card. I made it run Slackware Linux, Mandrake, Knoppix and Debian, hopelessly trying to move him away from the dreadful Win98 he used to conspire with, but he's never really forgiven me for that; he even killed a drive that I had to replace with an even bigger one (6Gb). The relationship between us was like a typical long-married couple: bitching and screaming for the sake of it, any hope of productivity simply dropped, appearances be damned. He tolerated my short love affairs with younger, more fancyful and fragile machines, and I kept coming back to him, time and time again...

Eventually I got myself a new companion that was everything he wasn't (an HP model! what an insult for an old-school IBM) and he gave itself away to bad friends... he's not been himself since. I made several attempts at teaching him new tricks, planning to keep him as some kind of post-modern sound system, elegant linux-powered multimedia hub with that chic 90s look; but he refused to budge, making up excuses at every turn, cutting all his interfaces to avoid talking to me. I left him alone for a while, as he wanted, but I secretly hoped he'd come to reason sooner or later...

Today, the last one. Here in Chorlton, where old people from the Manchester area come to die and go to church, his hard-disk broke down again. I'm not going to buy a new one again. I have to say farewell to an old friend that will never come back, a piece of hardware from the disappeared era of proud American engineering. Thinkpads are now a 100% Chinese business, another story of the US imperial twilight, and he wasn't made for a world of linux guerrilla resistance. I understand.

Goodbye, old friend; I'm sure you'll be happy up there, joking with some old Apple or Commodore veteran...

05 October 2005

One Fine Sentence From Our FLC Friends

"We all ride / in a yellow limousine"

PS: italian friends, please check out the last Benigni flick and report.

03 October 2005

FLC, Frank Miller, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

You read these four names, and you know I never grew up. I would have posted this exact same shit ten years ago. Does my fossilized bum look big in this blog? Get the fuck out, please, before I embarass myself once again. Been warned...

Tonight I went to the debauched temple of lust called Trafford Centre, in a payday-induced shopping spree compensating for the greasy pizzahut I didn't have last night. Bastards at Borders made me buy some cheap-as-chips (actually cheaper, nowadays) Terry Pratchett book, "Going Postal" or whatever. I don't read Terry Pratchett, for me he's the guy with a funny hat that you see in the pics wearing almost as black as Neil. I bough the book in order to subsidise the only author on the planet who's got the balls to call JK Rowlings for the useless plagiarist bluff that she is.

Talking about subsidies, I am probably not the main contributor to Frank Miller's retirement plans, but yet again I felt compelled to exchange hard-earned cash for his "Dark Knight Return Returning With Vengeance II The Sequel Same Shit Really". The old man clearly slipped out of medication for a while, taking the freedom to tell us all that we should all die like the worthless spineless scum we are. Again. Yet another tale on modern fascism-without-a-face, the same day I read a spot-on analysis from Billmon on the same subject. Damn libruls want us all to seppuku straight away, I tell you.

Then I got "Shadows over Baker Street", a huge "What If" kind of book where Holmes is up against Chtulu or something; the XIX century version of "Hulk vs The Thing", with tales by all sort of literary names who had to pay their bills that month. Neil being Neil, his contribution (the first stuff he wrote after some bad meningitis gig, if I remember correctly) won a Hugo even before being printed. The man is obviously a member of the Vast Illuminati Conspiracy, or he just knows how to smile to old farts assigning literary prizes. Not that his writing is any good, I really hate him. He forces me to buy his stuff, I swear, I hear his voice in my head, please make him stop now.

I eventually left the bloody shop and ended up in another culture brothel, one of those overcharging music megastores responsible for the spread of gangsta rap and libertyX (collants? no, pop entertainment... humanity is clearly doomed). I already had the last Fun Lovin' Criminals vehicle thanks to BitTorrent, but what the hell, it's a decent record, good fellas need money, and their productions are still free from that shitty Digital Ruffian Messin'about, so I got the last jewelbox and handed my plastic to the hornbyesque popcultured clerk, in the vain hope that the artists will end up seeing a fair share of those 14 quid and The Man will get the message that DRM is bad for everybody. I'm an hopeless idealist, I know. Dear Santa, please, shit on the SUV driver seat of each and every music label exec, then kill bloody Damon Lindelof and bring me the original pitch for "Lost", so that I can know what the fuck is doing a peruvian actor (with a fake scottish accent) with an Apple II and some James Bond set under that bloody island. BitTorrent is a clear manifestation of the Almighty, but we still can't download straight from the bugger's brain, together with all that homo stuff he dreams about. I want a "Lost" porn spoof now. Frank, did you steal my pills again?

29 September 2005

Going corporate really *is* good for your wealth

Payday! Company pension scheme! I'm even investing money now!
My soul goes cheap, but I really can't complain now.


I'm back to blogspot for a while, a bit tired of taking care of a custom-solution. My current interests are not very web-related, so I suppose I can tolerate a mainstream, slow and unflexible solution like Blogger. The next few posts will probably be about my puny attempts at learning Qt via the Python bindings, building some sort of bibliographic-metadata software (interested? drop me a line: g dot lacava at gmail.com), plus some everyday Linux maintenance zen. Or maybe about right-wing policies failing all over the world, the oncoming Chinese Quiet Empire, peak oil, and the twilight of the American Century. I suppose my weekly commute to Cardiff to see my gf will get the odd post or two. And some pictures from the shiny new Samsung Z500 phone I have with me. But no cats.