Saturday, November 12, 2005

Worldly Matters

Worldly Matters

I have been occupied with more "worldly" matters for the past couple of days: My notebook PC had been crashing on me intermittently. Even after I had reinstalled the operating system, it was still giving me the blue screen of death. My worst fear was confirmed after I sent it to the HP service center: it was a hardware problem. I had to replace the system board. Forked out about a thousand ringgit to get the thing fixed. Even had to pay extra for same-day "express service".

Anyway, I'm now typing these words on the "new" system. With my old hard-disk completely wiped out, I had to go through the hassle of reinstalling everything again from scratch. But fortunately I do keep proper backups of all my work. Well, maybe it's good to start with a clean slate again; like what I've blogged something back before: a good way to clear one's mind is to clear one's surroundings first.

I also have another new toy with me: A spanking new, mean-looking Ultra 20, Sun's new 2.6GHz Opteron-based workstation running Solaris, which was loaned to me for a project. Solaris used to be my preferred working environment (I still have a Sparcstation 5 workstation gathering dust in my bedroom) but it's been a long time since I lay my hands on a Unix machine.

I'm a bit embarassed to admit that I was (and in many ways still am), a PC illiterate--I never learned how to use a PC until my third year at the university! And when I started working, I was doing development work on Unix platforms. So I never had a chance to work with PCs. For a long time, I actually wrote proposals using the character-based vi editor!

Only when I started doing regional work and was required to travel quite often did I start using a Windows laptop. Since then I haven't really touched a Unix system. All I ever do these days is produce thick Word documents and fancy Powerpoint presentations. I suppose that's what "consultants" do.

So for a change, I intend to start polishing up my Unix and Java skills again for my next project. The Sun workstation will be my second home from now onwards.

My trip next week to Sri Lanka has been postponed. I was actually looking forward to go there to sample the atmostphere before the Presidential Election. But now, I'm not sure when I can go there again--there could be violence and curfews after the elections. We'll see.I guess I'll take the coming week to attend to some worldly matters: bills, banking, invoicing, shopping etc etc. I need to get a large LCD monitor too...

Yesterday, I was out for meetings and later had a few rounds of beer with friends until midnight. So I allowed myself the luxury of waking up a bit late this morning. But tomorrow, it'll be back to my 4am routine again. I'm beginning to look forward now to those sublime hours of silence before dawn--that womb of darkness from whence a new day breaks, slowly, releasing its weight of worldly cares on my stirring mortal frame...

No comments: