The Linux Challenge


I now have joint custody of the prehistoric dinosaur that is The Man’s computer. It’s 8 years old, making it the technological Abraham of today’s many wonders like multi-tasking and video streaming. The Man looks upon the desktop (yes those still exist) with love. I don’t get it at all. It seems like it has caused much more pain and suffering than happiness to me…

This original wheel of desktop computers clearly began to feel inferior a few months ago and attempted computational suicide by blue screen – thus rendering it itself entirely useless. I thought this was surely the turning moment in The Man’s technological career, yet The Man was amazingly able to continue his day-to-day function sans any form of personal computer for many moons. (I at least still have my iPhone.)

As his loving partner, I encouraged him to pursue purchase of a newer, younger machine (the only time I may be involved in encouraging a younger upgrade in his life mind you). I introduced him to the foreign concept of a laptop. I even suggested looking into Apple products, as I am a proud mindless follower of all things Mac! He seemed frightened, backed into a corner of shiny and new things.

And what did he decide to do? He revived the ancient beast with Linux.

This is where The Man and I differ tremendously. I will gladly pay for something to just fix the problem, be exactly what I want from the start, and to stop causing me stress. The Man, however, would rather build something up from nothing and have this thing he calls “pride.” From what I understand, it is a positive feeling in respect to something an individual has done with his own hands. And Linux provides computer geeks with their own version of the pride our ancestors felt when they you know… actually built stuff. So if he wants to play a specific game? He needs to play with the coding and the running system in order to permit that game. It took him the better part of two days in order to be able to run an internet browser and a word processor, and a single misstep can make entire programs cease to function. Yes, it really is that excruciatingly slow and painful.

Now that I am without my dear MacBook Pro, I must blog from the Linux-ridden beast. There starts The Challenge. The rules? Determine your end result and suit up. It’s a crazy jungle out there. You must prepare for any and all distraction – and above all – the crazy troll people.

Luckily, I only use two things to write: WordPress and a version of MS Paint called Paintbrush.  The Internet still inhabits this computer, so WordPress was a go. It was the paint program that was going to challenge my navigational skills. The quest required perseverance and prior linguistic knowledge that all things Linux have obscure or weird names sometimes having to do with penguins. It took a while, and I almost didn’t make it through without throwing my hands up in defeat, but I finally found the weirdly named answer in a tiny comment on an app that would never work. I had triumphed and would live another day.

Good thing I don’t need to do anything other than this… for now.

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