Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thoughts With Alpha

I'm taking a few minutes to work on Alpha, my ThinkPad 760xd that is running my own Ubuntu flavor, "Wushi" (which, if you haven't been keeping up, is based upon Ubuntu 6.06 "Dapper"). This laptop runs remarkably solid; IBM put quite a bit of work into the 700's back in the 1990's, and this machine is a fine example.

I chose to be here tonight because I feel that it is important from time to time to simply concentrate on the work that is being done. Alpha is set up to do just that; it not only serves as a test machine, it is also a working computer, my main out-and-about computer. Since making the philosophical commitment to portable computing, I feel that a tougher computer is better in the field. This isn't to say that my other two ThinkPads are not tough; they certainly are. However, the 500 is still a work in progress and my X41 has become my primary machine. Alpha has been needing to be used anyway.

I'm writing this in AbiWord 2.4.4, a lightweight open source word processor. It works wonderfully as well, though I also do a lot of writing in Vim, a text editor that runs both in console and in an x-window. Again, lightweight and fast, and it doesn't get in your way. However, command line editors are an acquired taste, and for those of who remember CP/M and DOS, the transition is a natural one.

The one thing that these lightweight systems allow me to do best is to simply concentrate on the work. There are a few individuals who prefer to work strictly in command line for that reason. I prefer a little of both. My ThinkPad 500 runs DR-DOS and will probably soon be getting a Linux install, and in all likelihood will be used primarily in CLI. Alpha, on the other hand, has IceWM and seems to run just fine with it.

These are ultimately tools. Find one you like.
(By the way, this is also being posted from Alpha...)

No comments: