Monday, December 13, 2010

Fuck microsoft

I bought a Toshiba Satellite about 4 years ago. I've put it through hell. It has gone to sea with me on terrible little long-line vessels from Hawaii and on crab boats in Alaska. That little piece of electronics has been dragged around in a backpack back and forth across the country and functioned in sub-optimal conditions. Salt spray and shitty, unreliable power sources: it keeps on ticking. I've had to replace the power cord twice, but that seems to be par for the course talking to other friends who work on boats and deal with engine-supplied electricity that is prone to surge and dip unexpectedly. The computer still functions and the battery works decently. The compaq I had before it died ingloriously overheating one New York summer and was threatening to die long before that. My little Toshiba has been a trooper.

I am not writing this on my laptop. I am writing this on our home Power Mac. I don't want to get all gushy about Macs, but at the end of the day, they work. And so does their software. The hardware on my Toshiba is holding up just fine so far, but the software SUCKS. When I got it, it had vista on it. vista was a terrible product which never should have seen the market. If microsoft had any pride they would have recalled it instead of launching their stupid ad campaign trying to pretend like it was anything other than a blight. I now have windows 7, which compared to vista is un-terrible, but still no gem. And occasionally, it has stupid quirks that drive me insane. Like right now. It periodically decides to not let me have internet access through networks I've connected to a million times and fixing it takes a near miracle. I'm no hacker, but I'm not completely computer illiterate and I've been using windows since they had their first consumer releases. XP was the last decent release and since then things have gotten more nonsensical and unusable. At this point, price is the ONLY reason that I have a machine that runs on microsoft software and Ubuntu is looking better every day. I bought a cheap machine because I knew my laptop was going to be dragged through hell with me and might end up at the bottom of the ocean, but the irritation of dealing with the crap products that microsoft is pooping into the market these days is getting to be too much. The only way I'd ever spend money on a computer that runs on their software again is if it cost $200 and had every bell and whistle imaginable. I'd rather pay for my next computer in cash instead of headaches.

Toshiba, thanks for a tough little computer. Now if you could just get an operating system that wasn't terrible...

Monday, December 06, 2010


I wish that I didn't find this so unsurprising. But then the whole point of the defense of marriage act and don't ask, don't tell and prop 8 and all that other bullshit was always exactly this: gay people do not matter as much under the law. Same point that jim crow laws were trying to make about black people. Is it constitutional? Of course not, but who cares as long as it stays on the books. You declare one group less worthy of protection under the law and the effect is going to be members of that group being treated more harshly, often without the awareness of the people who are treating them differently. I'm sure plenty of teachers and law officers out there treat gay teens more harshly without even realizing it, but after you codify that gay people are lesser-than and have a national party and several media organizations aggressively promoting this notion, it is going to have effects on the ground.

Which is exactly the point of the laws. The laws are on the books explicitly to reinforce our difference and try to insure that the difference is felt as a negative or to empower others to impose negative consequences on those who refuse accept this. Gay marriage laws matter to me not because I give a flying fuck about getting married, but because the laws preventing gay marriage are there to remind the world that I matter less under the law, that the Constitution does not afford me the same protection that it does a straight person in a similar situation.