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At What Cost?

Posted on 2012.05.02 at 10:35
Current Location: 67114
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I personally know those who cannot live without the latest/greatest most sleek gadget in their area of interest. I also know those who value function over form no matter what; those who view any cosmetic shell as whorish and cheap. It would be foolish to judge either party, for their convictions are akin to stereotypes - damned funny when exaggerated and unfairly applied too liberally, but nonetheless steeped in a history of truth.

Despite knowing that scantily-clad supermodels are ridiculously photoshopped and that great effort in post-processing is required prior to publication we nonethess continue to fall victim to the media onslaught that happiness can only come from bedding hot chicks and driving expensive cars. It works in part because we are programmed to acknowledge that level of exposure. I also know people who believe that shit. That nothing bad can ever come from dropping serious coin on some new gadget, that it can actually modify their personality and make other people like them. And no, I'm not talking about my 12-year old. In this case he's smarter than some adults I know.

While I am not an early-adopter, I do attempt to balance form and function. I pretty much assume sleeping with the tight 19-year old next door would be fun only once, and not a viable long-term solution to my ongoing happiness. So it is potentially with anything new and shiny. It seems prudent to weigh your options, but that's just me. I've discovered that change for change's sake is not nearly as rewarding as carefully planned and expected change. Change is going to happen regardless - you can be inflexible to it and toil away fruitlessly forever, or you can fluidly adapt and live successfully.

My work laptop, Ubuntu 10.10 has served me well. But it reached end-of-life last month. And when your company doesn't like anyone running anything but Windows even if you are a unix administrator running an operating system that no longer supports security fixes would not be a career-enhancing move. Knowing this, I began the incremental updates to current.

Everything worked.

Like a champ.

Until 12.04.

I can no longer VPN. Non-mirrored dual-monitors no longer work (and I still really, really dislike Unity). Because I am full time remote, I am attempting to make these grievous errors transparent to my employer, but at some point I will absolutely require a fully functioning system.

Perhaps consumers aren't the only ones who fall prey to sexy. Perhaps a every-six-month-upgrade roadmap is too aggressive? Perhaps the shiny, whorish exterior is attempting to cover a multitude of sins? Like the song says,

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife.

Conversely psychology has shown that "In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content."

By installing 12.04 I feel like I just entered that tight 19-year old next door. Wholly exciting and frightening at the same time.

I'm going straight to hell.


michelle1963 at 2012-05-02 16:04 (UTC) (Link)
If you're going straight to hell, then you'd better enjoy the ride.

(Btw, your link to "couples in which the wife is more attractive" is broken.)
ehowton at 2012-05-02 17:00 (UTC) (Link)
I'll assume by "enjoy the ride" you're talking more about sustainable, long-term enjoyment versus the momentary exhilaration of banging the 19-year old :P

And thank you - the source I copied it from had an embedded auto link that I thought I fixed.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-02 22:13 (UTC) (Link)
But of course!
jobu121 at 2012-05-02 16:18 (UTC) (Link)
Well written sir. I too am not an early-adopter. I have a smart phone, that is not too smart, that you can probably buy for $19... But it still performs functions such as a phone. Although, the only draw back is that after a call it likes to pick someone randomly from my contacts and dials them.

I am surprised that your company is still allowing you to run African Freeware. LOL.

My Ubuntu is at 11.10... I will wait to upgrade :)
ehowton at 2012-05-02 17:01 (UTC) (Link)
Suffice it to say when it was located in the plant I did NOT use that wallpaper.

Just saying.
Elizabeth Krumbach
princessleia2 at 2012-05-02 22:35 (UTC) (Link)
This is interesting because they actually put a considerable amount of time into improving the dual-monitor support (both generally and Unity's options regarding it). Did you make customizations in previous version to make it work? I would suggest dropping to defaults and seeing how well it does with that.

I can't imagine what broke the VPN, that's goofy (unless it's ipsec, which breaks if you look at it wrong, regardless of OS). They did switch to dnsmasq but I don't think that would do it.
ehowton at 2012-05-02 23:12 (UTC) (Link)
I actually didn't know the dual-monitor issue was an issue until I blew out everything and completely re-installed from scratch. The error I'm getting is the same one on bug report #965455 except I get the error without changing monitor placements - just anytime I deselect "Mirror Displays."

I have been very impressed with recent dual-monitor support, even when it was Intel/Nvidia/ATi specific software making it happen.

And yes, I've ALWAYS had an issue with VPN. It seems every kernel tweak came with its own set of patch emergencies for any client I used. I even tried the new (to me) built-in vpnc with no luck :/

That being said, I'm not entirely sure which highly-guarded protocols my client is using, and they are no longer giving out that information so freely.

Edited at 2012-05-03 05:13 am (UTC)
Cat Who Likes OpenBSD
bsdcat at 2012-05-03 12:58 (UTC) (Link)
I find the functional capabilities of XRandR to be phenomenal, absolutely fantastic. On the other hand, I find Gnome's Monitor Settings completely insufficient and unreliable.

Getting my laptop to drive two external monitors (one via DisplayPort, one via VGA) while turning off the internal display is a single long but comprehensible xrandr command (xrandr --display LVDS1 --off --display VGA1 --resolution 1680x1050 --display DP1 --resolution 1680x1050). Making that happen with the friendly GUI? Unpossible.

Also, for ehowton: OpenBSD releases every six months too, and I don't see the kind of massive wig outs there that I do in Ubuntu. On the other hand, OpenBSD tries to be a Unix operating system that grudgingly works as a desktop, not a desktop operating system that grudgingly has Unixy underpinnings.
ehowton at 2012-05-03 21:48 (UTC) (Link)
I am using OpenBSD as my bastion host because it requires no attention whatsoever. Your example is spot on.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2012-05-03 00:18 (UTC) (Link)
"In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content." So that is why y'all are so happily married!!!
ehowton at 2012-05-03 00:31 (UTC) (Link)
Very well said, sir.
codekitten at 2012-05-14 19:30 (UTC) (Link)
ha! i love your thought process ;)

i'm never an early adopter (being in the IT business will cure you of that) and tend in the almost-too-late-you-old-fogey direction. i didn't have a cell phone until 2002 or 2003 (and that was at jeff's pressing).

i like all the kinks to be worked out, to fully realize my requirements by researching and watching others as well as a couple of rounds of patches before i finally take the leap. oh and i want to be sure whatever the technology is will be around for a little while (if need be).

i do move a *hair* faster nowadays...but not much.
ehowton at 2012-05-14 21:00 (UTC) (Link)
ha! i love your thought process ;)

You and only one other. Its more a burden these days than anything.
drax0r at 2013-02-08 22:09 (UTC) (Link)
Look, I know I spent too much time with Slackware in the 90's, and I know that dependency-checking package management is handy, but... You can still compile code from scratch.

If 10.10 isn't being maintained, and you find the need to update a program, then ./configure && make && make install
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