Wednesday, October 06, 2010

it just works

i'm in three classes: an intro to 3-D animation class, in which i am currently drowning; a class i can only describe as an experimental film class (and the one i am actually doing strong in), and a computer programming for dummies class. i have posts planned for the projects from those first two classes, just not the time to actually author them. but i wanted to share a little from the programming class.

i couldn't write a line of code to save my life. i tried to learn a little this winter at uvu but decided to take a genuine F in favor of snowboarding and don't regret it for a moment. (editor's note: if any future employers are reading this as part of building a character dossier on the author, the actual story is that i was offered work on two movies, back to back, during that time, but he prefers the wild romanticism of the snowboarding story) our first assignment in the programming for dummies class was to install linux on our computers.

in the world of computers, there are two armies: macs (the autobots) and windows/pcs (the decepticons). i have a mac at home that i do most of my work and living on and, last Christmas, got a cute little lappy with windows 7 that cost lest that my cell phone. there is a third operating system, that weird hippy grassroots commune called linux (the quintessons, for those of you following the analogy). linux is what the programmer subculture enjoys, because you can futz with it all you like, amongst other reasons. and so we were told to install it on our machines for class, our teacher providing several safe and stable ways in which to do so.

thinking i was a little more awesome, i tried to circumvent these methods and do it in a "simpler" way that would allow me to partition my computer's hard drive and run both windows 7 and ubuntu, the most widely supported incarnation of linux. partitioning a hard drive is akin to doing brain surgery on your machine and my efforts left my little lappy lobotomized, unable to do anything more than turn on and go it's most uber-basic functions, a warning screen telling me it has "issues."

this went from a tragedy (my cute little lappy!) to an annoyance, thanks to our t.a. who has been working to help me get linux installed on there. over the past month, i have been doing a ridiculously complicated work flow to try and get different variants of ubuntu running on my lappy (which i call eve, since it looks like wall-e's girlfriend). hours and afternoons have been used up waiting for long downloads, having to ask faculty for access on a computer or borrowing some piece of hardware. this wasn't a problem until our first assignment for my class was due last week. i didn't have a working computer to do the assignment. (i'd note not having a computer to do the practice assignments, either, but i probably wouldn't have had time do to those anyway).

staring at my behemoth schedule last week (the week where i didn't go to sleep one night), feeling extremely frustrated by lappy that was giving me nothing but trouble and feeling kind of bad for being careless and removing windows 7 from it (which i actually really liked) like some lacuna treatment gone haywire, i thought of this old commercial:

and i remembered, mac's are unix-based and i can program on my mac.

i went home, downloaded the software, and started work on my assignment.

(never mind that the software took three hours to download, that it was a far more advanced package than i needed and was kind of confusing, that i spent ten hours on the assignment, or that i only successfully wrote one of the three programs; that ruins the mac image that i am working to perpetuate here).

i am writing this post today because, five weeks after the semester has started, i finally got a working version of linux on my lappy. eve is back up, running kubuntu, and i was thrilled, because something finally went right for me this week... ; )
now if i can just get that customer service guy in india (signing his emails "taylor") to let me get my copy of windows 7 home back, i'll be set.

editor's note: our next post, "D", is already planned out. however, because of the demands of the schoolwork (the consequences of our head writer thinking he can just hop on a plane anytime he wants, despite being fully entrenched in graduate school) and the scope of the post, it may be a while. if you're bored, we suggest going back and rereading some of your favorite posts from all of us here at sheep go to heaven.


Em said...

You just keep your hands full, and make sure they're full of remotely productive things.

and let us know if you're making any friends.

The Former 786 said...

1. Guilty or Innocent? Innocent!

2. Now I have Experimental Film stuck in my head.

3. Macs, PCs and Linux systems are nothing but religions. Everyone of them has their pros and cons, the deeply-devoted fail to see the flaws and defend their OS to the death, and no one is really going to convert anyone else.

~~* Shaun said...

my "Seriously Dang" is for the new pic on your header.

kwistin said...

1. reading this post made me think i was at work again, because those are the terms i hear all the time (before i stick my ear phones in). and for a delirious second as i sit here waiting for my super slow (but still very loveable) mac lappy to print character design sheets, i probably thought i was. you'd be a fun co-worker.

2. in case you were wondering, my mac is only super slow because it's old. and byu's network is slow. just sayin'.

3. that commercial...heehee.

4. your new layout...well, you already know how i feel. ;)