Not Spartan Enough


Things may be a bit on the slow side here for the next, oh, few weeks or so, as I’m currently packing the insane amount of stuff we have for storage while the house is re-painted (and re-floored, and a few things changed here and there). In short, renovations.

Which, as anyone is likely to tell you, is tantamount to having your house blown to smithereens by a tornado, except that things tend to land in neat piles inside cardboard boxes, spending a while there and then flying back into place. And you get to do all the picking up, tossing around, packing, signing of inventory slips, and eventual unpacking into an entirely different place from where things were to begin with, even if they’re back in the same room.

So far, I’ve already made five resolutions:

  • I am going to get rid of at least one computer this year. Honest.
  • I am going to replace my 3 or 4 USB disks and NSLU2s with a single Time Capsule as soon as a) I can afford it or b) it drops to a sensible price1.
  • I will heretofore sell, give away or recycle any gadget, accessory or inanimate object that I do not use after a year, unless it is an heirloom of some sort (like my original PalmPilot, which I keep around for kicks).
  • I will store all my books on an airtight bookcase (my nose and throat itch something awful).
  • I will never again buy books regarding a specific technology. Ever.

I’ve got a stack of BSD-era system architecture books that I’m whittling down to the bare essentials, and I’m throwing away all my Windows NT books2 (nobody wants them) and most of my Java stuff.

There are, however, a few things that will help:

  • I have HSUPA everywhere, so I won’t miss my ADSL connection (and yes, I still have one of these, and a spanking new data card).
  • All my recent personal e-mail is on either .Mac or Google Apps3 for this domain (and I’ve stashed a local copy of most of the rest on my MacBook).
  • This entire site and all of my hobby projects are in a Mercurial repository, so there’s plenty of replicas.
  • The Wii has Wi-Fi (what, you think I’d forget to pack Mario?)
  • The iPod Touch (freshly updated to 1.1.4 today) is doing a good enough job for me to do without a computer at home for days4.

Anyway, I used to think I could manage with the bare essentials and minimum frills. I need to re-assess that and pare down my arsenal significantly.

1 Knowing Apple, they’re likely to diddle with the price points in a way that neither of those options ever happens.

2 Except my original first edition of Inside Windows NT. That’s a landmark OS architecture book.

3 Which reminds me, this is a must read, and echoes many of my current gripes against what Google purports to call IMAP on their servers. If anyone from Google actually reads this, please get read of the blasted “All Mail” folder, it is just stupid.

4 I’ve probably played all of 15 minutes of music on it so far, and am happy with it being 100% silent. But it was kind of stingy of Apple not to put at least one tiny “proper” speaker on it, having to fetch the headphones for the occasional YouTube video is a pain.