hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley

It comes in many forms

Things that are no longer a thing and those that remain so

Being online has changed everything.

And it’s been awhile that all of us have been online.

But, the chaotic world we live in became the new normal without our being given a chance to opt in.

We gave up our privacy in exchange for convenience.

Identity theft news flashes like the recent Starwood Hotels data breach no longer have the same shock and awe value they used to. Sadly, we now just think, “Oh well,” and go about our daily business (which for many of us now includes checking credit reports on a regular basis).

It’s not all bad, however. While I can no longer imagine a world with rotary phones and exclusively traditional taxi drivers, all this digitizing of daily life does leave me thinking “what if” regarding further gains to be had as well as those things we’ve long since forsaken.

  • What if we still had to go to malls and/or brick and mortar stores exclusively for our holiday shopping? This was an accepted norm for decades until it wasn’t. Everything can be acquired online now. If it’s clothing apparel and it doesn’t fit, we roll the dice and take advantage of the no fuss/no muss merchandise return options available.
  • What if bed sheets could be stripped and made via automation and bereft of human intervention? I believe it would greatly reduce the number of injuries to people who cannot seem to make their own beds and lie in them without compromising their health.
  • What if balancing a check book was still a thing? We’d have less time to check our social media feeds and then it would quickly become not a thing as a result. But balancing a check book became truly not a thing once all our financial transactions were available to us (and thieves) in real time.
  • What if using a paper map to navigate your vehicle or walking route was still a thing? I can think of a few things. But, number one is that instances of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) would be at least somewhat reduced as flipping a paper map puts less strain on the wrist’s median nerve than does fingering your mobile phone.

What if one definition of an ergonomic mouse remained, “One that sits up straight and tall while it’s eating cheese.”

  • What if you still had to check TV Guide for when all your favorite holiday shows were on so you wouldn’t miss them? Again, you’d probably have less instances of CTS from not having to incessantly “thumb” your smart TV’s dumb remote control.
  • What if you couldn’t order pizza digitally? We probably wouldn’t eat as much pizza anymore as speaking on the phone with a human being in order to have pizza delivered to our homes has not been a thing for some time.
  • What if blogging never became a thing? I’d be very sad. There’s hardly enough time in the day to read anything over 500 words let alone other blogs.

What if computers actually realized their original promise of making our lives easier and affording us more leisure time to do and enjoy the things we love? This, by virtue of my having reached just over 500 words (and also from Google’s displeasure with my not too keenly veiled criticisms of modern life), is a rhetorical question.

Q4OS is the best thing to happen to Pentium computers since XP

Linux used to be an old computer’s best friend.

But with many distributions going all in on 64 bit-only versions, the trend away from support for 32-bit computers is not a good development.

Enter Q4OS.

At its default installation settings, the desktop resembles Windows XP or Windows 7. There is a familiarity that exists and can be experienced for people who are tired of all manner of Windows machinations–save for its familiarity, who just want to try something without a steep learning curve.

Enter Q4OS again.

I had recently tried MX-17 and antiX which were pleasant (for me) upgrades from Windows 10. I didn’t mind becoming familiar with these operating systems. It’s what I do on a regular basis: try out new Linux distributions in search of the elusive Holy Grail of operating systems.

I had also tried Zorin OS 12.4, which while pretty good in its 64-bit variation on a Core 2 Duo HP Compaq, was lacking (for some reason) in its 32-bit version on the Pentium 4 with 2 GB of memory I’m currently typing this piece on.

Enter Q4OS for the third (and final?) time

I was actually thinking of getting a new(er) older computer and bequeathing the P4 to someone in need of a decent-for-its-time computer. I always try to locate the optimal combination of hardware components, application software and operating systems for any PC I have about for tinkering.

Quite naturally I am omnipresently in search of the most speed possible on my old systems. I have very little time to experiment compared with times gone by, but I still love the challenge of optimizing computers so they work for me–and not the other way around.

Q4OS boots up in under a minute on this P4. Love that, especially compared to XP which is what originally came with the computer. XP would tend to run slower over time as it accumulated junk through virtue of regular use.

It was pretty common thinking, or at least it was in the tech circle of friends that I knew at the time, that you should reformat your hard drive and install a fresh, clean version of XP annually–if only to eliminate any bad juju that might have built up.

I’m not expecting to have to do this with Q4OS.

I have torture tested this OS on the P4 over the Thanksgiving weekend. What has impressed me as much as the speed of the system is how durable, rugged and tough it is. Like a colleague said to me, “Bob, I tried to break this thing and it just won’t break.”

That is music to any old computer user’s ears. I have found this to be the case with my P4, too.

With support for 32-bit versions in the Linux world dwindling, I would heartily recommend you give Q4OS a try–especially if you’re considering re-purposing an old Pentium 3 or 4 computer.

There aren’t that many versions of Linux operating systems left other than 64-bit. And as stated in the beginning, that’s bad news for people with old kit.

But it doesn’t have to be. The developers of Q4OS are cognizant of the little touches that can make a difference in the user experience, when they consider design and features.

I was able to create an alias of a start menu item by right clicking on an app in the start menu and selecting “Add item to Desktop.”

Some might say so what? Not a big deal. You can always still do that in XP.

But XP is a security trap without benefit of a modern browser. Q4OS has two of them–Chromium and Firefox.

And aside from being able to run commands from a terminal console without having to enter an admin password (which can be changed manually), Q4OS’s pros heavily outweigh its cons–if only for the speed and familiarity of XP included with its modern operating system default installation.

Pretty huge for an out-of-box installation on a soon to be 16-year-old box.

The obligatory, pacing dog inspired Thanksgiving Eve mashup

It felt like the year was over but it was only Thanksgiving Eve.

He was experiencing one of the symptoms of premature year-end syndrome–the new fatigue and cumulative stress-related sensation that’s sweeping the nation.

But it didn’t feel glamorous (to him) that the masses typically experience this as yet unnamed and unrecognized malady. There was just a sense of relief at an accurate self-diagnosis.

He scanned slickdeals.net for deals he wasn’t interested in; there were several of them.

Understanding that purchases for the year-end holiday would probably need to be made over the next few weeks, he realized once more if the goal is to find things to buy that do not excite him, his annual mission of satisfying friends and loved ones will once again be met without strain and most certainly with benefit of gusto.

This is why he thinks everyone is stressed out by the time they’re supposed to be celebrating with ho ho ho’s and mistletoe kisses.

Save for a physical, it perked him up he was fortunate enough not to require the services of a medical provider (so far) this year.

And save for an upcoming six-month checkup, he was elated at having escaped serious dental bills (so far) this year.

For him, it was starting to click how there is indeed plenty to be grateful and thankful for this Thanksgiving–not the least of which is good health and the ability to keep doing the things he loves–which tend to vary from year to year.

He thinks it interesting that some people are deliberate and resolute when they state they avoid malls and brick and mortar stores on Black Friday weekend.

He avoids them not because he can shop online (which he does), but because he is grateful to not be on the roads with tons of stressed out and less than focused drivers.

They have devices that can measure the levels of alcohol in motorists’ bodies and they are working on some instruments that will measure the degree of THC residing in the tissues of stony cruisers.

But so far there is no tool available that gauges the degree of stress a motorist is undergoing at any given time they’re behind the wheel.

If there were, he believes the levels of stress are probably, and will continue to be, staggering from here on out until the end of the year.

He loves that it’s cold out, though, and he gives thanks that while humidity can manifest itself in bone-stinging chill, the experiences of perspiring as soon as he gets out of the shower are relegated to waiting until the end of spring to resume.

The little things are some of the best things in life he knows they say.

Accordingly, he smiles at the thought of masses who give thanks for their phones.

He gives thanks for thinking inside, outside and around the box–whether the box is something as innocuous as a phone or as complex as a state of mind.

And finally he is eternally grateful at the prospect of abundant time to reflect on what’s transpired as well as what is about to be.

Even if we’re just blogging in the dark

It was the first time I was using the Chromebook without an Internet connection of any kind.

Before I bought the little magic maker, I’d heard it was only good if you were online.

But as I type here in the dark, I give thanks for my touch typing skills while also silently expressing a debt of gratitude for being able to use Google Docs (or Docs by Google?) without an active Internet connection.

So you ask why bother typing on a Chromebook without a Wi-Fi connection?

The action is a result of a power outage that’s left me sitting in the dark with nothing better to do.

When I started typing this, the battery indicator pronounced 11+ hours remaining before the charge would hold no longer. I think I can finish this before then.

What’s cool about blogging during power outages and especially during outages that last through the evening is that you have to be resourceful. If you don’t have a backlight on your keyboard for example, and are a hunt and pecker (is that a beast of some kind?), you will probably be hard pressed to get much typing accomplished.

But as I stated above, I’m a touch typer and can manage enough words even on this less than full-sized keyboard.

Secondly, not having access to the resources available via Google search forces one to use their recall when describing events. If mistakes are made when writing they are called errors in fact (or at least that’s how I’ve always referred to them).

I was trying to think of the last time I sat in the dark during an outage and I want to say it was during the blackout that occurred on the East coast during 1965…or was it 1964? I can’t recall, naturally enough, nor am I inclined to research it traditionally as I can’t see anything. Remember? And I don’t have encyclopedias–which was how we researched things back then. Additionally, I was but a small tyke who enjoyed being able to stay up late and witness the glow of candles burning on an evening other than Halloween.

The dogs were restless at the onset of this piece. One was barking on patrol and the other was padding nervously. They’ve settled down since. Just like me at the keyboard here.

Being alone is conducive to writing. So is being alone with a couple of dogs.

It was snowing outside earlier and now it’s just cold.

We could have stayed at a hotel room, but I doubt I would have been able to write anything as the dogs would have been going wild–dogs gone wild–available on DVD for $19.99.

But the dogs are not going wild now. They’re relaxed. I’m relaxed. And this thing is flowing like a river without an Internet connection.

I don’t know what that means and assume you don’t either.

The environment I find myself in lends itself to absolutely no structure at all. Why should it? There are times when a woman has to say what’s on her mind even though it’s gonna hurt. And there are times a blogger has to write what comes from their fingertips, even though it’s gonna blurt.

I know, I know. But they can’t all be home runs. We appreciate the singles hitters.

What I will leave you with is this…there are times when you are completely out of your normal flow. You’ve been broken from whatever routine it is you think you have. And you feel off, a bit unsettled perhaps, but no more so than what a typical day’s transpirings can have you processing.

So just go with it. Blow air kisses to imaginary goddesses.

And watch how effortlessly a few remaining snow flurries can drift gently through the dark, silent night.

Deepin: When being deep in is good

I haven’t been able to use Deepin OS for a while now since my version 15.4 lost its ability to boot.

It was definitely giving me problems, but since I had Zorin 12 and Windows 10 on separate hard drive partitions, there really was no need for me to be concerned as I was still able to boot in to these alternate operating systems.

Deepin is pretty interesting, colorful and yes, beautiful. It is an OS that feels the way macOS used to feel in terms of responsiveness. macOS has not been snappy for a long time (unless you have a ton of ram along with higher spec’d graphics and processors like those in their current iMac Pro lineup).

That’s the way commercial operating systems for desktop computers are, though; each successive release demands increased hardware resources. These rising demands make older macs less suitable to run current versions of something like macOS–even if technically they meet hardware requirements and can run Apple’s latest and greatest OS (albeit in less robust fashion than newer Mac hardware can).

While Linux operating systems are known for running well on older machines, many, if not most of the modern Linux systems are now 64 bit architecture only–which effectively closes the door on older, 32-bit PCs and their available Linux choices.

There are still some 32 bit Linux systems that run well on older PCs such as MX-17 Linux and AntiX. My recommendation is to run the 64 bit Linux variants if your machine supports them, though, as after you add a little more than minimal memory, the 64 bit Linux OS’s tend to run rather well.

The machine I’m typing on is a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo HP Compaq with 4 GB of memory. And it is flying. I’m typing rapidly–80 to 100 words per minute with gusts up to 120 words. There is no latency in the system, no lag, no waiting for the blinking cursor to catch up to what it is I’m pointing and clicking on. This is an older machine and while it runs Windows 10 alright, Deepin crushes Windows 10 with regard to speed on it.

Speed is really my main consideration for picking and choosing the Linux operating systems that I do. There simply is nothing better than not having to wait any longer than you need to for things like boot up; did I say Deepin boots up incredibly fast? Well, it does.

I tried elementary OS which is purported to be beautiful and Mac like. I always end up referencing Apple and Macs in a lot of my writing. And for good cause. I loved Macs early on. They really were more beautiful than anything Microsoft and Windows copied, I mean, came out with.  And Linux was not as user-friendly as it is now where novices can download and install the various operating system flavors that are out there.

elementary OS is billed as a replacement for macOS and Windows. But, even though version 5.0 Juno is an improvement over 0.4 Loki, and the version number reversal/change is welcome (instead of 0.5 Juno, it’s 5.0 Juno to avoid confusion over whether elementary OS is beta software or not), the system for me is still lacking. I received broken package errors on installation (which may have been my fault), but still, I was expecting a glitch-free install and it just did not happen.

I may revisit elementary OS in the future. I really want to be able to get behind a Linux macOS facsimile as an alternative to Apple’s now bloated macOS–if only to recommend it to people who are tired of purchasing new Macs when their old ones still work decently (but their Macs are just not supported any longer by Apple to run its latest OS).

In the meantime Deepin is a pretty darn pretty and fast OS–give it a spin and you’ll see what I mean.

The continued downward spiral (and lack) of common sense

I’d love to hear about a study on whether or not it is common sense to have or use common sense.

You see I said hear about rather than read a study.

I would suggest most studies would not be undertaken if common sense was utilized more often. Why would you need a study if common sense can save the day for the majority of problems that can arise during the course of any given work day?

Common sense can lead to common sense solutions for problems that at first glance appear so complex that they may appear to be beyond the grasp of common sense problem-solving. That’s why.

Whenever we start to think a solution is beyond common sense we really should back up and return to the beginning of the problem-solving effort. It’s always good to have checks in place along the way, too, so you can properly guide solutions to fruition. Otherwise you risk your other-than-common sense solution causing an even bigger problem than you originally ignored common sense for (regarding the way to solve the dilemma).

If you think my choice of words here so far has arisen out of confusion and futility you would be mostly correct.

Like many of us, I regularly peruse LinkedIn. An article I found in its “Top News” section, Why you shouldn’t help your coworkers unless they ask particularly resonated with me regarding the amount of comments concerning the piece and also for perhaps the lack of common sense surrounding the new research conducted that helped the author arrive at this pronouncement of a headline.

Basically, the gist of the article concerns the study’s findings that you should not offer assistance to a co-worker unless they ask for it. Offering unsolicited help is considered proactive while offering help that is asked for is considered reactive.

Some of the comments on the pro side of the helper equation are that some people are just natural helpers and like helping when they see a need for it–whether or not the assistance is requested. But the study’s findings suggest someone who offers unsolicited help is not as good for the overall work environment as the helper that only ponies up assistance when asked for.

The best thing a natural-born helper can do evidently is to just do their own job and only assist co-workers when said co-workers reach out to them for help. To assist in an unsolicited capacity is to contribute to a less productive work environment.

If read by someone with common sense in short supply, this last sentence above would have had to have originated as the result of a study finding. After all, who doesn’t want to offer help at any cost (and who cares whether or not it is perceived as obnoxious and unnecessary on the part of the person receiving it)?

When did common sense go out of vogue? Did it just happen and I failed to take notice? I was a little suspicious when self-help and $99 workshops on the benefits of closing your eyes periodically seemingly exploded in popularity on the business scene.

I should have known these precursors to the boon that are research studies signified common sense’s flight to the endangered species list.


Walking for fun, adventure and exercise

Part of my morning routine now consists of walking two dogs.

One is familiar with walks and enjoys them.

The other is new to walks and enjoys them.

What does that tell you?

Part of the answer has to be that if you are fortunate enough to have use of your lower extremities, then you should take walks because you will most likely enjoy them. And if you’re like me and walk two or more dogs, avoiding being sacked by them a la Khalil Mack is just part of the fun.

I don’t think anything beats running for cardiovascular conditioning and leg strength. Combined with weight training on off running days, you can maintain some semblance of good overall fitness.

Walking daily, though, should be a part of your routine no matter what you do for a work out.

Taking a walk with two dogs is actually part of my workout routine now.

There is a tendency for the one dog who is still learning the walking discipline to find herself entwined with her big brother by virtue of tangled leashes. This entanglement is entirely my fault, too, as while I try to stay on top of and anticipate her every move, she ultimately fakes right and goes left–winding up on the other side of her brother in a tangle.

The drop in temperatures this morning forced me to bring my A game on our walk, too. I think it was the temperature drop, or possibly the upcoming New England Patriots vs. Chicago Bears football game that may have been responsible for the quick pace and keystone cop antics for all concerned.

There was the sudden stop to look back at nothing.

Then there was the sudden urge to leap to the head of the group a la Rudolph and Santa’s sleigh.

Then there was the incessant sniffing. Sniff, sniff, sniff. It’s enough sometimes that I want to get down on the ground and take a sniff myself at what it is they think is so good they can’t seem to break away until after a few minutes of becoming one with the scent.

One of the ways I’ve tried to keep things moving on a walk is to be as dexterous as possible when it comes to changing which hands the leashes are in; if I can do this on the fly as it were, I’m able to keep the tangles to a minimum (although it was pretty comical when the little girl decided it would be Jordan Howard-esque to plow head first through a fallen tree branch before snaring it on the back of her harness and causing a flurry of spastic, exuberant jumping and running with the branch stuck in her harness).

My leash changing on the fly abilities are somewhat compromised when I wear gloves like I had on this morning. But, I take them off for a while when I want to keep us all walking for a decent stretch so I can slip leash handles from hand to hand and back and forth.

There is also adventure on our walks. We saw a coyote on the other side of the street. We stopped to stare. The dogs were ready to charge, but I managed to have firm grips on both their leashes. Good thing, too, as the coyote didn’t flinch. After what seemed like an interminably long 30 seconds, we walked off and so did the coyote.

Will Tom Brady manage to escape the clutches of Khalil Mack? Or will he become entangled at the legs and feet of the offensive lineman entrusted with keeping him upright?

Me thinks he will become entangled at least once. Me also thinks if he’s in Mack’s clutches, he will be going down to sniff the aromatic turf of Soldier Field on at least one occasion.

Your choice: Success, trillion dollars or living to be 5,000 years old?

In order to understand the trappings of life, you have to keep living.

You might not make it to understanding any of it, but if you don’t take at least some care of yourself and die before your time, you won’t ever know if it at all made any sense in the end.

Did I just say the reason to live is so you can figure out what it is you’re actually here for?

No. But I may have intimated at it.

Nobody ever figures out life completely. Knowing this doesn’t stop anyone from actually trying to be the first to do so, however.

It’s like the perfect chili–I know, I know… Skelley is comparing chili with something as complicated as life.

But life is pretty simple if at least in the relative beginning of yours, you can sort through what’s truly important (to you) and what isn’t. I wasn’t always able to do so as some of what I thought was indispensable ended up being merely an illusion.

Additionally, some of the things I thought were important early on in my life are nowhere to be found regarding what’s going on now. Along the way, I also figured out that success is not about how much money you can accumulate before you’re 30 years of age. If I ever became a millionaire (sorry a million bucks will never be chump change and always a lot of money to me), I’d want to do so in my 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond as I figure I’ll need it most during these periods.

If lots of money at an early age signifies success, I’ve been completely and utterly unsuccessful. This is a kind of tough pill to swallow, but it does afford insight into my life perspective on money: It’s something I made just enough of to exchange for food, rent and clothing.

This kind of thinking can occur when an individual has spent more time behind them than what they have moving ahead. It’s a perspective all its own of sorts. And it’s the kind of introspective viewing that hopefully suggests less hustle and bustle and the comfort of life ahead in the slow(er) lane.

If you really want to be negative you can adopt the following take on life and be miserable to your dying days: Absolutely nothing is really important. Nor is success of consequence. And what anyone thinks of you shouldn’t be something that you give any thought to.

But you know what?

You can be the most confident person in the world and still require the affirmation of someone or somebody you respect and admire.

That is what I call the life method of scale. You can at least partially figure out where you stand in the world by soliciting feedback from folks.

A lot of employers offer the chance to do just this. But, as confident as I think I am, I remain unwilling to solicit others’ opinions of me; I cannot decide in free will to do so.

It’s like a celebrity agreeing to an interview in a magazine whose heyday has long since come and gone. And then finding out the writer has done a hit job on them. You know the celeb is bruised, battered, exhausted at the thought of someone else reading of their shortcomings. They insist it’s not about the story nor the money. But it’s always at least somewhat about both–truth be told.

What if you could control the exposure of such a critique? Would you be more inclined to ask for feedback at work from one of your peers if you can be assured the privacy and confidentiality of the people in the know regarding the feedback, is limited to just you, a fellow team member and perhaps the manager?

I believe people would be more inclined to receive this kind of feedback. Perhaps I would too.

In the interim, the measure of my success and successes is who I have helped today and the nature of the assistance I’ve extended them.

You know you’re getting up in age when you go to bed relatively healthy and wake up injured.

You also know you’ve matured and grown wise when simply being helpful equates to success (in your eyes).

Picture the ability to live to 5,000 years of age as commonplace effective today.

Can you say you are proud of the number of situations, people, animals and other things you’ve helped to make better up to this point?

If not, you better get cracking. Life might not be so short.

Use Linux to avoid Win, Mac update nightmares

Apple and Microsoft always recommend having a recent backup before installing updates to its operating systems.

I recommend that too.

But I also suggest you refrain from updating to these latest upgrade behemoths until the bugs are fully worked out of them.

In the meantime you can use a version of Linux for all your computing needs. And who knows–you might end up liking it enough where it becomes the system you use most frequently.

Apple’s macOS Mojave and Microsoft’s Windows 10 October 2018 updates have been creating no small number of issues for users of both these systems.

As I’ve said on countless occasions, the bloatware that doubles for commercial operating systems these days is both complex and huge. Both of these factors can and do contribute to problems of varying degrees when users apply these upgrades to their systems.

Gone are the days when you could install OS upgrades and/or updates as soon as they were released and made available. Beta testing does not come close to fleshing out issues that can bring users’ systems to their knees–costing time and money when system updates go bad in a big way.

For better or worse, consumers are now beta testers. And since knowledge is power, knowing now there’s a pretty decent chance you will have issues installing the latest upgrade or update from Microsoft and Apple (than ever before), why would you chance it?

It’s like anything else, though. You want the latest and greatest!

I would suggest you can have both by just waiting a few weeks until these companies release the first update to their updates. Once the brave souls who unwittingly volunteer as beta testers have identified the scourges lurking that can plague any user’s system, then and only then can it be deemed largely safe enough to proceed with said bloatware updates yourself.

If you have to be on one of the latest and greatest operating systems in the interim, you can try Zorin OS. It’ll take a lot less time and you’ll be up and running in a fraction of the time it would take to install either Windows 10 or macOS Mojave from scratch.

The larger issue

Having made a recommendation for something you can try other than Apple or Microsoft OS solutions, I can now suggest to both Microsoft and Apple that they should be at least a little bit anxious over the state of their desktop computer operating systems moving forward.

We know Apple is a mobile phone and gadget company. If the Mac was once a shining light for the tech giant, its operating system was the crown jewel–simple, elegant and it just worked! We know the Mac has largely lost relevance in the Apple iUniverse. Accordingly, the quality of its OS has largely declined as the size and bloat has grown on every OS10.XX release. Features that fail to wow have superseded the importance of elegant, fluid design accompanying bulletproof up-time.

For Microsoft–the 20th century tech company that strives to succeed in a 21st century world, the future is predicated on Redmond’s stranglehold on the corporate sector continuing indefinitely. Windows 10 is running on everything that Windows 7 is not. The good thing is the business world does not consider what end users prefer using; the only consideration is for what works, is stable and affords the highest levels of cost-effective worker productivity.

We all get that high production equals big profit.

The larger issue for both Apple and Microsoft with respect to the desktop operating system environment, is what consumers will do.

Consumers have a choice. They want something that’s fast. And they want something they can rely upon to work almost all of the time.

Neither Apple or Microsoft is keeping up their end of the bargain here.

Reading the Sunday ‘phone’ and other cool thoughts

It’s been an alternative operating system kind of month and after reading the Sunday “phone”, I’ve come to the conclusion sometimes you have to try yet another Linux Debian computer operating system.

I was/am pretty happy with MX-17 on a 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

But the Pentium 4 I’m typing this on needed a little more oomph.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, one of my inspirations for locating and using different computer operating systems is Apple’s own macOS Mojave–which was released on Sept. 24th. With Mojave’s release Apple cut off users of Macs roughly older than six years (the 2010 Mac Pro with Metal-compatible GPU notwithstanding), from running the current OS release.

If you have a Mac, eventually you have to buy a new one (and probably sooner than you care to) if you want to continue running Apple’s latest and greatest OS (when Apple releases an operating system that won’t run on your machine).

We get it. Apple needs to make money and this is one of the ways they get consumers to buy new Macs.

But, that said, you don’t have to remain behind Apple’s walled garden if you don’t want to.

These kinds of standard operating practices for big business are part of the reason why I love antiX–my new favorite computer operating system for personal computers.

Without getting into too much of the stuff under the hood (it’s Sunday, after all, and too much technical detail is especially annoying), I’d just like to tell you how it “feels” to use.

I downloaded and burned the “Full” .iso image which came in at about 830 MB if my memory serves me. The full version of antiX has everything an everyday user could need–internet browser, office suite, etc. You can of course add programs like Chromium if you want another browser other than the included Firefox.

What the system has (instead of what it doesn’t) is the main reason I use antiX–it’s fast, really fast on old computers. In fact, I now recommend it over MX-17 which, while quick, is not as responsive as antiX on ancient kit.

antiX will run great on all PCs, though, not just older ones. It’s a testimony to the developers, who by doing away with all the unnecessary bloat that commercial operating systems like Windows and Apple perpetuate, demonstrate understanding for users’ need for speed when using less than currently-spec’d machines.

And this user is thoroughly satisfied with developer efforts on this front.

Sunday extra: Sport signs of the pending Apocalypse

As we enter into the best time of the year for sports fans, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few things that happened during September in the sports world that made me scratch my head.

The Vikings and Packers tied.

The Lions beat the Pats.

Tiger woods won again.

The Bears are in sole possession of first place in the NFC Central.

The Yankees set a record for most team home runs in a season and all they have to show for it is they get to play the A’s in a 1-game winner-take-all wildcard playoff.

There you have it.

Enjoy your Sunday.

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