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Low tech

It’s hardly rocket science, but I have derived satisfaction this evening from changing the tire on my bicycle. It no longer goes wobble and bump — the sidewalls were tearing on the old tire — and my bike feels a good deal faster again. The previous tire lasted two years and several thousand km of touring and commuting.

I broke the work down into little steps: remove wheel from bike (quick release axle); remove old tire; put new tire on; reinsert inner tube; mount in frame. Between those steps I installed three different Free Software operating systems on a new laptop. My old Thinkpad is giving up the ghost — it overheats regularly when it’s warmer than 24 degrees or when I run any kind of compile on it — so it is time for a new one. Especially with the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit upcoming, and I want to be able to work while somewhere warm.

Somewhat to my surprise, OpenSolaris works best on the new machine; Kubuntu 8.10 (admittedly that’s an older version) is ok and FreeBSD 7.1 just doesn’t go. I gather that’s related to SATA DVD drives, and FreeBSD 8 snapshots don’t like the drive either. Unfortunately, this whole thing leads to a dilemma: given a nicely working new-ish bicycle and a nicely working new laptop, which do you choose? It’s not safe to code and cycle, kids (unless you’re riding something like this).

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