The Silly Season

Tomorrow marks the opening of the silly season here on Cape Cod. Already the roads are clogged, the grocery stores jammed, and all good year-rounders transition into a sullen mode of nocturnalism and native resentment.

The first rule is never, ever go to Hyannis on a rainy day. If the touristas can’t go to the beach, then they go to the mall. All transactions — parking stickers for the beach, clamming licenses, renewal of drivers licenses — must be completed by Memorial Day or bad things will happen.

The waterways are a parade of Fiberglas and exhaust. The water turns tepid and the red tide arrives. The beaches are clogged with sunburned whiners, giving rise to my favorite summertime entertainment, Beach Theater, in which one gets to watch children enact seaside dramas for the benefit of all. Swimming is a dodgy affair (see red tide) due to the toilet habits of said children. Fishing shuts down due to the nautical parade of people wearing too little clothing in boats with too big engines.

The good news is it lasts for eight weeks. Labor Day — once the saddest day of the year — is now my happiest. The bad news is my extended family, ex-roommates, and other people I am forced into jocular familiarity with due to circumstances beyond my control, all come knocking, ready to stir things up (“Wow, have you put on weight?”) and play in what my cousin has come to dub “Camp Alky-Smoky”; where everyone over-imbibes and begins to tell each other what they really think of each other.

When I was young the alarmists used to say that Cape Cod was on the road to overdeveloped ruin, soon to become a nightmare like Long Island. Guess what? It’s gone beyond that. It’s now a year round suburb of Boston and totaly over-romanticized as a summer destination. All the smart locals sold out years ago and moved to Nova Scotia. Those of us who remain just get grumpy and grind our teeth for two months.

So I post, an hour before driving to Hyannis on the Friday before the Fourth of July on a rainy morning. Pray for me.

Ubuntu Essentials, 2006 edition

Essentials, 2006 edition [dive into mark]

Mark Pilgrim’s (former Mac man, moved to Ubuntu on Lenovo Thinkpad) list of essential Ubuntu apps.

Naked Conversations: Why Support Matters

Naked Conversations: Why Support Matters
Shel Israel continues to confirm that customer support should be marketing driven and not regarded as just another cost of doing business:

“I go so far as to believe support should be a part of an enterprise marketing organization. It should not be treated as an ROI-depleting expense, but an opportunity to generate word-of-mouth marketing champions. For me this is an issue of emerging passion. In a world where companies and customers are having fewer and fewer face-to-face or voice-to-voice encounters, the imprint of the support line conversation is eclipsing the 30-second spot, the full-page ad and the ten city media tour in terms of perceptions and brand.”

Michael’s Thoughts: Sampson Kids, Powered by Lenovo

Michael’s Thoughts: Sampson Kids, Powered by Lenovo

Thanks to Michael Sampson at Foldera for the nice plug:

“My boys asked for a new Windows-based computer so they could run some of their Lego software. I had purchased a Mac Mini last year, but it’s the variant that doesn’t run Windows. So I rang my reseller (Michael Burry at TLC) and asked what he would suggest. Lenovo, said he.”

[full disclosure, I sit on Foldera’s advisory board and hold shares and options]

Job of the day

Response Source | Press Releases is advertising what could be the most unusual job ever.

[Tip o’the hat to Jim Forbes for the pointer]

Late to the party, but here I am — first post from a Linux box

Wow. It’s faster. It’s better looking and I like it.

Ubuntu rocks. This X41 is now a cooler machine. The question is what took me so long to get here.
Now to explore the wonders of wine and how to run Lotus Notes. If I crack that, the migration is underway. Otherwise I’ll be toting two laptops around.

Just in time for my presentation to the Lenovo OpenSource Committee!

I picked Ubuntu …

Installing now. I went with the full distro but was unable to get into the Gnome U/I, so now I’m on the “safe” install with the hopes I can use it to establish a permanent install on the harddrive. Ahh … that’s better. I don’t do command line interfaces anymore — BASHing my way through the thickets of Linux is an exercise and futility — but the GUI loader is much more friendly to wanna-be Linux geeks like myself.

This is fun. Nice to see a new OS.

Why Ubuntu? SuSE was a massive drag — it isn’t moron friendly and insisted on DHCP configuration or IP configs which didn’t yield success. That said, Dan Lyons at Forbes has been playing with SuSE 10.1 and is happy with it, which is why I went that path in the first place.

Why am I doing this to myself? I want to know what the OOTBE (out of the box experience) would be for an average user trying to mess with an alternative OS. That’s all. I can predict that the install will utterly strand me in terms of productivity given Lenovo’s allegiance to Lotus Notes (the skin disease of productivity applications) and Lotus SameTime — the crack  cocaine of Lenovo communications.

Unless someone knows of a Notes port to Linux …. which, given IBM’s pledge of allegiance to opensource, might not be so far fetched ….

Linux advice needed

I have a perfectly servicable X41 Thinkpad begging to be linuxed. The question is: which Linux? Ubuntu? Debian? Fedora? SuSE?

Please comment your thoughts. Also, can I do an install on top of an existing XP install or do I need to wipe the disk, fdisk and repartition, and start clean?


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