Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Different Kind of Gardening . . .

My Digital Garden (Averatec 3220 H1-01)
Lying beside it are some of my "tools": my new portable hard disk, my 256MB memory stick, and the little blue card reader that I use to transfer photos and videos from Mobileman II to my laptop.

My Digital Garden, Closed (Duh!)

I am currently focusing on three areas of study in my life: Theology, Japanese, and Gardening. However, my gardening for the year is over so I am thinking of substituting it with computer studies during the winter months. One might think that there is no reason for me to stop my study and research of gardening just because it is winter, and such a person would be absolutely right. But I really want to increase my knowledge of computers, so I am declaring my third subject to be a seasonal elective. I hereby declare my computer elective to be in season.

Besides my laptop is, in a sense, a digital garden. I use it to grow blogs, home movies, photo albums, emails, lesson plans and many other kinds of digital produce. I also try to keep it free of digital weeds like viruses, ad-ware, slack etc. And just as I favour organic methods in gardening, my desire is to favour freeware and open source, free and freely redistributable software. I don’t really understand all of those terms 100% but I’m trying.

Now, I really like my laptop, but just as I enjoy rearranging my furniture, I also enjoy rearranging my laptop's software and hardware. Here is my fourfold project with which I hope to begin my seasonal elective:

1: Back up my computer using my new 80GB portable hard drive and the Acronis True Image LE software that came with it. First, though, I need to figure out whether I want to partition my hard drive before doing so, and I need to figure out what is and isn’t possible using my portable HD. The instructions are all in Japanese. (It’s a Buffalo HD-PHGU2/UC in case anyone out there is feeling extremely helpful).

2: Disassemble my laptop and repair the power connector (fortunately I have found extremely detailed instructions on how to do so, complete with photos, on an Averatec owners’ forum).

3: Erase my entire hard drive and install Ubuntu (When my free Ubuntu installation CD arrives). I could, of course, take the more conservative approach of choosing to have Ubuntu's installer automatically resize my Windows partition and create an Ubuntu partition out of the free space. However, I can be an extreme person sometimes, like the time I chose to be homeless in Whitehorse, Yukon in January, and I like fresh starts.

4: Find the cheapest way to purchase a new battery (Averatec 3000 Series Product# SA2305017000), a 1GB memory card (DDR333, PC2700 SO-DIMM), and a new optical drive (the same Multi-Format DVD ± Burner as used in new Averatec 3200 series laptops, since my current one can’t burn DVDs).

If you, the reader, have anything wise to say to me regarding my fourfold plan, please do, before I do anything rash. In Engrish, “Ret’s gardening with me.”