Not quite there
I've decided tonight that technology is not quite there yet. It's still a bit of a pain, kludged together, and occasionally more trouble than it's worth. Maybe it's not the technology that's the problem, but rather the people who do a poor job of productizing it.
Tonight I was putting together a computer for a friend. A very fast, very advanced, very quiet computer for a very fast, very advanced, occasionally quiet man. All was going very well for the first hour or so of putting it together. The case I was using is designed to be quiet and so has all kinds of neat features like soft mounted hard drives, and slide in mounting rails for the optical drives. But the going together wasn't the problem, it was the getting it running.
Oh it turned on fine.. everything looked pretty good. and if I wanted to have a plain vanilla computer, things probably would have been great. But Nooooooo, I had to want a RAID array. That is (in this type of RAID) 2 hard drives that get the same thing read/written on them, so if one of the drives crashes you still have all your data. However, in order to install windows xp on such an array, I need to load drivers using, wait for it.... a floppy diskette. Yes, one of those small 3.5inch square plastic things that you, and I up until an hour ago, forgot about. So now I've got to get a floppy drive, which I haven't had in any computer of mine for about 5 years, to finish building a computer who's oldest component was released 3 months ago. That's just asinine, or at the very least, incredibly obtuse.
And it's not just PC's, you don't know the hell I went through last week trying to install Mac OS Tiger on my friend's laptop that refused to read the DVD. I had a pile of open computers and parts jerry rigged in piles that looked like something out of the game Mousetrap. And I plugged in my iPod shuffle the other day and it started blinking it's orange LED at me. How could it break??!! The things only got 4 buttons on it for christ's sake. I still haven't had the gumption to tackle that one.
Maybe all of this is my own fault by trying to keep on the technological forefront. I'm pretty sure CD walkmans don't break easily anymore, they're a known quantity, you get what you paid for. I guess the moral of the story, if there is one, is:
"If you want to be on the bleeding edge, every once in a while you're going to need a band-aid"
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