From 2 Windows XP machines to 3 Ubuntu machines

Around September last year I got a new work laptop – Lenovo T60.  IBM, for whom I work, gives one the choice of what OS to run on the desktop ie Windows or some Linux flavor. Oh and some people actually do run Macs also.  The Linux is either Red Hat, Fedora, OpenSuse or Ubuntu.  My choice was Ubuntu.

Getting Ubuntu installed and running with all I need to get my job done within IBM took about 40 minutes.  Inside IBM we have our own APT repositories with various layer packages that install the appropriate packages and applications to get everything up and going.

Now about 5 months later I have no regrets.  Having a working machine in about 30 seconds after boot is just great.  No more BSOD’s, viruses and/or trojans to really worry about and just a more stable and productive envirionment.

At home I also had Windows XP on some very old hardware that ran very slow.  Since my laptop experience was so good, I decided, what the hell, lets totally get rid of Windows.  Now my machine at home is also running Ubuntu and it is doing it so much faster than before.  In the mean time I got another desktop and this is runing Kubuntu

To be honest, I have not gotten used to Kubuntu so I do not know how long my second machine is going to run Kubuntu.  I just prefer Ubuntu and finding my way around it, is just so much easier.  And the fact that Dropbox does not work on Kubuntu is a real pain.  Oh and not being able to share my floders on Kubuntu with my Ubuntu machine is not great either.  To be honest I did not really try to find a solution for this yet so it is probaly only something stupid I did or did not do.

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Do we notice the world around us?

This is a story I received this morning via e-mail and I am quoting it verbatim.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

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