As my loyal readers know I have a problem with boredom. So in my latest quest to stave off boredom I’ve started something new, its called batteries not included. Basically I’m going to try my hand at a small hobby business. I’m going to buy all the toys I loved as a kid and see if I can find other like minded people to share them with. It will likely end up a failure but at least I’ll have a bunch of cool toys to play with. I’ve started buying inventory and I should see the first batch come in next week. So if you are looking to relive your childhood or are looking for a neat gift for a friend please check us out.
I watch quite a bit of anime and one of my favorite ones this season is a baseball one called Ace of the Diamond. One concept they stress over and over is the importance of a good battery. A battery is basically the combined effectiveness of pitcher and catcher. In the show they believe that it is important to pair the pitcher with the right catcher as the right catcher will be able to make the pitcher the best he can be. The whole is better than the sum of their parts.
I’ve wondered if this concept could be brought over to the working world. I’ve heard of the concept of pair programming and I’m thinking of something similar just for non-programmers. What if in teams you pair up people who you think we bring out the best versions of each other. I don’t know if this would work but I know for me personally I would much harder and I’m much more productive when working directly with other person. I suspect the effect would even be more pronounced if the relationship was formalized into a “battery”.
I can’t believe how much fun I had yesterday. Linux has come a long way since I really gave it a good try. Here is my current set up. I saw a Dell e4300 in my local PC parts store and knew I had to have it as I love the look and the build quality of it. Previously, I tried to start this experiment with a t60 Thinkpad but I just found it too bulky. So I bought a like new Dell Latitude e4300 off of Ebay for only $125. It only has a Core 2 Duo Processor but I know from my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro that once I added a SSD drive (for only $75) it would be more than fast enough (which it was).
The only bit of trouble I ran into was it ran really hot, which I’ve since learned is a problem with this model. But after a bit of tweaking its running like a champ. I did quite a bit of research and found that I had to use the GNOME desktop environment as not only were there tons of mods for it, it looks pretty decent out of the box. I’m a very design driven person, so I can’t use things that don’t look good. So I settled on Fedora, which I’m really happy with. I had previously only really seriously used Ubuntu and I found Fedora to be much better for me.
I burned a live CD and was able to install it with no problems whatsoever. It was refreshing to see an OS that installs so seamlessly (apart from OS X of course). I decided to dual boot the laptop with a copy of Windows 7 I had laying around as well and it didn’t install easily at all. Once I got Fedora installed I went about looking for apps and hacks to make it look a little bit better. I got alot of my inspiration from the lifehacker featured desktops category.
I ended up installing a bunch of things and I’m really happy with how it turned out. First I knew I wanted an OS X style dock so I looked around and found Docky which looks and works great. I then installed the Numix theme suite which is just gorgeous. Finally, I installed a bunch of GNOME extensions. The end result is something which I could find myself using on a daily basis (and I probably will). Now that I got it to a useable state, I want to learn more advanced things, especially how to effectively use the terminal.
So if you haven’t looked at Linux lately, you might want to give it a closer look.