09 January 2009

Beginning (mushy and cheesy, be warned)


This is a story of wanting. When kids go off to college, their folks normally give them computers to use for school stuff. I was no exception to that. However, perhaps due to the fact that this is a third world country we were living and continue to live in, if the normal american kid was bought a decent laptop, I was given a boring beige box which was, as I look at it now in our storage room, a monstrosity of a desktop.

Ok, before I become the incurable ingrate to those reading this post, I did appreciate that computer and Windows 98 that came with it. I doted on it with all my heart in fact as it was the first computer I had,  I was  free to do with exactly as whatever fancy hit me.

At 16, I started to become a computer loving nerd. The years that followed found me rummaging through piles of back issues of pcworld, pcmag, computer power user magazines at Book Sale stalls. That was one advantage of third world peeps: technology reaches us later than guys in US or Europe which means a 3 month old maximum pc mag would still be a good reference for what's up and about in the current market.

I remember picking up a copy of MacWorld along with Linux User and my all time fave, PC World. UP Diliman had switched to Linux when I entered the campus as a freshie and so an OS other than Windows is not as remote an idea to me as, let's say, Liechtenstein. In fact, OS's other than Windows have always intrigued me.

Thus, it when I flipped through the pages of MacWorld which touted all the glory that was OS X (still Tiger at that time), and saw the screenshots in between the article texts, the desire to get a feel of the Mac OS got lodged inside my unconscious, growing deep-seated with each passing year.

I was oggling at iBooks carried by my batch mates so much so that it didn't make any difference if I were actually drooling right there and then. Personally, I blame it all on the crescent-toothpaste-like blue globs that made up the buttons and scrolls, and Helvetica font.

Since then, I would regularly try out tons of Linux distros I got burned for me at the Computer Center. In fact, I'd developped a penchance on the Gnome environment over KDE as it resembled OS X better. I'd gotten as far as customizing my Gnome prefs to make my desktop imitate OS X simply because I didn't have enough moolah to burn for such an expensive iBook.

Then Apple moved to Intel and ditched the PPC architecture it held onto so stubbornly and so the chance of installing OS X on non-Apple Intel based hardware now held some promise.

In 2008, my dream of having a MacBook became possible—through a netbook, the MSI Wind

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