The Law of Diminishing Electronic Returns

No matter how you look at it, despite a lot of energy spent on my part, today was a wasted day.

I set about trying to figure out how to upgrade an old Android tablet and get a writing program working on Linux. The results were mixed.

The Linux project actually went well, eventually, and then it didn’t. I finally figure out how to install WINE, which in classic Linux tradition stands for the tautological “WINE Is Not an Emulator” (This makes more sense when you realize that Linux is actually GNU/Linux and that GNU stands for “GNU is not Unix.)

WINE lets me run Windows programs on Linux. After some tinkering I got the writing program running. The problem is that although I could open a new project, I couldn’t open the old one. After much fiddling and restarting, I finally gave up and checked to see if things were working as they should on Windows.

They were, with no trouble at all, and that means I have to decide if I want to spend more energy on making things work or if I should just give up and try a different program.

This is representative of my only problem with Linux: although it’s free, it represents a new hobby. You have to decide you want to understand it and have to want to work with it. Even the easy to use distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint are great right up until something goes wrong and you have to learn how to learn how to fix it. For example, I started using it at work back in 2006 and liked it a lot. Then the school where I work got a new printer that wasn’t compatible with Linux. I never did manage to make things work and gave up on Linux for a while.

As for the tablet, once She Who Must Be Obeyed and I remembered the PIN (long story almost resulting in divorce, sort of) I was able to get things working. The trouble is, the plan to root it and install new software hit the snag that 1) the tablet is made by an obscure Indonesian manufacturer which means 2) most information about it is in Indonesian which means 3) I’m not sure what’s compatible with it.

At this point, I’m trying to decide if trashing it might not be more worthwhile than playing with it. I already have enough hobbies, Linux, for example.

On the other hand, if I’m just going to throw it out, I might as well see how badly I can ruin it before I do. That might be kind of fun.

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