Inaccurate Design

When Shit Doesn't Work

Sunday, 2 December 2012

My favourite Linux distribution is Arch Linux. The amount of customisability it offers is unprecedented, and it allows you to have full control over your entire system.

However, there is a downside. When my old laptop ran Arch, there were a few times when I turned on my laptop, needed to do something fairly quickly, and… ended up having to configure configuration files or something in order to get shit to work. It’s quite embarrassing when a mate gives you a USB key to copy something from, and you spend half an hour trying to mount it because it wasn’t unmounted on his Windows machine properly.

Another mate recently showed me his Raspberry Pi media centre. He was in the process of configuring XBMC to act in the way he wanted it to, in terms of both appearence and functionality. And I understand where he’s coming from - I used to have a MythTV media centre at home to act as my PVR. But I found there were some times where I just wanted to watch a movie, and there was a bug that prevented the file from seeking properly or a codec wasn’t installed or the backend database needed a restart or the TV tuner wouldn’t initialise properly…

There was a time when I took this in my stride. But I’ve come to realise that I have better things to do than screw around with things that don’t work, especially when I have other stuff I need to get done. I still enjoy mucking around with stuff, but I like having the option of it not being a requirement of completing work.

I found that what I really valued, was simplicitly. Even as a ‘techy’, there are times when I would just prefer things to work. My phone runs the stock standard Android ROM, not even rooted. My laptop runs Ubuntu. My media centre is a Western Digital WD Live player that plays every format under the sun. Sure, some of it isn’t as customisable as it used to be, but pretty much every single time it just works.