A few days ago I added a Linux duel boot back to my laptop. This time I used Xubuntu which I also installed via a Windows installation file which also created a Windows uninstall to allow Xubuntu to fully clean up after itself if needed. I’m amazed at how much easier Xubuntu is to use over the standard Ubuntu, so outside of the hour or so that it took to install and download all the updates and to install 3 programs I am done tweaking. What I really like about Xubuntu is that it aims to be a more minimalist version of Linux which makes use of the Xfce desktop, which aims to be simple to use and have low computer resources overhead to the point of including more streamlined applications such as AbiWord as compared to the bloated OpenOffice standard. For the moment I am treating Xubuntu as my minimalist workhouse bootup as it has just what I need to focus upon getting work done as I lack the options to do otherwise. So it looks like I am on my way to my dream minimalist computer. Now I just need to get my data mess in order on my Windows partition so I might actually be able to go to Xubuntu only without bringing a cluttered mess over as baggage but only a neat and ordered system of data files.
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Celtic Christian has written 7 entries about this goal
Recently Facebook created a new option to create a list of your close friends to ensure that you do not miss “more important updates” from the people that you care about most. Instead why not just delete most of your fake friends so that only your close friends remain? Then Facebook will once again be truly useful once again and will not take as long to keep in touch with what matters. In many ways Todd is likely right about the best solution is to stay off of Facebook which his position now has even more merit than ever before as without a doubt Facebook has clearly started to decline. Quite honestly if it wasn’t for a private Facebook group being the main method of communication used to keep in touch with the others in the religious order that I belong I, I’m now at the point that I would seriously consider getting rid of Facebook. Now due to practical necessity it must be to minimalism Facebook by cutting the clutter of fake friends that create a time sink so I can get quickly in and quickly out.
Today I spend around 30 minutes on Facebook going through my friends list and once again and unfriending people that no longer add value to my time on Facebook as I went from having 86 Facebook friends to 65 Facebook friends. Just because I went to school with you or worked on a ministry team at a church years ago does not mean that it is worthwhile keeping up a “Facebook friendship” when we haven’t seen or talked with each other since we ceased to go to the same school or church. Just because we follow each other on Flickr and enjoy commenting on each other’s photography does not merit being Facebook friends. 2 of the 21 people that I removed are dead, one of which was a person that I barley knew who died earlier this year and the other person that I went to college with who died a few years ago. While we had fun together in college and at the Christian fellowship retreats, I also did not really keep in touch with them after college so even if they were still alive I would have dropped them and being dead does not give them a free pass either. Just like simply because we interact with each other on 43 Things that does not mean that we need to be together on Facebook. Quit honestly with 2 exception of the people that I originally meet on 43 Things, Facebook does not add value to our friendship and one of the people has since left 43 Things for the most part. In many ways I think 43 Things may add more value to authentic relationships as while I might not know what you look like or your real name, I am able to know your better as a person through your hopes, dreams and goals that people are more comfortable talking about under the shroud of 43 Things than they are with their real life friends on Facebook.
Overall while MarkDown has its value and uses the vast majority of my documents are fine in plain text files. I’m slowly making progress making the new text file system in a folder which will in time hopefully become my master document folder. I just need to keep it up with doing a little work for around 15 to 30 minutes a few times a week until I am finished as this is not a task that one can work for a long period straight without being in danger of giving up in frustration or going crazy.
Today around working on other things I converted some of my most important documents into markdown including my ordination papers which I given their very long length (around 40 pages single spaced) I do not want to lose my electronic copies of them. Beyond that I’m working with some temp folders on my desktop where I am converting copies of all of my files to plain text files or markdown tagged plain text files to allow me to radically reorganize and delete without risking any data loss. Then after I finish I will zip up the old system as is and move it to my large backup external hard drive and let the new one take over.
Yesterday my external backup drive failed on me, which to be quite honest I felt was a bit funny. I’ve been faithful in keeping regular backups of my computer data for over the past 10 years and during that time this has been the second time that my backup has failed. Never had to restore from my backup before but it is a good feeling when your computer is safe along with the Sky drive cloud backup is in safe hands with Microsoft (in the form of true crypt containers). So at that point a 5 year old 50g hard drive in a portable box is a don’t care as it served its time well as a data insurance policy. Just like I highly doubt anybody is upset when they move out of their house that they never got to use their fire insurance policy because their house did not burn down.
I was just reading some articles on Zen Habits that dealt with computers and it got me seriously considering and really wanting to create a minimalist computer experience for myself. Reading about the blogger’s changes to his computer streamlining got me thinking about what it would look like for me since not every change that he implemented would necessarily make sense for me to blindly follow. While it is subject to changes and further refinement here is what I want to accomplish with this goal:
- Convert all of my documents to plain text files and make plain text files my default document format.
- Clean up my Windows Desktop so it is completely empty of all files, folders and shortcuts.
- Purge, organize and sort my bookmarks on my computer
- Sort the My Documents folder, purge/archive the unneeded files and organize the rest
- Reevaluate the programs that I use and choose ones that are simple and lightweight (perfectible free and open source) as compared to bloated, complicated and slow
- Reevaluate my ongoing relationship with my computer and the Internet to better discern what is helping me accomplish what matters most vs what is dragging me down by distracting me away from more important things.
Celtic Christian has gotten 38 cheers on this goal.
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