Family news and a new toy

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in over a week, but I was very busy. For you see, my fiancee is now my wife. We got married last weekend, or more accurately, we eloped. We were planning this huge wedding in the national park where we both work, but we couldn’t figure out the logistics (and the expense) of getting all my family there from California and getting all her family there from the Midwest and finding accommodations for them all. And we started thinking about all the people we wanted to invite, and all the people we had to invite, and soon it just became this huge fiasco. We knew that we would be miserable trying to have the wedding her parents wanted us to have, and we would piss off a good deal of people by having the wedding we wanted to have. So we decided to piss everybody off and save them the cost of airfare by jumping in the car, getting married in the county courthouse, and spending the weekend at a delightful bed and breakfast that we were almost too sad to leave.

wedding-bitstrips
(Artist’s conception of the wedding, courtesy of Bitstrips)

And there’s more news as well. When we got home from our rushed weekend honeymoon, I had a package waiting for me… my birthday present. Last month, I bought a cheapo computer off of eBay to tide us over until my wife (wow, it’s still so strange and so wonderful to call her “my wife”) got the new laptop she wanted. I got an amazing deal for just $100. I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 with 4 GB of RAM and a 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor. Even though it only had Intel GM45 graphics and didn’t come with a hard drive, it was still an incredible bargain. I had seen similar models go recently on eBay for twice this price.

thinkpad

I had been looking for a decent used Thinkpad for quite some time. For years, I had heard about how reliable and well-built the Thinkpad line was, from the IBM days onward, and all the features built in: the roll cage that protected the motherboard, the spill-proof full-travel keyboard, the built-in keyboard light, the hard-drive shock absorber, the ability to easily swap out the CD-ROM for a second hard drive, and then some. But they were business laptops and therefore considerably more expensive than ones designed for average schmoes. Which is why I was so excited to find a Thinkpad new enough to be a decent web browsing and emulator machine on eBay for such a decent price.

I put a Ubuntu install disk into the machine in order to test it. I was going to make sure that all the pieces worked before I went to all the trouble of getting  a hard drive for the thing, installing Windows 7, and tracking down all the dozens of driver files one needs to get a modern laptop running. But, as I was playing in Ubuntu, I discovered that it had detected all my hardware flawlessly (even the TrackPoint and the media buttons) and was running quite fast even from the CD. It was the most painless Linux experience I had ever had with any of my computers. So I decided to say “screw it” to Windows and install Ubuntu to the hard drive. It does just about everything a computer needs to do, it has most of the classic game emulators I like, and I didn’t want to download hundreds of megabytes of drivers, patches, and software updates in Windows just so I could use Microsoft Office or attempt to play some 3-D Windows games that probably wouldn’t run well in Intel graphics anyway.

So, in the future, I’m going to be writing about my new Thinkpad, discovering the joys of Linuxing on it, and continuing to work through the Atarimania 2600 ROM collection looking for unique and awesome games to turn into nostalgi-retro articles for this blog. But most of all, I will enjoy being married… to my wife. My nerdy and wonderful wife. So you may not hear from me for a while.

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