July 29, 2003

Autistic License

Filed under: Archives — mhoye @ 12:00 pm

Fatal server error:
could not open default font 'fixed'

If you know anything about computers, you know that not being
able to load a font is an outstanding reason for a catastrophic
failure. It’s nice that I can ssh into my laptop to try and fix it
and all but for crying out loud, what the hell happened to graceful
degradation or useful error messages? The damn thing just sits there
like a discount
and flickers its liquid crystals at me, presumably restarting
the X server over and over again. I was very briefly given a chance
to look at the error message before it asked me if I wanted to run the
configuration program again. The only thing that accomplished is that
it hasn’t asked again; now it just flickers at me. Sweet.

I’m filing this one in the same drawer as info pages, rpm and two thirds
of the available documentation, the drawer with “GNU’s Not Useable”
on the front in big red letters.

The G in “GNU” stands for GNU, you see. It’s recursive. If you’re the
kind of person that titters when you think about that, then you’re
almost certainly one of the people I’d like to slap in the shins
with a pipe right now.

My day’s improved after a bowl of pho – there’s a place in Chinatown,
the little area that we call a Chinatown here in Ottawa, at least,
called Thu Do, and if you’re looking for a good bowl of noodles and
meat, you should get on your horse and get out there. I made a deal with
Arlene a few years ago to never eat franchise food with her again, and
Thu Do was one of the main inspirations for it. For substantially less
than the cost of a MacDonald’s meal, you can get a bowl of noodles the
size of your head, a plate of greens to mix into it, and some iced tea
that they bring to your table just ’cause. In addition to tasting better
and being approximately a million times healthier, it’s also a hell of
a lot more civilized than eating greasy soyburgers out of wax paper.

Pulling out of a gas station on my way there I was pulled over by a
policeman, who pointed out to me that I’d forgotten to put my gas cap
back in. I didn’t even have to get out of the car, he did it for me. I
just had to wave hello, and thanks. I do like living in this city.

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