I have gained the power to reanimate laptops - through Linux!! Mwahahaha.
I need to start with that, because I'm having so much fun with it. I recently finished the holiday circuit with my girlfriend - seeing all the family and getting and giving gifts. We kept our nose sprays close at hand, because neither of us wants covid again (we both still have effects from a previous infection). I ended up still getting sick - yay me! But I have tested three times and it ain't covid, which is nice. Just a minor sore throat and stuffy nose.
So while I've been resting, I got the idea to reanimate some laptops. I have been exploring linux on and off for at least several months now. I tried unsuccessfully to put it on my old macbook (2008 dinosaur), then on my Chromebook which worked a bit better. After that I kind of forgot about it, at least until both my older brother and my dad upgraded their laptops. Both of their old ones were getting really slow and clunky. They were both just sitting there, looking sad
So I watched some videos and learned the very basics of linux. I downloaded the Cinnamon edition of Mint onto a USB key and got to work.
It's awfully fun going into the BIOS settings on my computer. I'm sure the more computer literate around here don't think much of it, but it makes me feel like a hacker. I chose to boot from the USB, and tested it out. Wow! The laptop performed like new. Everything was zippy, and it came loaded with all the software I'd need - firefox, libre office for word processing and spreadsheets...and that's about all I need honestly
With my brother's permission, I backed up all the files on the laptop to google drive and to a separate USB stick. Then I installed linux so it's the only OS on the laptop now. Maybe I should have partitioned it so I still had windows as an option, but this is more of an experiment for me than anything.
I also kept messing around with our ancient Toshiba Portege R400. This beast was released in 2007. It has 80GB of storage, a 1.2Ghz processor, and 2GB of RAM. It’s actually what I am typing this entry on. I’m using Puppy Linux running off a USB.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with these laptops, now that they’re all up and running again. I don’t really want to risk selling one to someone only to have it go kerplunk and die on them. I am open to ideas here.
For now, I’m going to use my brother’s old laptop as my daily driver to see if it can do everything I need it do. Then I may install linux on my windows laptop, but keep it partitioned so I still have windows if I want it or need it for a certain project.
In terms of the rest of my life - it is going very well!
My job at the local non-profit is still going smoothly - I have a lot of research to read in the new year about donor acquisition and retention. I think working from the inside out, I can substantially increase the donations we receive each year. As of now, there are no targeted asks, giving campaigns, or anything of the sort. There are a lot of fundraising events. When it comes to raising money though, events are the most labour intensive option. Direct donations are much simpler to obtain, and they save time and resources for the cause.
I am still deciding what my big project for 2024 will be. I keep bouncing between starting a local repair cafe, or putting more effort into growing my welding business. The repair cafe could be done with lots of time and effort, and not much cash investment. The same could be said for my welding side-gig. I'm sure if I put more effort into advertising, I'd have more work coming my way. As of now, all I have is a Kijiji ad up. I've only gotten one job completed through that avenue. The rest of the folks just stopped responding after a little bit of back and forth.
Hmmm...am I overthinking this? Is this something that could be done simultaneously? I also don't want to overload myself. I do still have a full-time job, lots of other hobbies, and a girlfriend who annoyingly enjoys spending time with me
Either way, I know either option would force me out of my current comfort zone, and that’s what I need.
Financially, things are looking hot. In March of 2023 (when I started recording my net worth) I had $47,000 in assets. I now have $68,000 in assets. Not bad! I’m going to print off my bank statements and see just how much I earned this year, to get my savings rate. Well, at least my savings rate for the past nine months.
My mom managed to get some coupons to a local martial arts studio for a free week of classes. To me either jiu jitsu or muay thai kickboxing both sound like a lot of fun to me. Not that I have ever needed to physically defend myself. I am extremely agreeable, and have been in zero physical altercations. I think it’d help me to get more coordinated though. I don’t know how much classes cost there, but a free week is a free week!
The Search for Land: I need to see what the bank will be willing to pre-approve me for. I have $68,000 in assets, 60% of which is cash. I earn $55K a year, but it isn’t a permanent job which will change things. I’m not in any rush to buy, but I’m curious to see what I can actually purchase if I do see a good plot posted this year.
I’m not sure what other skills I want to level up this year...definitely welding is one. I think TIG practice on relatively funky metals (cast aluminum, cast iron, high carbon steel etc.) would help me stand out from the crowd of welders around town. Something exciting fabrication-wise is my old trade school now having a plasma table for rent. I don’t know the size of it yet, or the cutting ability, but I’m assuming it’s going to be a good size as the program caters to engineering and larger projects. I only found out by running into my one of my old instructors while I was out grocery shopping. Having access to a plasma table is super awesome, and will open a lot of paths forward for me with regard to fabricating.
Anyhoo, that is all I can think of at the moment. I’m looking to catching up with other journals, as I haven’t been on here in a bit. Happy new year everyone!