posted by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Jul 2006 21:26 UTC
IconPeople say I rant too much. I complain and complain, but never seem to really like anything. As I promised a few weeks ago, I will talk about things I love about computers. After explaining why I like to complain and rant, this column will solely deal with fluffy bunnies, green meadows, blue skies, and shiny, happy people. I promise.

I complain because I do not care about computers. That may seem like a weird statement to make for someone who "does stuff" at one of the more geeky websites of the web, but let me explain.

Just as Eugenia often explained in her articles as well as on her blog: computers are tools. They are not a destination; they are means to an end. That end can be anything; from planning routes, to writing essays for university. From archiving and watching photos, to watching my favourite TV show on DVD (again, and again, and again, and...). I do not care about the computer itself; what I care about are the things I can do with it. In other words, when painting your house, do you care about the paintbrush, or the end result?

Hence my reason to complain. When you see your computer as just a stupid tool in order to get stuff done, it makes sense to complain about it as if it is a tool. Just like people complain about the remote if it is running out of batteries, just like people blaming the carton when they spill milk, just like people complaining about the knife when they cannot get something cut.

At one point (to be exact, season 1, roughly 30 minutes into episode 3) Mason in Dead Like Me says that he thinks computers will take over the world; Rube protests, saying that computers will never get smarter than human beings. Rube's argument: "Yeah, when a computer loses it with a meter maid, or kills its self because it thinks it's too fat; then I will believe in artificial intelligence."

And I agree with him. Computers are simply not important enough to care about. That said, let's get to the fluffy bunnies I promised you.


I love how using a Mac looks so good when everybody else in class is using clunky Dells. I love how Linux is Free. I love how for every problem, there's a Windows application. I love BFS. I love Apple's Exposť. I love GNOME's 'less is more' attitude. I love how every pixel in KDE can be tweaked and adjusted. I love how Outlook 2003 and up have the perfect vertical preview pane. I love how Apple's Keynote includes all these stunning transitions. I love how Linux lets me configure everything. I love Tracker and Deskbar. I love SLED 10 for giving me fancy eye-candy and effects without impacting performance. I love how Spotlight can double as an application launcher. I love how Office 2007 uses one of the best GUIs I have ever seen. I love how...

Forget it. You see how boring this is, and how ridiculous it sounds? Let us alter the above a bit for everyday tools. Because that is what a computer is.

I love how my remote control for my Sony receiver lets me switch inputs. I love how my glass holds my juice so perfectly. I love how my paintbrush is painting my doors red so well. I love how the key to my car fits so well in its ignition. I love how my bike changes gears so effortlessly. I love how...

I agree the above may seem like a stretch. However, it is what all this comes down to. Computers are tools, means to an end. Nothing more, nothing less.

I believe I broke my promise.

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