Wednesday, August 30, 2006

it also turns out i've been speaking prose all this time

I got a new computer for my office. Since I'm pleased with the dual monitor setup I have now, I didn't spring for new monitors, although when I started thinking about it when I saw that a fellow-fellow had one of those the monitors that you can twist and use a portrait orientation (so that the screen is taller than wide) instead of the normal landscape orientation. I was telling the computer person about my envy while he was setting up my new machine. He said, "Like this?" and reached over to my monitor and showed that I could have been turning mine to portrait orientation all this time as well.

I always forget how long it takes to set up a new computer. I can't decide if the time thus spent today should be counted as "useful, necessary labor" or "procrastination." Given deadlines and the relatively modest marginal value of increased computing power to completing the work needed for those deadlines, it would take heroic powers of rationalization not to classify it as "procrastination." As it happens, I possess just such powers, and, here I go, off to make sure my new computer has proper configurations of programs I'm not sure I've actually ever used on my old computer.

My new machine is "dual core," a technology I pretend in conversation to grasp but in fact do not and it frightens me. The CPU listed under system properties is 3.60 GHz, or 3,600 MHz. The Commodore VIC-20 on which I got my start with computers was 1 MHz.


Lucy said...

Jeremy Freese, Superprocrastinator! That sounds like a pretty good superhero identity, actually. You could go around saving people when you should be working.

I suppose it should be Superrationaliser, but that doesn't sound as cool, and rationalising is just part of the procrastination process, anyway.

Anonymous said...

man, i don't know why you're so worried about procrastinating...think about it like this: i'm sure you procrastinated when you had your first computer and evidently did just fine (you're a tenured professor), but now with the speed of your new machine you can put things off 3,599 times longer than before! think of the possibilities! ;-)

Tom Bozzo said...

More importantly, even if it were technically possible to recompile some form of Stata to run on a VIC-20, factors beyond even the 3,600x CPU speed difference would ensure you wouldn't want to. The past is indeed another country.

(Though I've tried to keep my mother from recycling my old Atari 800 so I can play M.U.L.E. and Seven Cities of Gold every once in a while.)