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(Not) Trashing a config April 7, 2008

Posted by reverseengineer in Ramblings, Xandros.

I found it ridiculously easy to clean up an EeePC of all signs and vestiges of use. Of my use, anyway. Virginizing it is a snap.

Of course the main reason for this is also ridiculously easy to figure out: the SSD is so small there isn’t much to clean up. You don’t have the room and the luxury to be disorganized and messy.

And as an adjunct, to take it even further, the built-in storage area is so small that it would be a crime to be disorganized and messy as you usually are. In fact, it becomes incumbent upon you to make your mess elsewhere so it doesn’t inadvertently fill up. (God, you should see my 8gb SD card.) If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know the consequences of not monitoring the available space.

I’ve been fastidious with my file keeping, saving everything in the ‘My Documents’ folder, which I’ve populated with subfolders in the various flavors of my work. Everything is there. Doc files, stories-in-progress, nascent blog posts, pictures, downloads, screencaps, web page archives, the occasional short AVI file. (Yeah, yeah, I hear you; it didn’t prevent me from borking up the computer, but hey I tried!)

I was keeping it together because it was easy to backup everything to the SD card since it was a matter of dragging the My Docs folder to the card. So it follows that just deleting the thing would unload my personal stuff off the EeePC.

What kept me up was cleaning up the pref files for most of the apps I use, and cleaning up the bookmarks from both Firefox and Opera. Man, that was a chore. Apparently I’m not as organized saving bookmarks, which I discovered were all over the place. 

So why, you ask, don’t I just wipe it clean and reinstall the OS, do the F9 thing?

Because, as most of you veteran users know, it takes time and effort to get a laptop working just so. It’s a shame to trash a config. Getting the apps to keep the docs they produce in the proper folders automatically, saving preferences for looks and themes and backgrounds and keeping the look just right, adding the little apps that make life easy, taking out the ones that don’t – it’s like making a work of art, or creating and decorating an apartment, filling it with appliances and furniture and paintings on the wall so you can live in it comfortably.

Reinstalling the OS is like bulldozing down your house and leaving an empty lot in its place. I just wanted to peacefully vacate the house and let someone else live in it furnished to discover all the little conveniences I built in. Later, they can peel off the wallpaper and put something else in, or decide they didn’t like the living room furniture so they can put it in the trash bin and install something else. Later, if they want to bulldoze it after all, then they could, and that would be ok too.

But leaving it be is heaven-sent if the new occupants aren’t as into home decorating and design as I am, and would embrace the furnishings as if they were theirs. They would appreciate the modern conveniences I so painstakingly put in, all the little stuff I’ve collected, all the security features I set up. Or not. But it’s still a nice, happy, homey, comfortable, lived-in house with good memories.

So I cleaned out my junk and left the good stuff in, emptied the cabinets and the cupboards, replaced the sheets and all, and then cleaned, washed and mopped up. Now it’s ready for the new occupant.

Why am I doing this? Ah, that’s for another blog post. The next one. An important one too, I might add, since it involves eating crow and has implications for the future of this blog.

Got you wondering, haven’t I? Come back soon if you want to find out.




1. Art - April 8, 2008

Great. I can so hear you gasping for Air…

2. talkintech - April 8, 2008

Argh! giving up on your Eeep already? Reminds me of someone who got rid of his Eeep but went back to Eeet crawling…. lemme think… oh it was ME!

3. reverseengineer - April 8, 2008


4. nenyalorien/Lorie - May 9, 2008

This blog post sure read like a farewell to a well-loved former flame.

Why is it that we geeks treat our machines like lovers eh? 🙂

Love this blog. 🙂

Thanks for this!

5. nenyalorien/Lorie - May 9, 2008

wups wrong blog post heheh. 🙂

6. nenyalorien/Lorie - May 9, 2008

I finally read this piece I put in a wrong comment post on..

Really so sad that you had to let your eeePC go..

And I think that most true-blue computer lovers would really be averse to cleaning up a system, precisely because of the config.

It does take hours to set up a system the way you want it to run…

Wish I were the recipient of your eeePC though. 😀 Heheh!

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