in Computers, General

And now I get to watch the stock report in Korean

The last ten years of my life have apparently been spent maximizing possession of cables. Ancient Mac SCSI cables, USB to mini USB, SATA, MIDI, serial to parallel (including a few LapLink cables), several Firewire variants, defunct mouse cables, joypad cables for game systems long obsolete, multiple Dreamcast A/V cables, at least a dozen transformer/DC converter/wall warts, various power bricks of the 1980s and 1990s.

Cables are expensive, I tell myself, but the Freudian implications are all too clear.

Two Hefty bags, full of nothing but goddamned cables, went to the curb this morning, and another must go. It was heart-wrenching, but it had to be done. At least one major piece of furniture in the new house will have no particular function, as it will not be containing cables anymore.

Even more unsettling (but perhaps ultimately liberating) is the realization that my most treasured possessions are information, not objects. Double-notched Commodore 64 disks, my canonical arcade ROM collection, my stageplays and teleplays, my contact database, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of my friends, pictures on the wall and of every play I?ve ever been in, my movies, the music of the Hungry Hungry Hippos: a finite, fixed incantation of zeros and ones. Since pi never repeats, it contains all possible finite sequences of digits; therefore every object of value in my life could be concatenated and archived by finding the corresponding digit sequence in pi that concatenates all the information from my life. Pi, with an extremely long (but finite) index or subscript, would serve as both an epitaph and a backup copy of my life.

The two objects that must travel with me as we transition into temporary housing: the laptop that I?m tapping on now, and my Montaya acoustic guitar. Everything else is negotiable.

The wife is in “breakfast mode”. To her, all tasks can be accomplished, simultaneously if need be, with sufficiency of willpower. I’m a tad worried about her, but she?s damned good at managing these sorts of things. She’s a listmaker, an organizer, a type-A problem solver. I bought her a teeny little laptop for telecommuting from Costa Mesa, and she carries it about like a teddy bear. For both of us, the move on Friday and Saturday will be tough (but finite). I’m a little more concerned about her finding a posse of friends from the isolation of temporary housing in SoCal — as much as she loves home decorating, she’s simply not stay-at-home material.

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  1. Um, I don’t know how to tell you this JOhn but, uh, Disks, and pictures, and stageplays, and such…uh those are objects. Maybe you SHOULDN’T leave just yet, we should go over a few things so you don’t embarrass yourself down south.

  2. I think they’re information. A screenplay is good or bad, regardless of the paper it’s printed on, and a picture of a picture is the same as a picture. Semantics perhaps.