The 4P Diaries
Conceited Jerk's further descent into madness


    I have finally lost my mind.  In order to rekindle an interest in computers, I have eschewed the trappings of more contemporary machines and have returned to the genesis of my hobby: Radio Shack.  InterTan has permanently etched itself onto my soul.  No matter how many times I think I'm out, the Shack keeps pulling me back in...

Of course, it ain't Radio Shack anymore (not in Canada, anyways) and it hasn't really pulled me back in, per se.  No, I've gotten bored with computers these days.  Modern PCs have no charm, no character, no SOULNo "je ne sais quoi". They're all a bunch of generic boxes running the same Windows crap, doing the same Windows things.  MP3s? Bah.  DVDs? Yaawwwnnn. Bit Torrent? Boooorrrriiinnnggg! If it weren't for Unix (and to a lesser extent Linux), I think I would have stopped using computers altogether.  To me, a computer is a tool.  And as we all (should) know, a five dollar hammer will pound a nail into a board just as well as a fifty dollar hammer.  Having a gold pen won't improve your penmanship or writing style.  I've always said that "the mark of a true Power User is the ability to use ANY system to accomplish their needs".  To that end, I give you my experiment.

    Over the course of the summer (June 21st to September 22nd), I will use my newly acquired TRS-80 Model 4P exclusively.  Everything (productive) I'd normally do on my various systems will now be performed solely on my 4P.  Email, web browsing, news reading, accounting, etc, will all be done using the 4P.  Even web page design (although I used Mozilla to write this first update).  That's two-and-a-half months of green monochrome display and twin 5 1/2" disks, of null-modemming into a Unix box to access the 'net.  Of Unix maintenance via console.  Two-and-a-half months without MP3s or anything.  Man, this is gonna be interesting.

Why do it for an entire season? Well, truth told, I see it as a personal challenge.  I'd have no problems using the 4P exclusively for a week, maybe even two.  Two-and-a-half months, however, is a Herculean Task.  There are a LOT of things I won't really be able to do, such as Internet banking, secure transactions, etc, but I don't really NEED to do them, either.  I'll spend less time (and money) on eBay, less time looking for games + ROMs for my Amigas or game consoles,  and with all that time and money I'm (theoretically) going to save, I can do more things around the house.  Like paint.  Or replace the carpets.  Or build those gun towers.  Or even resurrect my freelance writing career.

I'm keeping a diary of my progress, entered into a spiral notepad for later entry into the 4P, then later uploaded here.  Note that coarse language will NOT be an issue, I'm going to keep it marginally clean for the kids at home.  So, without further ado, I bring you...

The Diaries

Week ending 06/26/2005:  This is where it all begins.  Mostly the preamble, bit of setting up.

Week ending 07/03/2005:  *nix problems, off to a rocky start...

Week ending 07/10/2005:  ...or perhaps a rocky NON-start...

From 07/11/05 until 08/18/05:  wrote a lot of things you'll probably never read!
From 08/19/05 until 02/19/06:  Six months later, the Diaries are updated!

From 02/20/06 until 02/26/06: RTFM: I can finally print!

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