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La Plagne

I’ve just come back from a week’s snowboarding in the French Alps. I used to mess around in the snow a fair bit (I lived near a resort for a while), but it had been 8 years since I’d last bolted my feet to a 163cm long piece of board.

Needless to say, a lot had changed - from binding angle theory and the board’s shape, to the age of the average boarder on the slopes (I was really glad to see so many people with grey hair!). But many things had also stayed the same. About this time last week, for example, I was massively relieved to find I could still turn a board down a slope without ending up in a terrible heap, and was soon back to my old form within just a few hours. Those old skills that had remained dormant for so long, were soon pulling me confidently down the slope at ever increasing speeds. And the end result was that I had a fantastic time - a brilliant week at high altitude, with beautiful weather, good food and not a computer in sight.

The thing with snowboarding is that you don’t get anywhere without pushing yourself and falling over at some point. Even if you are brilliant on a semi-steep descent, as soon as you take your board onto steeper terrain, your old problems come back to haunt you. Turning becomes difficult and speed starts to feel dangerous. The best way to overcome these problems is to tackle them head-on by being prepared to fall and make a fool of yourself. If you’re not prepared to fail, progress is much, much slower. And at the risk of making all this sound corny, I think the same could be said of Linux. It may not always succeed at what it does (I’m not going to mention Gnome 3.0), but without first experimenting and potentially failing, it would never progress at all.

Your comments


Nothing quite like being an over achiever, eh?

Wise Words

It's nice to see this sort of attitude, it really annoys me that people seem to live in a "microwave" world and expect everything to be done for them, rather than taking responsibility for themselves and putting a bit of effort in.
There was a post I saw, today, from a tech "journalist"/writer (for want of a better word) who had tried Linux and was moaning that he had to tweak it here and there to get it to do what Windows did for him. He seemed really whiney about this and missed the real point - you _can_ do that with Linux, which mean you can get it working how _you_ want it, rather than how MS have decided that you want it. Yes, it can be a bit of extra work, but so what - you're increasing your knowledge, and have the power to customise it yourself - I have to use Windows for work, and it's so frustrating as there's so many little things I miss from my Linux desktop that either aren't in Windows or don't work very well, but a lot of the time I can't do anything about it, unlike on my Linux desktop.
I didn't reply to his post as I didn't want to be seen as a "Windows hater" - he even said he was waiting for flames from Linux people - but it's been niggling at me all day, and this post has restored my faith in humanity. I think the two contrasting attitudes really show the quality, or lack thereof, of the two writers' personalities - well done Mr M!

Snow-boarding on a linux-penguin

Linux is a good backdrop to snow-boarding since penguins - Linux ones, like snow too! A long time ago I remember buying a toboggan for my son, after a year of snow four feet deep the previous year. We waited for some ten years before the snow returned and my son had given up and decided to do it on his PS3 console instead lol!

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