Switching Season Report, 2013 Edition

Every couple years I get the urge to peek out of my Apple-furnished hole and survey the landscape of alternative devices and operating systems. I call this urge switching season […] I figure that the least I can do when the urge to switch strikes me is to share what I’ve learned in the hopes that it saves other people some time.

via Alex Payne — Switching Season Report, 2013 Edition.

I have it exactly like Alex Payne – I’ve been living in the Apple-ecosystem for the last 3 years, and I am sorry to admit that the 2010 13” Macbook Pro is hands-down the best computer I have ever used. It’s fast (especially after having an SSD upgrade last summer), silent, portable, has great keyboard, and its software is boring like hell – it doesn’t crash and I don’t have to tinker with it to make wifi work after resuming from suspend. Despite all that, whenever I see a nice Thinkpad,1 I’m immediately browsing the best second-hand computer store in the world searching for a used X201 or X220 in good condition. It’s partly nostalgia, partly the love of XMonad, and to a small extent dislike of Apple.2 And every time it happens, I’m performing an analysis similar to the one Alex Payne did, arriving at mostly the same conclusions: Android sucks, Linux on the desktop mostly sucks, Windows is not considered due to it not being unix-based, and Apple sucks least on all fronts.

It’s all rather sad.

  1. A friend just recently bought a used X201 Tablet. He’s running Ubuntu on it and says everything’s fine and dandy. I love the way this machine looks.
  2. However, I am not pro-Dell, pro-HP or pro-Google either. All corporations are evil, it’s their duty.

I’m looking for good sci-fi recommendations

I’ve been wandering around the Internet looking for good, new sci-fi shows, and I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed with what’s out there. Canadians seems to be making some, with Continuum and Orphan Black, but I’m a bit disappointed with the storyline1 of the former, and not exactly convinced by the latter. I haven’t seen Fringe before and someone recommended it to me, so I watched one episode, but probably won’t watch any more – too much X-Files-like, except without Anderson or Duchovny. Where are proper sci-fi shows like BSG or Babylon-5?2

And how about books? Some time ago someone recommended “The Windup Girl” (was that you, @tTikitu?) and I enjoyed it, as well as “The City & The City”, but I didn’t find anything else that would resemble science-fiction.

Could you please recommend something, Internet? Just no military sci-fi, please.

  1. Once you watch Primer, any other sci-fi that involves time travel looks just silly.
  2. Which I never really liked, but respect nevertheless.

What communism did to Polish food

The 40 years of communism Poland endured battered its food. Communism did to the national cuisine what it did to so much else and reduced it to the lowest common denominator: uniform and bland stodge characterised by poor ingredients, low standards and low expectations.

via Poland: What communism did to Polish food | The Economist.

The “Eastern Approaches” blog writes about Polish food today, and the coming revival of Polish cuisine. I haven’t been living in Poland for the last 5 years, so I can’t confirm whether it’s true that the “generation of younger Poles is breathing new life into Polish food”, but I can confirm its blandness, and I’m sorry to say that there’s so much I miss about Poland, but Polish food isn’t one of those things.