Ubuntu Linux and Rediscovering My Technologized Past

After reading so much theory about postmodernism, computer identity, and cyberpunk over the past two weeks, I felt that it was necessary to pull out my PC and get to work with an OS on the border or further out in the frontier. Ubuntu isn’t exactly that, but it is as close as I can get with the limited time that I have to play while I am reading for my exams.

Installing Ubuntu Linux on my Intel Q6600 quad core CPU powered PC that I built last year was seamless, effortless, and a heck of a lot faster than Vista or Windows 7. I have been installing software and playing with apps since New Year’s Day, and I am tickled about the responsiveness of the PC compared to Windows 7. The computer reacts with a hair trigger. There aren’t those interminable delays and hesitations that I repeated dealt with on Vista and Windows 7. I still have much exploring to do with this new OS, but I can say that I am pleasantly surprised about how happy I feel using Ubuntu.

Eventually, I plan on building a cyberspace deck around a mini-ITX motherboard. Why would I want to do this? A simulacral creation of an imagined-science fiction-artifact? Technological cosplay? Technofetishism? I suppose it is all of those and none of those. I have a desire to connect on a more viceral, emotional, and tactile level those things (computer culture, online identity, programming for fun and profit, charting the data pathways, etc.) that I have been reading about and thinking about. I was immersed in this way of being back in the 1990s, but I drifted to other endeavors as time passed. Also, I didn’t have the imaginative framework provided by cyberpunk literature and culture to see what I was doing from that particularly skewed angle. I wasn’t being reflective at that time. I realize that I cannot recover the past, and I don’t want to. However, I do want to try to touch a memory of that past and unravel a neural thread that’s bound up somewhere deep in my brain. And I want to do it in beautiful HD, so here it goes.

Download a free copy of Ubuntu for yourself here.

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.