The bare essentials for a new computer--Windows XP Home, Service Packs 1 and 2, all the Windows Update hotfixes, MS Office, DirectX 9.0c, Norton Antivirus, Firefox, Thunderbird, AIM, and all appropriate hardware drivers--take up over eight gigabytes of hard drive space. None of the above are full installs, as I purposely culled the more space-intensive features that I will never use.
That's not all that much considering that I have a shiny new 120 gig hard drive, but geez, I remember wondering not too long ago how I'd ever fill up 6 gigs. And I'm possibly the only person I know who carefully trims his MP3 collection to stay under 3 gigs. (The limit used to be 1 gig, but I had to give up on that goal long ago.)
Also, my photo album no longer fits on a single CD, or comes even close. Ditto for my archive of all the things I've made since fifth grade, even if I put everything from before two years ago into zip files (maximum compression as always) and delete the executables for all the programs I've written.
DOS 7.0 still fits on a floppy.
Ahh...listening to ridiculous death metal and burning backup CDs of all my important data. What a strangely relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
Why yes, that is indeed why I've been posting all these useless entries. How did you guess?
It's been a strange summer. Summer usually goes by in a blink and a whistle, but this one took ages to get through. I've observed to several of my friends here that every time I come back it feels like I'm stuck in senior year of high school, like I'm rereading the last chapter of this particular book of my life over and over. It's not coincidence that I keep having nightmares about having to spend another semester in high school, sometimes as a teacher, sometimes as a student. I need to get this place behind me. I need to get NEHS and Hsinchu and Taiwan into my past, where they belong. And to do that, I need to stop finding excuses to come back here. If I do come back here, I need to get the hell out as soon as possible--visit friends, see my parents, and leave. No going to prom or graduation, no visiting school, none of this Groundhog Day bullshit.
I love Hsinchu, but I am done here. It welcomes me, but it has no place for me. I am American at heart. I have started a new life. I have to stop coming back to this place, where nothing ever seems to change.
On a less somber note, I kind of wish Dragonforce would shut up. Their guitar and drum work is mind-blowingly insane, but their lyrics sound like it was cribbed from Masters of the Universe fan poetry. Then again, I suppose every metal band has to scream something, lest someone think they're not metal enough (DEATH TO FALSE METAL RAAAAAAGH \m/ \m/). I particularly like the song mentioned in my "Current Music" box because half of it is guitar solos. And epic, hyperkinetic, showoffishly skillful guitar solos, at that--enough to impress someone like me, who had his eardrums nearly blown out by Metallica at an early age and has been fearful of screaming, mindless electric guitar music ever since. I listen to it quietly, as if it were a gentle Richard Clayderman Christmas special.