Division of labour is a key part of any relationship. Some things one does jointly, like keeping the house tidy. Other things one does apart – so Mark tends to do the cooking and house maintenance, and I do the computers and the computer network.
Sources of conflict arise from trying to do what the other does best. While I do cook and things, cooking is clearly Mark’s domain. He has the last word, and I nod along and do what he says. Computers and the computer network is my little fiefdom, and generally it’s how I want it. Even when it comes to what is technically his computer, the Mac.
Yesterday when I came home he didn’t tell me he had screwed up his Mac. As I can piece together what happened: he wanted to do a clean install of his Windows partition, so he loaded Linux from a USB to get access to the best partition manager in the world – GParted. Except, instead of formatting his Windows, he REMOVED his partitions. All of his partitions.
For those of you not versed in the tech vernacular, a partition is a piece, a segment, of a physical hard-disk that pretends it’s a separate hard-disk. That way you can split a huge HDD into several parts that will look like separate HDDs to the underlying system. One can put Windows on one partition, Max OS X on another, and so on. The system will treat them as different HDDs and boot from one, depending on what one wants. One manages partition with a partition manager software, of which GParted is the best I’ve come across. To work on that level, I have a USB drive with a Linux install that I just boot up. Which Mark unfortunately knows about…
Now the Mac can easily accomodate two operating systems with Bootcamp or Parallels. But we haven’t done it that way, because I got my hands a little dirtier. I put the windows install on a separate partition. Mostly because that’s how I’m used to doing things in the Windows and Linux world.
Then again, and Mac-users won’t like this, the Linux and the Mac world is awfully blurred. There is a concept called POSIX-compliance. Operating systems that are POSIX-compliant are Unix certified. Any operating system which is POSIX-compliant is a Unix-clone. Max OS X is officially so. Apple have paid for certification. Linux is unofficially POSIX-compliant in that they follow the standards, but the Linux offerings can’t afford the hefty fees for certification. So, when I get under the hood of both the Mac and Linux, an awful lot is the same.
Apple is one of the most closed environments imaginable, in that one needs Apple’s permission to do anything with the operating system. However, sometimes I suspect that maybe porting Linux software over to the Mac wouldn’t be an insurmountable problem considering both are Unix-clones. That said, I’m not a programmer, so I may be utterly up a tree about this. People do seem to have problems making Mac ports of software.
Anyway, I sat until around midnight fixing Mark’s foray into the computer world. For most things he’s all right doing so, and he can do whatever he wants with his own computer as long as he doesn’t damage the network I’ve carefully built. And I’d be grateful if he didn’t screw up his Mac, because he’ll be all doe-eyed and ask me to fix it. And I could never refuse him when he’s all doe-eyed and huggy. I can’t even be properly agry with him.
He has promised to cook me an excellent dinner this weekend in thanks. The whole ‘waking up feeling like a zombie because I had to fix his shit’ says I want a bloody feast, and a bloody good snog, as a reward. Now, it’s finally weekend, and I’m going to go home, and I’m going to sleep for two days. I’ll have to schedule all that in between.