I've decided to wait for my next trip to Chicago (May 1st) to try Dragon Naturally Speaking on my parents' desktop, since I need an oracle to tell me how it's supposed to act before I try to kludge it into working. (Or buy a Windows desktop. But I'm trying to avoid that.)
I've also decided that since my Dreamhost plan runs out this weekend and my "I'd like to learn to be a better sysadmin" desire has stalled for lack of Real Work To Do, I'm switching to either Slicehost or Linode and adminning my own virtual server. My skills in this department can be best described as "I can understand, learn, and carry out pre-programmed instructions in response to pre-programmed situations, but can't write the programs myself." Maybe an advanced beginner by Dreyfus standards.
This should be entertaining. (And a very good excuse for me to finally read through a stack of O'Reilly books I've been meaning to work on for... years.)
Another complication is that I'd also like to have a whonkin' big chunk of disk space for my backup git repositories. I'm still trying to find and portion out the files I actually want to keep - they're scattered in a bunch of redundant places, but when that's done, I'm making plans to move my digital life to VCS. Which can't be on Slicehost or Linode if I ever want to buy groceries again. Maybe I should keep Dreamhost for that. Or it might be cheaper to put those on NearlyFreeSpeech. I wonder what the best arrangement is - I think I'm going to need to poke some sysadmin friends and ask for help with calculations and drawing up a list of things to do and learn about.
Henry and I discovered that we both want to work through K&R. I told him that's for when my wrists get better, but it is on the horizon. More incentive for me to exercise and understand my body so I can use the computer again without getting hurt. Less computer use isn't the solution. Proper computer use is (...which, honestly, probably includes less computer use, at least compared to my occasional* "I just realized I have gone 20 hours without moving" marathons of hyperfocus).
*very occasional. Before things started hurting, though, I estimate I was on my laptop for an average of 12-14 hours a day.