I am the person my family calls when something goes wrong with their computers. Well, that's not entirely true. I, both of my stepbrothers, and my husband get called whenever something goes wrong with Mom's computer and Tom can't immediately figure it out. And when something goes wrong with Dad's computer, he usually calls me down to tell me why he loves his Mac so much. Even though, if Paul didn't download so much junk to the computer, it would work much better.
I (and Angel, of course) am the person my dad calls when he can't get his e-mail, because we run the mail server that handles half his mail out of the Linux box downstairs. This started when his Comcast mail died, and now he complains when we take the server down for upgrades.
I administer a Linux server, and I do it through the shell interface instead of the GUI. Mostly because I never bothered to install a GUI on the thing, but also because it's much easier to just secure-shell in than to walk all the way downstairs. And after all, we have a Cat-5 cable drop up to the apartment and a wireless hub for a reason, right?
I know that running Linux mandates that I am a neophyte geek, since it's the most basic of *ix operating systems - or so everyone tells me. But it's better than running the old NT server that we only now got around to putting downstairs, which has been sitting here for ages.
Before Ryken left, there were three people living here (plus, off and on, Lily, but she didn't bring a computer so she doesn't count). Three people. And seven computers, counting the laptop. Eight if you consider the server on the ground floor. We're down to two people and five/six, now that Angel took the old server and Ryken's computer downstairs. Which is why I'm coiling power cables and network cords and filing things in baskets. We have space again.
I found a white envelope, bulky, and looked inside. MS-DOS 6.22, mouse, and CD-ROM drivers. I have a use for them; they supply the MS-DOS machine that Matt plays old DOS games on and I was trying to get connected to the network. Filed next to the box of old headphones and game pads, underneath the power-serpents, next to the basket with the yellow crossover cable, multiple network cards (you can come get yours, Dash; we don't need it) including a USB-adapter one that was on the old Compaq laptop until something ate its motherboard finally and it died.
We tried to resurrect it for a month, before giving up and putting it in the box with the two floppy-drive-less laptops that we bought at Computer Renaissance - they were $10 and came with cases. Nice laptop cases. The most fun, though, was swapping hard drives from laptop to laptop until we had DOS installed on them and could then transfer files via the crossover cable. Since they didn't have floppy drives. Also in that box is the other Compaq laptop, the one I tried to install Linux on, since it was too slow to run Windows without a walker or other support device. Worked, but then the floppy failed...so I opened it up, and accidentally shorted something out while cleaning the wad of hair our of the floppy drive. In the box it went. What are we saving them for? I don't know.
Does anyone want a Lexmark USB printer? It works great; we just got tired of the way it drank the $40 ink cartridges. Does colour or black and white. Now we have a Canon, with the individual ink tanks. I like it like that. It prints lovely photos when Michelly e-mails them from France.
We save everything, computer-wise, it seems. We finally got rid of the three old cases that were sitting around gathering dust - after stripping them of everything down to the screws. We still have video cards downstairs that
don't even fit in a modern motherboard.
Speaking of saving...I have more work to do. And the thought occurred to me that I'm going to get feedback on this from my friends reminding me of all the times when I've had hysterics because I got confused or didn't know something.