Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Serendipity

An eye injury that left me unable to stare at a monitor for more than a few seconds at a time got me a week off work. Paid, thanks to the German health system and laws. And while I couldn't read or play video games, I certainly could do some long-overdue cleaning and organising, starting with the computer room.

Out went some old SuSE 6.2 and 6.3 manuals, the NT4 library (and I'm still crying because I remember how much that cost), various useless and obsolete manuals and even a bit of equipment. A dead P100 and a dead 386 likewise went -- sans hard drives and memory -- into the bin a day before the new German law on "recycling" anything electrical or electronic went into effect. Cabling was to be re-done.

I pulled everything out. Three old machines (486DX2/66, P-166, P2-266) and the girlfriend's current computer which needed a new power supply last month are now on a KVM on one side of the room, with her computer hooked directly to a 17" monitor rather than the shared 15" CRT for the others. I also cleaned up the five primary machines on my side of the room, building a new monitor shelf to replace the crapola thing from Ikea. I now have a second 19" CRT connected that I picked up for €20.

She's directly connected to her lousy Lexmark USB printer. I'd planned to bring her into the network and have her use the shared printer but not everything is set up yet. So I went to have a look.

The printer's plugged in, the cable's dropped down to the computer. "I plugged it in already," she informed me, but the computer wasn't recognising any USB devices. A search for new hardware did nada. Then I pulled her computer back out to check...



Yes, she plugged the USB cable into the COM1 serial port. How she didn't short out the motherboard I'll never know.

No respite, even at home.

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