punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Weekend Wrap-up: Housework, blowing up computers, and relatives having babies

I got a lot of housework done this weekend. I managed to get all the loads of laundry done, did some vacuuming, mowed the lawns, cleaned up the kitchen, and manage to fix up some of those old computers I had lying about.

In the future, I think I am going to put my tech stuff in a separate purple box, so readers know when to skip it if they are not interested.


One of them died (Mononoke, my previous printer server). I never knew the keyboard port, of all things, could short out and catch fire. But it did. I am not sure what happened, but when I took the box apart to try and salvage some parts, I noticed there were some loose metal things in them. I am not sure if they were the cause of the short, or the result of the small explosion. The explosion took out the motherboard (a proprietary Dell mobo), a NIC (right next to the port), and the keyboard plug attached to the port. When I plugged it in, there was the curl of white smoke, a "PAP!" and then gray smoke before I unplugged it. I salvaged wheat I could, marked them as "possibly bad" (hard drives, floppy, sound card, CD-ROM, etc.), and chucked the rest in the trash.

So I worked on an old 486 DX4 100mhz that my friend Nate had once given me. It was a computer he was fixing for someone, and they never picked it back up. I swear, that machine is old. I think it's from 1995, according to the BIOS. It's the oldest working box I have. I upgraded it to 32mb RAM, swapped the 504mb HD with a 1.2GB one, and played the "which ISA NIC works?" game. I got an old NE2000 card to work with Tomsrtbt (Linux on a floppy) and RedHat 9.0 (which told me *after* install that the box did not meet the specs required, what a waste of an hour that was!), but on OpenBSD, while it detected it, could not seem to read any input the card gave, and I kept getting "device timeout" with DHCP. I did manage to find another ISA NIC in the bottom of a box, an SMC something, and that worked.

"Install XFree86?" it asked on install. Hah! Yeah, I have run X on a P133, and it was so slow, I can't image it on this box. Gees, just to do a "make" on bash, it took 10 minutes (on a P166, it takes 40 seconds). No thank you. "/usr/ports/X11/kde/make all" would probably not stop compiling until my son's graduation.

In other news, we found out Christine's niece (Erica, from her oldest sister Debbie), is pregnant, so Christine is going to be a great aunt again! Christine's the youngest sibling of her mother's children, and so she has a lot of nieces around her age. Christine's been a great aunt at least 4 times that I know of, and she has many nieces and nephews. I have no siblings or parents, so I will never have a niece or nephew. The closest I could be "congratulated" on is my cousin Lisa's daughter Sydney, who was born last year. I don't know Lisa that well, I have only met her a few times in my life, and while each time was very pleasant, she and I don't really know each other. So I have to live vicariously through my wife's family.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000128.html
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