Last week, work was getting rid of some surplus PCs, and I ended up with three. They're actually pretty reasonable boxes, for doing, um, stuff with. At one point, one of my coworkers asked me why I needed three more computers. I was a little flummoxed by the question. Why would I turn down three machines?
So, I hauled everything home, and proceeded to scrub commercial OSes off of them, as you'd expect. I tried installing different versions of Fedora, but didn't have much luck with that, as it seemed like all I had in hand were pre-release versions of 8 and 9. You'd think that somewhere, I'd have a stable version of 8. Instead, I ended up installing Ubuntu 7.10, which I'm not really familiar with, but seems similar enough for my purposes.
Along the way, I did discover that I was hurting for ethernet connections. Now, I know I don't intend to keep all (any?) of these machines in the living room, but still, I might benefit from having an additional plug available there. So, off I went to Staples, to pick up a 8 port hub/switch, and some new CAT5 cables. The woman at the counter asked "so, what are you going to do with all this?". Er... "I'm setting up a home network." I'm not sure what other answer I could have given. "I really want to make muffins." "All the better to download dirty pictures." "The same thing we do every night, Pinky."
As she finished ringing me up, she assured me that if I needed help, they've got people that could provide assistance, "but you don't look like the kind of person that would need it". Um, thanks? Do I telegraph my geekiness that clearly? Or my renaissance-man competence across all endeavors? Or was I wearing my shirt saying "there are 0x713A kinds of people in the world, and I've got SQL tables with bayesian parameters describing all of them"?