So the old computer obsession that’s been lurking my entire life has come to the fore. I expanded my business to cover a second school, and it’s impressive what I’ve learned in just a few months about hardware, software and servers. This course really was worth doing.
It helps that the school staff are clueless, and don’t give a shit about the 25+ XP shitboxes with 512MB RAM and between 1.50 and 2 GHz CPUs. These computers are 13 years old, and I’ve advised them to start getting money to replace them, as they will not last forever. I am practicing the technique of simple, non-technical explanations. I junked three desktops, and put the DIMM RAM chips in the most used shitboxes. I threw some leftover 256MB DIMM RAM into the others. As in my last job, they are booting much faster, and are more responsive. Management are against using Linux on the shitboxes, as the educational software is all written for Windows. Lubuntu would be good on these.
I also cleaned up 16 laptops that were 6 years old, and had been sitting unused for 2 years. Four are junk – backlights or inverters are gone in the laptop monitors. I might take these myself to fix, then use them as servers or seedboxes for dank 80s anime. I’ve put them on trollies, so that they can be wheeled to a class and used.
It’s a shame that all this has been left unused. The teacher who maintained the PCs left years ago. So all these resources have been left to rot since 2011. They have a new principal in, who wanted to sort out the room. I did a big clean out, and found some crazy old shit:
- hundreds of floppy disks and documentation for software older than I am
- an Acorn cartridge for LOGO, from 1984
- a 5-pin DIN to PS/2 adaptor
- old modems, wireless network cards and cabling
I did discover one “weird old trick” to double my download and upload speed. I’d been getting a weak signal from my shitty router since I built my desktop. I eventually tracked it down to the crap wireless network card which I skimped on, and not interference or software issues. It was dropping packets, causing all kinds of lag, and forced me to actually learn some shit about computers. I salvaged a larger aerial off an old modem – and it instantly solved my problem.
On the modelling front, I bought an MG Ball, a HG Hygogg and an HG Acguy from 1999.jp. With shipping, and the weak Yen, it worked out at only €41. Which is for nothing. I will take Celica’s advice and buy some old 1/100 kits next time.
I also picked up a pyrography set dirt cheap, and customised a French folding knife for a friend’s birthday by burning a message into the wood handle. I also ground the blade to have a drop point. I got a bottle rack in a charity shop for a euro, and burned some stupid injokes for him so he can use it to store his homebrew.
I’ve also (somehow) managed to save money while living on government handouts and casual work. So life is pretty good. I realised my childhood dream of making a videogame too at a game jam event. Expect a mopeilitywod game in the future.