I have a confession to make: I am a necrophiliac.
More specifically, a cyber-necrophiliac.
There is little in life that I love more than taking the corpse of an old, dust-filled, utterly dysfunctional computer and tearing it apart, seeing what it has, what makes it tick, and trying to breathe fresh life back into it. The sense of power, the rush, of pulling it apart putting it back together and seeing the previously-dark monitor flicker to life gives me a thrill that borders on the sexual.
Recently I found an outlet for my dark urges, a way to turn my perversity to a good cause. My friend Candy (whom I mentioned here) was grousing about her kids’s education. She’s pulled most of them out of the public schools and is home-schooling them. Several others in her church are doing the same, but are finding difficulties with a severe lack of usable computers.
A-ha! I sprang into action. I used some connections, browsed some used computer stores, and raided my own personal supply of spare parts. A couple weeks later (and maybe $75 out of pocket) I presented her with two computers (IBM P2-400, 128MB RAM, 4GB HD, 48X CD-ROM, floppy, network, 56K modem, sound, video and a Dell P3-550, 160MB RAM, 2GB HD, 16X DVD-ROM, Zip-100, sound, video, 56K/DSL modem, network), 2 monitors (15″ w/slight scratch, 17″ slightly dim), keyboards and mice (both used and in need of a good cleaning).
But I’ve allowed my perversion to corrupt my dear friend. I’ve turned her into a pimp to sate my unnatural urges. In exchange for these two computers, she presented me with three more corpses to ravish. Two are Compaqs, which are notoriously difficult to modify; the third is a custom-built one, with a AMD K6-300 and an AT keyboard.
She also managed to sate another of my cravings. She and her family treated me to dinner at TGI Friday’s. And damn, that burger was good… although it was a bit of a challenge to keep it down after her youngest boys ordered desserts: “cups of dirt.” Chocolate brownies and chocolate syrup, with Gummi Worms. At one point I looked up and both boys had rainbow-colored worms dangling out of their mouths. I was NEVER that young. Sheesh, all those stereotypes of little boys are SO true…
OK, breakfast has been digested. It’s time to go mess around with hardware. I WILL get at least one of these up and running, come hell or high water…
Update: One of the Compaqs (PII-350) is fully up and running and ready to go. Compaq #2 appears to have a fried motherboard, and the custom one seems to have an irregular floppy-drive attachment that I don’t have a cable for. I’m calling it quits for today.