Computers are fun
I have at my disposal a small armada of computers.
Linuxbox is my home-based server. It runs Trustix Secure Linux on a Pentium II 233 with 96 MB of PC100 RAM. It serves as my development webserver and simple fileserver and is pretty locked down.
Frog is an Averatec 3270 notebook running Ubuntu Linux on a Sempr0n 2800+. It's a nice little thing named after my aunt, who died shortly before I bought it in May 2005. It compiles a 2.6 kernel in about 3.5 hours.
Vojistilo (pronounced voh-yeest-ee-loh) is a computer I assembed for the building and maintanance of Vojisto, a Linux-based router operating system for x86 computers with a specialized purpose of supporting flash party networks.
Rahab is the latest gaming machine. It dual-boots Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu Linux on an Athlon X2 6000+, 4 GB DDR2 800, and a Geforce 8800 GTX. It's connected to a Dell 2007WFP 20.1" flat panel that's freakin' sweet.
m8i (pronounced matey) runs Ubuntu Linux on an Sempron 2600+, 1 GB DDR400, and a Geforce 6200. It acted as a desktop for a few months when Hank's primary hard drive died and I was still getting Rahab together. Since then, it's become the computer I use for case reviews and operating system exploration.
Nasty is a QNAP TS-109 Pro Network-Attached Storage device. It runs NFS and Samba and stores backups for my desktops.
Tank is my Linksys WRT54G v2.0 wireless router running DD-WRT. It will eventually be installed into my car.
Link is my Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 wireless router running DD-WRT. It routes traffic at my apartment.
Foney is Linksys WRT54GS running DD-WRT. It routes traffic for my parents.
Susie is an Asus WL-500W that will eventually replace Link. At the time being, it is the print server at my apartment.
Herbals is currently used by my parents. It's running Windows® because of some crazy software my parents need for work, otherwise it would be running Ubuntu. It has an Athlon 2500+, 512 MB DDR333, and a Geforce FX 5200. It is always running Folding@Home.
Dartagnan was my first Windows-based computer. It was also one of the most expensive things for which I'd ever helped pay when I got it - I paid $300 - one-third of the total cost of the machine. It was a Compaq 5000T, but the only remaining parts are the processor and motherboard. Everything else has been replaced/upgraded. It's a P3 800 with 384 MB PC133 RAM and a Radeon 7500. It was also my first gaming computer - it played Half-Life, Battlefield 1942, and Mechwarrior 4 wonderfully.
Pearl is my old "Colin has too much money PC" that I started building in the summer of 2004. I didn't pay more than $200 for the entire box. I got the motherboard, case, keyboard, and power supply for $20, processor (Duron 1.6) for $45, RAM for $25, and hard drive for $50 - all after rebate or massive sale price. Pearl is currently on loan to a friend.
Sixhund is listed here just because I still have it, and that in itself is a feat. It's an Apple Macintosh Performa 600, made circa 1993. It's got a 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and 20 MB of RAM with a 150 MB SCSI hard drive. I haven't turned it on in about 3 years, but last time I did, it still greeted me with my old "Hello, Colin" sound file I recorded when I was 11 years old.
Performa, like Sixhund, is listed here because I still have it. It's an Apple Macintosh Performa 6320CD, one of the first Performas to have a CD-ROM drive built-in. It has a 120 MHz Motorla 603e PowerPC processor and 32 MB of RAM. It played Starcraft, Descent I & II, Warcraft I & II, and Escape Velocity perfectly.
No longer owned
Trebuchet was a Sager 5680-V which I bought as my "college computer" in September 2003. It ran Windows XP Pro (and Red Hat 9 for the first six months I had it) on a Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, 1 GB DDR400, and a Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo (think desktop Radeon 9700 with a slighly slower clock). I sold it to a band from Canton, OH in February 2006.
Hank was desktop running Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu Linux on an Athlon X2 4400+, 3 GB DDR400, and a Geforce 7800 GTX. It's connected to a Dell 2005FPW 20.1" flat panel that's freakin' sweet. It was sold to a friend in November 2007.
History of Me & Computers
From the time that I was 5 (1990) to 9 (1994), my mother would bring home from school (she's a teacher) her Apple ][e so that I could learn how to use it. In 1995, we went to visit my aunt in Austin. My aunt had an Apple Macintosh Performa 600. I fell in love. I played games on it for hours while we were down there.
A kid moved into my school for the 1995-1996 school year. His Dad was the head of a company that translated software into European languages. His Dad basically telecommuted to his office in Paris, so he had to have a connection to this thing called the "Internet." We played games like Rise of the Triad and Descent (favorite) and Quake online. I caught some hell from my mother when I signed up for a Hotmail account because she thought I had given out all of my personal information to somebody on the Internet. Haha, Microsoft.
In late 1996, my aunt bought a new computer - an Apple Macintosh Performa 6320CD and sent me her Performa 600. I finally had my own modern computer. I didn't do anything on it but type papers for school and play games such as Zork, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the older Sim* games that it could handle (SimFarm was my favorite). In 1998, my aunt needed another new machine, so she sent me her 6320CD.
It was on that 6320 that I began programming. I was drafted by my school's technology coordinator (one-man IT department) to do the school's website since I was "good with computers." I used a combination of Adobe Pagemill (I think) and raw coding through BBEdit. I eventually dove into PHP - my first language.
Shortly after Christmas of 1999, I finally convinced my parents to allow me to sign up for FreeI.net, a free ad-supported ISP. Glory! I had the Internet at home. Not long after, I found Freewwweb, yet another free/ad-supported ISP, but they didn't require you to have a banner up on the screen all the time like FreeI.net. SWITCH. I got into IRC, Slashdot, MUDs (Achaea, specifically - my character Magus is in the history of the world). I couldn't really play games that well because my connection speed was very crappy. I managed to play a couple rounds of Starcraft and Descent II, but that's really about it. Also at that point, I got AOL Instant Messenger. Life has never been the same since.
Freewwweb died in October of 2000. Guess their system didn't last :-p 2 months without the Internet was dangerous to me. I was addicted. I'd go over to a friend's house just to check my email and read Slashdot. On Black Friday, my mom and I bought a Compaq Presario. We needed a new machine - my 6320CD was getting too slow and she needed a Windows machine for work since her school was switching to Windows. Much to my chagrin, I chipped in $300. We got MSN with it - the 3 year contract in exchange for $400 off the price of the computer.
With that computer, I got into PHP even more and started doing things with Java. I avoided C and C++ because they looked hard (I regret this). I started doing my own websites and graphics stuff and playing games.
We traversed to Austin again in 2001 - this is when I had my first experience with Linux. A friend of mine, a GM on an Ultima Online shard I frequented, introduced me to Trustix Linux via telnet. Neat. I looked around for Linux distros and found one that didn't require that anything be overwritten - Phat Linux. It just needed to write about 300 MB to the disk and make a floppy that would boot it. Neat. I liked it. I loved GIMP (and have used it over Photoshop ever since).
In January of 2003, I went to my first LAN party. I was hooked.
I entered Westminster College in August of that year. In my first computer-oriented class, we learned Java. The following semester was more intense, insane Java. Then algorithms in Java. Last semester I completed a class on MIPS assembly and general processor architecture. Next year, I'll be doing C in my operating systems class because no one in my graduating class knows C (I'm probably the farthest along, and I can only write simple stuff).
From 2004-2006, I was on the development team to write/update the software that helps students connect to the school's network. I was head dev in 2005 and 2006. It was all in VB, though :[
At the moment, I'm knowledgeable in PHP, Java, HTML, CSS, XML, XSL, VisualBasic, SQL, and C. I enjoy tinkering with Scheme and Smalltalk, too. I can do Python and shell scripting at a little higher than beginner level.