I have a six year old daughter. She had begun to ask if she could sleep in the playroom/office. After some judicious questioning (checking to see if it was “monsters under the bed”), I figured out it was because she wanted to use the TV in there. She likes TV. There is no TV or cable hookup in her room: the “blue” room. The playroom/office is larger than her room, has a small tv/VHS combo unit and the cable connection, as well as our broadband hookup. After some serious conversations (including how she would NOT touch the firewall under any circumstances), I agreed to swap the two rooms. The blue room has a jack for both phone lines, and we had already run CAT5 to the blue room in order to connect her computer to the network. It would serve just as well as an office as the other, so we began the process of moving everything.
How is this geek related? Well you see, the playroom/office has a long dresser on top of which is a large shelf unit (made by my father-in-law.) That shelf unit houses a few books, mostly strategy guides, but the majority of its contents are computer parts, computer games boxes (without the games in them) and tapes for the backup server. There is no space in the new office for that stuff because I have my gerbils on the other long dresser. The shelf unit could be wall mounted. It has been in the past. but there isn’t really a good wall to put it on because of the double windows.
I find myself wondering how much of those spare computer parts we really need to keep: old hard drives, floppies, cables galore. Old machines, mostly 286s but there are probably a few 386s – hardly worth making into an IPCop even. The video cards are EISA, the sound cards are the original 16bit SoundBlasters. And to be honest, the reason most of that stuff got in those boxes was that they didn’t work well, and were replaced.
The blue room does have a walk-in closet that is not really being used. When my other daughter moved out, she took the important stuff, and left the clothes that didn’t fit, the broken bookbags, and the toys she didn’t play with (she was 14 at the time). Most of it can be thrown away, it just takes time to get in there and shovel it out. I suppose a bunch of that old hardware could live on the shelf in there, but SHOULD it? Should I continue to keep hardware that is truly obsolete? Then again, we have a TI99/4A with all the add-on components in storage as well. That is truly an antique, and probably worthy of museum-ship.
Geeks – are we all pack rats too?