What is it about PCs?
OK, my project at the moment is still Kay's old PC. There is just something about old computers that compels me to modify them. Last night I was supposed to relax. I had spent the day staring at my console just wishing the day away. I wanted to go home, have a bath and snuggle on the sofa with Beany. Instead, at 21:00 I found myself re-wiring the PSU on Kay's computer to have a silent fan (it was a bit noisy) that glows green (it was the cheapest in the store, honest). Seriously, its like an illness. I also bumped the hard drive up to a 7200rpm 40GB hard drive that I found under the coffee table. The really sick thing? It relaxed me more than any bath.
The only real problem now is that I want to spend money on it. I've already bought it a network card, but that was only a fiver. It really needs another 256MB, or preferably 512MB of RAM. So next paycheque I'll be going on eBay looking for a new DIMM. But you see that's the slippery slope. I know that I could upgrade the processor for around £10. I know that I should have bought a gigabit network card and switch. I could water cool it. The list is literally endless. The point? I'm not sure. I know that at 64MB RAM the relatively nippy PIII is starved. I can hear the hard drive swapping like nobodies business. I know that giving it more ram will mean that it can actually do what I want it to... run JBoss and a decent database, but I also know that its noisy.
I'm used to having a silent office, and I've got to say that I like it that way. Even the noise of my firewire hard drive annoys me. I can definitely see myself turning the stupid thing into a glorified SAN and running a network cable (or worse wireless) into the basement - in fact I'll be surprised if I haven't done that by this evening.
Next there is the question of which OS to run. As I've already mentioned I'm more than a little obsessed with Ubuntu at the moment, but that's really a desktop Linux. Gentoo, or FreeBSD look like they should be my OS of choice, which means that even when I've got the hardware all pretty, I'm going to spend weeks messing with various distributions.
More than anything else, this experience has reminded me why I went Mac. I'm not saying I don't accessorise my Mac, I'm sure Beany would agree that my phone is little more than a glorified remote control for the thing, but getting the phone working with the Mac took 5 minutes, just as it should. Same with networking, software installation and day to day work. If I didn't have a Mac, I would spend all my time taking my computer to pieces and making it 'faster' rather than working with it and for that I'm eternally grateful.