Accepting the Geek In All of Us

We’ve spent a ridicu­lous amount of time late­ly geek­ing. Putting togeth­er parts from var­i­ous old PCs that came into our lives until we final­ly have a PC for each of the five mem­bers of our house­hold work­ing and talk­ing to the net­work. (And we owe huge thanks to rasilio for his help get­ting the net­work wiring down to the play­room.) Some of the PCs aren’t great, and they cer­tain­ly aren’t going to run the lat­est games (a major dis­ap­point­ment to the kids and Sam), but we’re work­ing on it, and hope­ful­ly, we’ll even­tu­al­ly have five nice PCs. Right now, we just have PCs for everyone 🙂

The fact that we’d need more than one PC in the house is yet anoth­er of those things that my fam­i­ly of ori­gin finds com­plete­ly ridicu­lous. In fact, my dad said, “Send those kids out­side to play!” Well, they do go out­side to play—a lot. (Although get­ting Rowan to go out and play is nev­er easy.) They have friends in the neigh­bor­hood. They spend plen­ty of time play­ing and study­ing in ways that have noth­ing to do with PCs. 

But we are all geeks when you get right down to it. And in my expe­ri­ence, true geeks can share just about any­thing up to and includ­ing tooth­brush­es bet­ter than they can share com­put­er access. We are also using a pro­gram called Time & Chaos to keep up with our cal­en­dars, con­tacts, and every­body’s to-do lists. We find that it works far bet­ter than any oth­er solu­tion we’d found in the past—but only if every­one can access T&C any time they need to do so. Of course, every­body wants to be able to check their email when­ev­er the urge hits, and there’s the all-impor­tant, “I just got­ta look up how much this Mag­ic card is worth now” and sim­i­lar needs for research on the web. And hon­est­ly, I like that they can go look up the cur­rent exchange rate from dol­lars to Euros, or the ety­mol­o­gy of “grin” or a map show­ing where Tim­buk­tu is any time they want to do it so. We have one home­schooled kid who is an absolute infor­ma­tion junkie, and thank­ful­ly the gen­er­al atti­tude is more and more com­mon to all three kids.

Any­way, we also have anoth­er machine that will be a file serv­er. It’s run­ning Red Hat Lin­ux. I’m impressed, as this machine con­stant­ly crashed while run­ning ANY ver­sion of Win­dows. It stays up for days and days run­ning Lin­ux, nev­er a blip. Of course, I’d always heard that, but I haven’t run my very own box in the past. The only time we’ve had any trou­ble is when the pow­er has blinked (and we found out the hard way that the UPS’s bat­ter­ies need to be replaced).

The plan is to use Sam­ba in place of a Win­dows NT pri­ma­ry domain con­troller. It’s work­ing, or at least it thinks it’s work­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it won’t talk to the rest of the PCs. I’ve read a godaw­ful num­ber of web pages, FAQs, and books and can’t find a clue as to what I’ve got con­fig­ured wrong. It’s very annoy­ing. I know, I should join one of the many many mail­ing lists or web-based forums devot­ed to Sam­ba and ask for help. I can’t get away from feel­ing stu­pid because I can’t sim­ply fig­ure it out. I real­ize that learn­ing to admin­is­ter a Lin­ux box involves a learn­ing curve, and I will have to get rid of my pre­con­cep­tions from being too long in a Win­dows world. It isn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly easy, though—I don’t like fail­ure or feel­ing stupid.

Cur­rent Mood: 😡annoyed
Cur­rent Music: Pud­dle Dive by Ani Difranco
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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