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.
Posts created 4263

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