As you may have heard, New England is in for a "nor'easter" this weekend. We've had plenty of warning - so it's impossible to find bread, milk or eggs at any store around here. Yes, that's the first thing we do when a storm is announced - make a run for those three items. I held myself back and didn't get the eggs this time, but I do have a quart of milk that I'll probably never drink - but I have it just in case ...
The other thing people make a run on when a storm is announced are show shovels. This happens every time there's a storm. It makes no sense here. We know it's going to snow every winter. I haven't seen a New England winter yet that there was absolutely NO snow. So everyone from 'around here' should know to have a shovel. You're eventually going to need it. There aren't that many people moving into the area on a regular basis. So why do so many people need shovels? Do they throw them out every spring? I just don't get that part.
Of course, I prepared a little differently (after getting bread and milk). I also went to my local used computer store to pick up some toys to keep me busy.
My Linux box was pieced together from spare parts leftover after fixing a friend's computers. There was something wrong with the mouse port. I was hoping to perhaps get another motherboard for it or something. I got the 'or something.' I ended up with a new/used computer instead. It came without a hard drive or CD-ROM, but I pulled those out of the other computer so it didn't matter. What was interesting was the difference in CPU and RAM. It was originally running on a Pentium 166 with 128MB of RAM (the old SIMMS). Now it's on a PIII with only 32MB of RAM (DIMMs). And it's running fine with the lesser RAM - perhaps because of the greater CPU. Granted, at some point I may take a trip to Microcenter and get a larger HD for it and bump the RAM up to at least 256, but for now it's fine just the way it is. And it was basically 'free' -- thrown in with the other computer I bought.
The other computer was originally intended to replace the Linux box. I'll be taking the Win03 upgrade test soon, so I thought it would be a good idea to put Server 03 on my spare computer and play with it while studying. When I was done, I was going to turn it back into a Linux box. Now I don't have to do that. (I can choose both!) I ended up with a large Toshiba server with a PIII processor and 256MB of RAM. It also came without a hard drive, but I had a spare 40GB from my 'real' computer (the one I use all the time) due to an upgrade of the 'data' drive. Yes - I always put two drives in a computer. The main drive (C Drive) holds the operating system and all the program files. The second drive holds the data. This serves two purposes. The first purpose is that if anything goes wrong with the OS or first hard drive, you can replace/reformat and you don't have to worry about the data. The second purpose is that if you start running out of room on your data drive, you can buy a new one and move just the data files. A very quick upgrade. And this left me with a spare 40GB hard drive for the 03 server.
Luckily I have a KVM switch. I can set up all three computers and use one keyboard, video monitor, and mouse to control all three. Of course I have to turn the dial to get to each one, but at least I don't have to have a server room in my living room to play with all these computers. And, small as it is, I found a use for the Linux box. Once I get the server up and running, I'll be putting a DHCP server on it. The Linux box is a DHCP client (gets its IP address from 'the network'). I can add in some of the routers I have and practice configuring quite a few things - and checking it with the two computers. Can you ping this? Can you telnet to that? So now I can set up the scenarios that will help me to study for the CIT exam too!
There's nothing like having your own lab environment to help make studying easier. It's a wonderful thing.
Posted by BlueWolf on February 12, 2006 03:19 PM