Big giant head


In Other News

Zoe's picked up a recessive gene from me: she seems to be a budding computer geek.

Just three years old, last week she mastered using a mouse. (A trackball, actually, but still...) We've got a couple of age-appropriate computer games for her (Yes, they make computer games for 3-year olds, and "age-appropriate" means they're heavy on the bunnies and Care Bear-type animation -- no Duke Nukem for the wee set just yet.) and she's hell on wheels playing them. It's really something to see, watching her troll that cursor across the screen, listening to and understanding the instructions Woozle Bunny or whatever saccharine character is giving her.

I'm torn when I see it. I'm damned proud of her for being so smart she can follow the games and so coordinated she can run the mouse, but it makes me uneasy to see how avidly she takes to it. I want her to have a bright future, you see, I don't want her huddled in a smokey office at 3:00 am, cursing at a defective CD-ROM drive.

I want better than that for her. Why doom her to my fate?


Thursday - April 15, 1999
Computer Chips

Hi there. I see you found the new place okay, so that's a good thing. How do you like it? I'm still settling in, but I think I like it here pretty good so far. You should probably update your bookmarks to point here instead of the old site, and all three of you who've added my email address to your address books should probably change that, too, to

I have to admit that I'm not feeling particularly inspired tonight, so I don't think this is going to be much of an entry. The thing is, I'm dead tired. I've had maybe four or five hours of sleep a night every night for about the past two weeks. That kind of thing was okayfine when I was a young buck but now that I'm getting to be an old fart, that dog just won't hunt. Why haven't I been sleeping?, you might be asking. Computers; the same situation I was ranting about the other night. Just about every spare minute I've had lately has been spent camped out up here in the office surrounded by components and manuals and tools and all other manner of assorted crap as I tried valiantly to succeed beyond my skills.

But finally, I think I can quote -- who was that, the Lone Ranger? -- and say "My work here is done." Beth's computer is up and running perfectly, and it only took buying and assembling yet another upgrade kit to make it happen. My computer is up and running, and it only took eight days to do it. The firewall is up and running, and it only took giving up on Beth's old system and using my old one to do it, which makes it probably one of the most steroidal firewalls out there. Beth's old system is dead with a fried motherboard, but its hard drive has been resurrected, and it only took me buying a used one off eBay to stumble across the solution, thus rendering the eBay drive superfluous. And the 486 lies forlorn and forgotten in the corner, but I'll be giving it to my brother to replace his 386 (yes, people are still using those), and it's only going to take one last round of installing Win95...and probably the now-unneeded eBay hard drive...and other software for it to be good to go.

I'm telling you, this computer geek thing is like potato chips for me: I can't muck up just one. And I'm still thinking of tackling Linux on the firewall, so there's a better than good chance that I'll screw up and knock myself offline again for another week...or month...when I do it. Someone, please: stop me before I kill again.

One final, too scary note... One of the cashiers at Fry's recognized me the other day. You know you've gone too far when that happens.


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins