This is one of those fables with the moral “don’t be greedy”.
A couple of weeks ago at college I spied a trolley loaded with books with the label “Take me!” The library was giving away old books to make space for new ones. There were plenty of interesting titles, ranging from basic PC repair to *NIX to programming. I collected a massive pile of books (If I could place them all on top of each other I think they would reach my waist).
I travel by public transport (I don’t own a car), so there was no way in hell I could take them all home at once. What’s more, I was working that evening and I had to take a bus to get there. I decided to take about half of them and I made arrangements with the instructors to leave the rest so I could take them the next day. It was a pain carting those books to work and back (especially since I normally return home around 10:30pm), but I managed it. The next day I took the rest directly home (thankfully I wasn’t working that day). No dramas.
Then on Monday I saw something else at college: free computers! They weren’t very good (AMD K6200 with 32MB RAM), but hey, they were free! There were only five of them and I didn’t want to miss out, so I decided to take two home at once. These were chunky: old-style AT desktop cases made from thick steel. Carrying them home was a nightmare. I had to take frequent breaks so that my arms could recover. I also had a heavy backpack.
I managed to get home with myself and the computers in one (or rather three) piece(s). My arms were almost numb. If I tried to raise my left hand to my face it would involuntarily shake. I could not straighten my left arm until two days ago. I can still feel a bit of muscle stretching when I do.
I still don’t know what I’m going to do with those computers. I don’t have any keyboards with AT connectors (I only have PS/2). I’ll have to give it some thought.
It’s funny what some people chuck out. A few months ago my mum found a perfectly working 63cm television set. Yesterday I was at my cousin’s house and I saw a computer monitor sitting on the side of the road. It was an old HP Pavilion 15in screen, and it was slightly damp since it had rained earlier in the day. I didn’t expect it to work, but I decided to pick it up anyway. Not knowing the frequencies of it, I decided to hook it up and boot with the PCLinuxOS Preview 8 liveCD and hope that it would be automatically be configured. Lo and behold, it was! KDE looked great running at 800×600 on it. I’ve been wanting to set my mum (who is essentially computer-illiterate) with a computer, but I didn’t have a monitor. This one will do fine.