In the beginning...

I have had many computers. My first was a TI99 (the page is in French, but it is the best). That computer was great! I could make the screen turn green. And the games... Good times!

Next, my father got a TRS-80. He got this computer because he was afraid that I would come home one day and complain about, "the who-bah-jig on the flamgin rod stopped up the whole print queue today." HA! That was the computer that I learned to touch-type on. The word processor on that computer had no text wrap. So, all the "asdfg"s and "hjkl;"s that I typed became one giant line that just went on and on. That is the sum total of my use of that computer.

Then, we went Apple. We started with a IIgs, not even 3 months before the Mac came out. That computer was my introduction to modern computing. Next came the Macintosh SE. Much of high school was spent on that computer. My junior year we got the Performa PowerPC 6115CD. We got the Windows upgrade card. Believe it or not, almost everything I know about Windows comes from setting it up on that Mac. Then, my dad fell in love with the Color Classic. He says that when computers become antiques, this is the one that every collector will want. I used it for my first year in college. I had the 10baseT adaptor and everything (in fact, it's right here). Next came the first computer I purchased, and my first laptop. I got the PowerBook 520. It is still one of my favorites. The way the screen molded to the palm rests... Wish I still had that one. It was really the computer that started me down the road to geekdom. I hacked my way through many problems and began to learn what a computer was really capable of with that 520.

Honorable Mention

PowerBook Duo 2300c

This computer was known as the FrankenPuter because of the many other Duos that were sacrificed to keep it alive. It has finally gone to a better place. I always wanted to get BeOS (not the Be of old, but here's hoping!) on that beast but never did. That was my writing computer. Many a long, sleepless night was endured by ranting out my demons on that computer.

iMac 233 (512 MB of RAM) running GNU/Linux Debian Woody 1.0.x (testing) PowerPC

The iMac was a lark. I was working in computer retail and had the privilege of working in a store that was closing. They were getting rid of all the old crap that had accumulated in the tech shop. This iMac was sold to a coworker for $50. He had me fix it up (which I did for free) so that his mother-in-law could have a computer. She HATED it. So, I offered him $50 for it and the rest is history.

I loved this computer and I love Debian! (The apt system, the ease of installation, the simplicity of it all!) There is no better Linux than Debian (in my opinion, so flame on!). It died of A/V board failure. I am very sad to have lost it.

Power Macintosh G3 266 MiniTower (320 MB of RAM with the DVD card)

The MiniTower is responsible for my current life. (I mean it!) It was the first computer I put GNU/Linux on (RedHat 6.? for PPC). It is the first computer I ever saw running Mac OS X (the Beta version I got for $60). It held on all the way through Mac OS X 10.2.8. I guess all times I opened it up and swapped around hard disks and added then promptly removed pci cards finally took its toll on the poor thing. It got so buggy and unstable that I had to retired it.

Apple 15" G4 PowerBook (1.5 GHz 1024 MB RAM 80 GB hard disk)

This was the first new computer I've owned since the old Power Macintosh G3. It is now part of my entertainment center with an eyetv running on it.

Apple G3 PowerBook "101" (333 MHz 320 MB RAM 20 GB hard disk)

This computer actually caught fire in my lap. I banished it to the trash, but it was still a fun computer.

Built-by-Bill [tm pending] white-box AMD (1.3 GHz 256 MB DDR RAM)

This computer died one day. It decided to stop powering on. I kept the drives, but banished the rest of it to the trash.

Apple Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White) (400MHz 768 MB RAM)

I Run Mac OS X Server 10.4 headless on this computer. Mostly, I try out hair-brained schemes on this box, break it, fix it, then implement the fixed solutions on client servers. I am becoming a big fan of Mac OS X Server.

Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro (2.5 GHz Core Duo 2048 MB RAM 200 GB 7200 RPM hard disk)

I had Vmware Fusion running on this computer, with virtual Vista, XP, and Ubuntu (64 bit) machines. This computer made me feel like I could do anything. So much power! So much speed! And it was damn good looking!

I mostly ran Mac OS X 10.5 on this computer. With it's speed and Mac OS X's power, I really cut down the time I spent on the Linux boxes. Mac OS X can do just about everything I want.

IBM Thinkpad T42

This thing is running Ubuntu 7.10, because I haven't turned it on in a while to update it. I like Ubuntu.

So many more, that I don't care to continue listing them

The Way I Like Things


I am a freak for the "command line interface." I started out with bash (Jumping straight over tcsh. Flame to me). However, I have become a zsh convert. My philosophy can be summed up like this, I have a bum right wrist. Using a mouse physically hurts. So, I type whenever I can.

Window Manager:

In Debian GNU/Linux, I switch around a lot. I will call out FluxBox and Window Maker. I like them both and have a hard time choosing either for very long. Nothing against the "More is Better" approach of Gnome and KDE. I just don't like icons. The link from NeXT to WM makes me feel a little more "at home" in WM.


I am updating this page because my wife got a little ticked off that it hadn't been touched in 3 years.

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Norman Labfreak