Walk the mainboard

January 11, 2006 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

A while ago, someone at work asked me if I had an old mainboard to spare. He still had an old processor, and was looking for a compatible board to plug it in. As it happens, I had an old Intel mainboard lying around, that accepted Pentium MMX’s ( the successor to the Pentium Pro ), so I took it to work one day and presented it to my colleague. On his turn, he took it home, and tried it out, but decided not to use it, for reasons I cannot recall at this time. But all that really doesn’t matter, it just serves to explain why I currently have an old mainboard lying around on my desk. To be precise, I have an old cardboard box on my desk, which contains the mainboard. The cardboard box has got no lid and the mainboard sticks out, so anyone walking past can see this relic of bygone computing days.

A lot of people walk past my desk without even glancing at the mainboard.
Some people walk past, turn their eyes towards the board, and then continue on their path, often suppressing a faint smile.
Occasionaly however, there is also a type of person that actually stops at my desk, picks up the board and starts talking about it.

Now what we have here is probably one of the best categorizers of people ever.
The first group are the true managers : self absorbed and completely technically ignorant. Some of them aren’t even managers in function, just in essence.
The second group are the normal people : socially skilled men and all the members of the female species.
The third group is probably the most distinctive, they are known as ‘Geeks’, ‘Nerds’ or ‘Hackers’. And I don’t just mean the typical skinny, glasses wearing, 80’s hairstyle, slightly autistic Star-Trek convention visiting crowd – although you can never completely rule them out -, but the modern, trend-watching, grandma’s pc-installing, techno-music-loving, eternal adolescent-like youngish professionals.

A typical conversation about the board goes like this :
( geek stops at desk and takes the board ) “Hey, what’s this? Gee, an old mainboard. What type of CPU fits in here?”
“Pentium 200 MMX, but I overclocked it to 233 !”
“Wow, nice hacking ( laughter ).”
“Yeah, it was actually pretty modern for its time, it even has USB.”
“Well, I guess it’s still good for using it as a router or something.”
“Maybe even a file server.”
“Exactly ! But how about the memory?”
“I’ve got 64MB for it, that’s plenty for plain Linux, without an X-Window manager of course.”
“Indeed. Nice, nice, … ” ( puts the board back and walks away )

If you think about it, the mainboard actually fulfills a function similar to that of a dog, when walked by a girl. When spotted by a man, it’s the ideal topic to start a conversation about, and thereby identifying himself as :
A. interested in dogs and
B. looking for a partner.
Surprisingly enough, just the category of people the girl wanted to encounter.

So, if you’re a geek, and you are looking to come into contact with like-minded people living in your area, just get an old mainboard, attach it to a leash and pull it along, everywhere you go.
There you go, a surefire way of meeting the local bshell wizard on your block !

Just as long as you don’t expect to pick up any girls. Which is probably what you really wanted anyway. Erm…in that case…how about a Labrador?


Entry filed under: Command Line.

Try to be an alien Scary XP installation

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