Today in the wee hours of the morning one of my newer roommates (Darklock) creeps downstairs and says he has what may seem to be a strange proposition for me. Keeping in mind this is the fellow who asked me how I'd respond if I was invited to participate in a threesome with him and his girlfriend, I cautiously proceed.

Well, it seems that a "spare" big, modern computer sent up here by one of this friends in the US for him to Ultima Online on has finally arrived. The only thing is that since it was sent, he's found employment and has purchased for his own use a computer superior to the one that's arrived. He has no use for it, but would be willing to sell it to me for a nominal fee. Say... $70 dollars?

Wow. I've been meaning to buy a new computer. This has more than six times the total storage (4 gigs) of my previous computer and it has a 20 speed CD-ROM! (I've never had a cd-rom before.) Now I can finally listen to my CDs!

I agree to the exchange, he comes down with the hardware and I disconnect a few things (really only the monitor) to hook up the new box and poke around in it. Well well well. Windows '98 and some flavour of NT. Inter-esting. He also provides me with a diskette of network drivers, which '98 intermittently does and does not feel like reading properly. Because they don't work, I can't hook it up to the house LAN to download other software to install. When I poke around it keeps trying to sneakily set me up for MSN-use and I freak out a bit. I resign myself to the notion that it'll probably be best if I wipe what's on it and start with a fresh installation, but this is not without a certain quantity of trepidation - the last time I manned a full install by myself was MS-DOS 6.22, back when it was new. I am aware that the requisite software for modern computering is circulating within my household and circle of friends, but I'm not too clear on where or who has them, so I decide to put the new toy aside for the time being and hook my jury-rigged (not by me) Linux box back up. Disaster strikes! in the bumping and jostling of wresting two computers on to the desktop, something has been bumped or jiggled or knocked the wrong way and I can't get my old box to boot up now! I get a series of very frightening (if beautiful) video card errors, make a couple of futile attempts to discern what it is inside the computer that is loose or has fallen out (only successful ultimately in freeing a large family of dustballs) and now I have two computers, neither of which I'm capable of hooking up to the LAN and working on.

So I'm writing this node from the firewall. This explains why I haven't been seen online for a couple of days (shortly after exclaiming, no doubt, "Holy crap, man, my roommate is selling me a new computer for $70!" (that's canadian dollars, lest I remind you, worth only slightly more than Monopoly money.) This is just one of a series of Faustian effects which I'm sure modern computing will render unto me to completely disrupt my life. I'll keep you posted.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...