Originally Published: Tuesday, 12 September 2000 Author: Brian Richardson
Published to: enhance_articles_hardware/Hardware Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

What Do You Want To Do Today

Do you not yet know the zen of hardware? Assume the Lotus123 position, chant your computer mantra (ROM ... ROM ... ROM ...) and study the wisdom of the ages.

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It was early in the morning. The rising sun cast the shadow of the mountain over the small village below. With determination, the disciple climbed the steep and rocky footpath to the top of the mountain. Questions burned in his mind ... questions that only the guru could answer.

The disciple wiped the sweat from his brow as he approached the hardware guru. The guru's diminutive size disguised his wisdom. But it was widely known that the guru was the authority on computer hardware, and the disciple must silence the burning question within. The guru's eyes followed the disciple as he approached.

"So", the guru said, "you have once again come to the mountain top for the wisdom?"

"Yes, master." he replied breathlessly.

"My son, you could have used IRC. We have DSL on the mountain."

"I know, master. But I had to see you in person. My question is too important ... the details too complicated."

The guru peered over his glasses at the robed youth. "Ahhhh, I understand. You are transparent, like an interlaced GIF89 icon on an e-commerce website. I know the nature of your confusion. You wish to build a LINUX system."

The stunned pupil stared at the old man. "How ..."

"It is simple my son. Many are confused by the penguin. Men say LINUX runs on any hardware, but then they discover the great memory hunger of the Gnome. Finding the balance in your hardware is difficult. But the nature of your question cannot be found until you answer mine. Do you know the question, my son?"

The pupil sat quiet for a moment. "No master, I do not. What is your question?"

"What do you want to do today?"

The pupil was shocked. "But master, those mimic the words of the evil from Redmond! How do they apply to my LINUX problem?"

The guru slowly stood. "My son, have you learned nothing. One system cannot be all things to all operating systems. Most store-bought computers are made for Microsoft Windows, so they may not do the penguin's bidding. A computer is a tool, and you must choose your tools wisely to master the art of computing. One does not use a nail-gun to hang a picture frame.

"My son, you never build a computer unless you know what you want it to do. A web server takes great memory and storage, but a graphics workstation requires a video card with much VRAM. Those who live by the shell can exist on a small system, while the man who must run Mandrake requires a Pentium CPU or greater. Do you wish to run a firewall, frag lam3rs, or just piss off Bill Gates? Choose your task, and the hardware will come to you like geeks to a booth-babe."

The guru returned to his seat as the pupil spoke. "Is it that simple, master?"

"Not always, my son. Remember that LINUX drivers do not exist for all hardware, so choose wisely. We are all connected by the web of the universe, sharing knowledge and experience ... become one with your search engine. Now Grasshopper, go with this new guidance and meditate on your problem."

The pupil began to stroll down the path, but was interrupted by the guru.

"Grasshopper, one more thing."

"Yes, master?"

"Take the elevator next time."

Brian Richardson contemplates the nature of spam. It's persistence across time must hold the key to the universe. It's persistence in his mailbox causes him to contemplate violence. Perhaps he should meditate more to discover inner peace.

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