As I am the only member of my family with a blog, I also happen to be the only member of my family that is called by every other member of my family to fix anything remotely resembling a computer. So it was that I found myself trying to install a brand new epson printer/scanner/fax/copier/card reader/coffee maker on my uncle’s 8 year old windows 98, 400 MHz PC. It seems that hardware manufacturers don’t spend too much time testing their windows 98 drivers these days, because after 2 hours I could get this thing to do everything EXCEPT print.
So I threw in the towel. I told my uncle I would build him a new system and set about spec’ing one out there on the spot. I won’t bore you with all the details, but for about $350 I was able to build a extremely useful home office machine. Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for a while, that’s amazing to me. That same $350 could buy a top of the line iPod, or a nice iPaq. But instead it bought a 2GHz dekstop with more storage than my uncle will ever use. And it will save me from having to wrestle with windows 98, because I’m going to use this as my excuse to get him moved the linux.