…and some days I’m the computer technician. I’m glad I worked a few years in IT and have a bit of a tinkering gene when it comes to computers. Quite some time ago, I bought a refurbished and rather powerful office desktop PC and taught myself how to turn it into a Linux server, so that Mrs Thomson and I had a central place to store all of our photos, videos and the like (including all my manuscripts, book covers, etc). Over the years, it’s pretty much just sat there, running happily along and making the files on it accessible via wifi or Ethernet to any other computer in the house, even to the point of streaming videos to our smart TV. Just under two years ago, it started to go wonky on me and I found that the additional 1 terabyte hard drive I’d installed was getting corrupted and was on its last legs. The main 500 gigabyte drive was still fine, but when I checked, it was five years old, which is pretty much the average lifespan of an HDD. So, with a heavy heart, I backed up all of the data one last time on an external HDD and pulled the two drives, replacing them with two drives of twice the capacity. Rebuilding the server was a fun weekend (not!), since I had to relearn how to install a Linux OS and configure it to work as a server with Windows clients.
Lately, the ancient box has been making noises that sound like a propeller engine with a gerbil problem. I spent the better part of a day taking it apart and removing the dust with much compressed air, checking each fan, since it was evident that one of the four was the problem. Sadly two of them are close together and by the time I found the faulty one, I’d gone through all four. Long story short, I took the little graphics card fan apart only to see that it was irredeemably broken, which meant either trying to track down a fan for a card that dates back to 2005 or replace the whole card, hopefully with a used one, since the server’s monitor only gets used during the maintenance cycles. Wouldn’t you know it, the local used parts store was fresh out of graphics cards, so a new one it had to be. By the time I’d put everything back together again, most of the day had gone by with no writing in sight, but the office is much, much quieter now, almost eerily so. Hopefully without the squeaking distraction, I’ll be able to catch up on Dunmoore’s third adventure.