11’th January, 2010.
It was a dark day. I had never imagined for a slightest of moment, that I’d be attached so much to a “non-living entity”, the way I did. Well, for all practical purposes, a computer is just a electronic instrument, to repetitively do the most boring of things, while you(it’s master), would either be getting entertained, solving your professional problems, or communicating with your friends.
My PC, an old warhorse, skipped a beat, went down, and has never come back. But when I think about it, it does seem more than just a device. I even had a name for it, “tiger”.
The times and means by which I got to acquire tiger, are also seemingly not ordinary.
It was a non functional PC I had bought from a college classmate, he was looking to get rid of it, and sold it to me at like throwaway price.He was happy, so was I. When I came home from college, dad was looking to close office, and so naturally keen on scavenging whatever I could lay my hands on. There I saw 2 of the most beautiful looking CPU cabinets. They were minimalistic (unlike the ornate box, I had purchased).
So I took one of those boxes, and removed it’s low form celeron processor, and threw in RAM, and a P4, and additional hard disk from the one I had bought in college, and up came the rig : called tiger. It was satisfying from the very beginning. Customized with switches, locks at many levels. I took pride in having that PC.
But seriously, I was not aware of how many roles it was going to play in my life. The first OS I had installed on to it, was Fedora 8. Wasn’t too satisfied, and wanting to know the guts of my PC, I put gentoo on it. That lasted for a good 2 years, and one of the many artifacts of me doing this, that installation span to many places. I learnt a lot about linux by tinkering things on gentoo. Now, in fact, I cloned the root partition, tweaked some settings, and presto .. I had a USB Hard Disk, which I could connect on any PC, and have it like my Portable machine. Sort of like a laptop for the poor.
People say that PCs do not age gracefully, and the signs of age do not look nice on them (yea, there’s a better version in the market, from the day you pick one up). But this kid was like like old wine. The older it got, the better it became.
Those were the days, I made some LIRC hardware for tiger, added a creative audigy, with 5.1 speakers, tried to install mythtv onto it, put freaky levels of automation for things, added a TV capture card. When I got a laptop, for my other typical computer related tasks, tiger lost it’s keyboard, mouse, and was only operable with a remote control. Along the way, it also got a 22 inch LCD screen, and soon, a 32 inch screen. It was not just a media center that people used to go gaga over, It also did the following things, and in great style, I tell you:
- It used to automatically download new torrents via RSS feeds.
- Host my music collection, serve it via DAAP, for apple products, and via uPnP for Microsoft based devices at home.
- Host my Projects, and code, and what not.
- Store and share videos and photos.
- Record shows from TV, and provide me the watch and pause functionality on TV.
- Play FM radio for me.
- Stream music from the net. That’s also how i discovered last.fm
“you may have passed on, but your legacy and soul will continue to flourish, and scale newer heights, you rest in peace”