We got up early on Sunday; about 6 AM. We had packed our VW Beetle to the roof the night before. Pam got on line without me (there wasn’t enough room for a passenger) in the long line of cars and trucks in the parking light as the sun began to rise. We got our usual spot, on the second floor of the parking garage, and Pam did most of the arranging of our ‘merchandise’. At 8:00 the market opened to the buyers. For awhile I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to sell our bulkiest items (a printer stand, 2 monitors, and the beige G3 PowerPC). Fortunately, we found new homes for all of them. My friend Andy got the printer stand, and a fellow from the Cape got the G3. The only things left over at the end of the day (or rather, 2 PM), were a lot of books, LPS, software CDs and some music CDs.
What else did I see at the flea?
- Two Tesla Coils
- The Enigma Guy, there again
- Tons of old CRT Monitors, but not a single small LCD Monitor, which we are in the market for (more about that later)
- Several friends
- USB cables, old Macs, old PCs, old laptops, tons of old desktop PCs
- Old radio equipment, cameras, clocks, circuitry
- Tons of the geekiest people you’ve ever seen. Well I should talk.
In fact I will geek out (warning, if this sort of thing turns your stomach, skip to the last paragraph):
Since the Mac Mini (which replaced the old G3) now controls the household lights (and potentially the thermostat, if I wanted to start messing with that at this late date), and is now monitor-less (or as they say headless) because we sold the big, heavy, black monitor we got to set it up, I took some of the proceeds from our sales and got a small, light, and relatively cheap 15″ LCD monitor for it. It works perfectly and mirrors the aesthetic and scale of the Mini; The whole setup is elegant and unobtrusive. I think it’s a perfect example of a what a home server will be (although I doubt it will be as pretty — it will more likely be something that people put in the basement on the wall next to their circuit breakers and alarm system master unit.)
After we move I’m going to task the Mini with some other duties: perhaps capturing audio from the Internet on a schedule, or with the RadioShark, a USB-based terrestrial radio tuner, grabbing some local CBC programming to listen to either later over the home stereo or on my iPod. I’m also interested in getting the web server running so that it can interact with the other tasks. Perhaps I could have access to that media via the web server so that I can listen to radio that I’ve captured while away from home! I certainly want to be able to control the lights from the web server (as I did before with the previous setup), but first I’ll have to find out a way for the UNIX part of the Mac OS running the Apache web server to talk to the off-the-shelf applications (like the X10 control software, Xtension), which is usually done with Applescript. Two worlds that don’t talk to each other much, yet.
OK, OK. I’ve gotten all of that out of my system. Now we have to clean up the house because it’s now on the market. That means cleaning up the piles of papers and other debris on my office floor and desk. I’m about halfway there, but we have the first prospective buyers tromping though tomorrow! Can you say: Hide-it-stow-it-put-it-out-of-sight!!!!