temple of the geek: n. Slang 1) Shrine
in honor of nerds, 2) Room in a non-commercial residence that
contains more operational computers than the owner has digits,
3) Reason for a computer lover to pay rent for a two bedroom
apartment, when only one person is in residence.
The TOTG is simply my playroom, or my den, or my office,
depending on how you see things. It's a room full of computers.
I have twelve computers here, as well as three more in a
colocation site elsewhere. Only nine are up and functional
here - the three in colocation are up 24x7x365.
I can almost hear it now - "Holy crap, you must be rich! You
have so many computers!" Well, yes, I have a bunch.
However, only a very small number are worth anything. Most of
them are Pentium 1 class, or maybe Pentium 2. Almost none of
them would even run Microsoft Windows. Currently, only
one machine has the power to run Windows, the rest run UNIX or
UNIX-like operating systems. With UNIX, I can turn a Pentium
200 machine into a _real_ machine, one that can actually get
And before you ask, my UNIX-like operating system of choice
is OpenBSD. More on that later.
On to the Temple Of The Geek. The machines are all named
after things having to do with particle physics. I have no idea
why I chose that naming convention - I hate physics.
I guess it just makes for some cool names. Click on the
individual image to view the larger one.
|The Bone Pile(tm)
|The junk closet
This is the Bone Pile. It's the pile of computer
skeletons I keep around for cannibalization. If I need
a random part, chances are I can scavenge it from this
pile if need be.
This, of course, is the junk pile. Every computer
nerd has one... Notice the Sun SparcStation 10, and
the four hundred feet of spare ethernet cables. This
does not include the cable I have in bulk.
|Lepton and plasma
|The UPS and quark
This is lepton and plasma, lepton is on the left.
Lepton is actually on my employer's network, and has no
logical or physical connection to mine. Plasma is my
OpenBSD-CURRENT machine for development (I'm trying to
develop a few ports for the
This is my UPS and quark, UPS on the left. For
those of you that are not nerds, the UPS is an
Uninterruptable Power Supply.
It's basically a big battery that protects the
computers if the power goes out, or if there's a power
Quark is my current gaming rig and main workstation.
It is the only machine in-house that runs Windows in
any shape or form. It's also the only machine that can
run Neverwinter Nights.
The funky-ass box in the background is my subwoofer,
used primarily for Big Dumb Riffs (thanks TK) and NWN
|Southern view #1
|Southern view #2
This is a majority of the TOTG right here. The
network support machines are on the far left, the
testing/development machines are in a stack in the
center, and serious gaming/work/development machines
are on the far right, under the desk, where you can't
Here's a more direct view of the machines on the
south wall. Notice Scooby on the backup monitor. The
pile of Sun machines on the right side are all
SparcStation 10's, two 40MHz units and one 150MHz unit.
They serve as my playpen - I try new apps out on them,
so I'm always driving them into the ground.
|Strange, photon, and tau
|The Sun pile
From the left: strange, photon, and tau. Strange is
my backup (as in tape backup) server as well as my
secondary DNS for the home LAN. Photon is the beefy
Pentium 75MHz firewall, and tau is my home LAN server
providing primary DNS, Samba services, website staging,
and network monitoring for both this LAN and the
remote colocation site.
On top are my VPN unit (far left), tape drive and
hub for the external DMZ (center), and network switch
and backup ethernet connection from my apartment
complex (far right).
This is the Sun pile. From top to bottom: top,
nucleus, and bottom. Top and bottom are my development
web and mailservers, while nucleus is my external FTP
server. It's currently out of commission, as the drive
that was serving up my data died. I haven't bothered
buying a replacement yet.
|My three posters
|The west view
These are my three OpenBSD posters. I really
enjoy working with OpenBSD - it is a very
clean, very correct, very stable operating
system. It's also one of the most secure in the
world, if not the most.
It is also not for the faint of heart. It
is very well documented, but if you participate in the
actual community, you need to have a thick skin. The
developers are very to the point, and rarely mince
words (Theo de Raadt has somewhat of a reputation for
not suffering fools). And that's fine - with the
attitude they have, only the best are allowed in. And,
as a result, they produce a shockingly clean, stable,
reliable operating system that they are gracious
enough to let us use.
As a result, I try to support the project as best I
can. I can't code for shit, so I try to support those
that can with donations, hardware, or product sales
such as CD sets or posters or t-shirts.
Also note my omnipresent pager, Bart, my squeezie
3-Com arrow, and a Starship Enterprise made out of the
metal shield from a floppy disk.
Here's the view of the stuff along the west wall.
Over on the far left is my KVM switch and DSL router.
In the center is my 19" monitor, right of that is my
Garfield calendar (thanks Sis!), and at the far right
are two hard drives that wouldn't obey my evil whim.
Kinda unorganized, but that's OK.
Notice the early edition of the Temple Of The
Geek on the monitor.