Mary Shelley’s Classic Computer

Frankie Lives!

This is the sort of computer that writer Mary Shelly might have loved. It began life as your typical Apple Macintosh PowerBook G4 eight years ago. It is now a cobbled together monster of working parts from many dead computers.

Quick, Igor, I need another brain!

All four of our working computers are creatures of the grave yards, hacked together from bits and pieces of those who have died before them. Perhaps this post should have been on Halloween but Holly’s computer has been dying gradually for the past few weeks and gave up the ghost yesterday so it was onto my operating table it went, again, along with another computer – thanks, Jessie!

Igor, raise the platform and let in the life giving lightning!

A mere hour later the chime rang and Frankie lives again!

The spare parts left over from combining the computers went back in my electronics grave yard – don’t complain that I save everything, sometimes its useful. I’m a hacker in the original Frankenstein version of the word – Creating new life from discarded spare parts. I promise to use my powers for good and never evil…

Outdoors: 31°F/27°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/62°F

Daily Spark: My crayons always fought to get out of the box and mix it up in the arena of my paper. I never did do well inside the box.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to Mary Shelley’s Classic Computer

  1. sue says:

    You have the best blog! or is it just a website?

    Weird CA question of the day…what r the ingedients for nitrate free bacon?

    Pls advise and thanks.


  2. Nance says:

    I admire your and your family’s technical, mechanical and electronic ability, ingenuity and resourcefulness. My father had these same qualities (well — minus the electronics). I always thought Dad developed them during the hard times of The Great Depression when it was reuse and invent or do without. But maybe all these skills and abilities just come natural to some folks. And I’m glad that Holly’s computer is up and attem again.

  3. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    I’ve made bacon four or five times, and my father used to make it every year. He used a simpleheavy brine for several days, followed by smoking with the bark of California Live Oak for a couple of weeks. I’ve tried simple brine, honey solution, salt and sugar brine, etc. Anything that tends to effect dehydration and therefore bacterial offput will work, hardwood smoke seems to be best. I always used either oak or mesquite chips (doesn’t grow in S. Ca.) and of course lots of people use hickory or apple wood. Bacon is a forgiving project if you are going to freeze it against consumption. I’ve yet to try the old, hang-in-cheesecloth-w/o-refrigeration method. Think I’d go for about a month of smoking to achieve real saponification if I did. I reviewed a book last year, Bacon, A Love Story, by Heather Lauer, out of Collins Living, which goes into a lot of detail on the subject. Made me drool just reading it.
    Walter, any advice on browsers? I’ve discovered that Google, where I house my e-mail and which I use as home page, is basically discriminating against Explorer. I’m wary of their Chrome. You seem to have a lot of computer sophistication . . .

    • Peter says:

      David, where I work we use both IE8 — soon to be upgraded to IE9 — and Google Chrome. I have and use both, often at the same time. Does not seem to cause me issues. We run Windows 7.

      Walter, nice job on the laptops. Cannibalizing is an area I fear to tread — I will stick with BYO desktops, thanks. :-) Hmmm maybe there is a business model in here someplace.

    • I primarily use Safari although I also have FireFox, Opera and an older Explorer for testing.

  4. Jessie says:

    You’re welcome, Walter, I’m glad to hear my old computer is finding new life: reduce, reuse, recycle! I still read your blog every few weeks and love it, thank you for all the stories! I gladly participated in your kickstarter campaign, but didn’t sign up for any of the goodies… I’m holding out for your book :) don’t worry, I’m very patient :) Cheers, Jessie

  5. Daniel says:

    I wish I had your skills at reviving computers and stuff. I envy that, in a good way! I have an aging mac that probly just needs a technicians touch. It is getting a little flakey but runs well most of the time. Would you be interested in it for parts? Free of course. I could send it after I get my new one. What is your address?

    • Mac notebooks are greatly appreciated. See the Contact page for our postal address. Desktops are unfortunately too large for our tiny cottage. We don’t do Windows but for those wishing to pass on their aging hardware there are many non-profits and small business who will take older computers, wipe them and give them or sell them for a low cost to folks who appreciate the still excellent although not cutting edge machines. Reuse, recycle and reduce as Jessie said!

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