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Linux is Making Me Fat and Lazy

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Because of Linux I hardly have to lift a finger anymore, and because of it my health is suffering. I rarely hop up and down in a fit of temper, I don't have to drive to the store to buy software, and I don't get the aerobic benefits of spending hours on the phone with tech support, breathing hard and accelerating my heartbeat. I rarely make site visits anymore. I don't even leave my chair, because I log in and do fixes and admin chores from home. I even have my remaining tiny herd of Windows users (close relatives only who bribe me handsomely) set up with VNC over SSH, Cygwin/SSH, or rdesktop. I alone have the passwords, mwahaha.

There is a story that has circulated on the Net since forever about a little server tucked away in a closet- some kind of file or printer server- running quietly for years and years, and nobody really knew it was there. In some stories it's a Linux box, sometimes Unix. It is discovered under various circumstances, depending on the storyteller- sometimes it's a remodel, sometimes it's an office move, sometimes it's a new janitor trying out keys and discovering a mysterious locked door that no one else knows about.

I'm inclined to believe it is a true story, even several true stories, because I just experienced something like it. Back around 2002 I had a nice little sideline going-- I had a deal with a homebuilder to install servers in his new houses. They were Red Hat-based servers for file, printer, and Internet sharing, firewall, and the usual home LAN stuff. Just plug in your Linux or Windows PC and go to work.

I forget the hardware specs; they were nice little mid-towers built by a local computer shop. Part of the deal was a couple years maintenance by me. Then I moved away and referred all my old customers to another tech that I knew.

I got a call the other day from one of my original customers still using the original box in its original configuration. Apparently my replacement guy didn't stick around either. It's sadly in need of software updates, and if the power supply hadn't failed it would still be running. Imagine, all these years it's been running fine with no attention and no reboots.

And I still won't have to leave my chair, even though I live 300 miles away- I'm ordering a new one from the same local computer shop, they're going to deliver and install it, and then I'll have it setup for remote SSH administration. My customer thinks I need to keep a closer eye on the new box than I did on the old one.

So there you have it- Linux is bad for your health. But very good for your peace of mind.

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