oohhhh! coool!

I have a small living space - one room of a 700-square-foot apartment, nominally - which I insist on filling with as much crap as I can lay hands on. This revolves around four basic axes:

1. Computers

Oh man. I never knew there was such a phrase as "too many computers". I've had a computer of one sort or another since about 1983 (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and have inherited my Dad's basic inability to throw things away. As a result of this, my parents and my brother now own WaiderBuilt Computers[tm] made mainly from spare parts that I've acquired either through upgrading my own kit, pooling from the DSP hardware collective, or opportunistic raids on dumpsters and suchlike ("you're throwing this out? great! can I have it?"). I ran a thinnet/serial cable network before I got a 10/100 TP hub for the the collection. In addition to "about 3 and a half" working computers, I've got various components in assorted states in whatever nooks and crannies I can stuff them. Additionally, as a result of previous employment with a computer magazine publisher, I've got assorted promo and review copies of a whole bunch of software.

2. Music

I listen to music, and I also make music. To facilitate the former, there's the CD rack and associated amplifier/mixer, the discman, and the minidiscman; to facilitate the latter, there's currently two guitars, a keyboard (Korg M1), two amps, a delay pedal, and various hookup cables and such.

3. Books
Again, following on from my Dad, I am unable to discard a book once bought. I recently gave away a signed copy of "Idoru" to someone who hadn't read the book. Now I'm thinking I need a copy of it again. The signature was incidental, I just want the book. The books currently occupy a 7' x 3.5' x 1' (approx) bookshelf with 6 individual shelves. I'm guessing maybe 300 books or more. Almost all the non-geek ones have been read at least twice. The geek section is actually relatively small, reflecting the fact that I don't generally buy technical books - if I can't learn it from hacking and reading the manual, then the chances are that I'm not going to learn it at all. The non-geek section covers horror, fiction, science-fiction with a preference towards cyberpunk/near-future scifi, and humour. I have a few nice things acquired in second-hand bookstores, such as a complete set of the original "Hitchhikers Guide" books - before the covers had any sort of coherent design, a boxed "Lord of the Rings" set, and the first three books of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series in first-publication trade paperback format with colour illustrations. The geek section covers Perl, Perl, Perl, Java, C, Email, the Sinclair QL, and a whole mess of hardware. There's also a few books on learning Japanese, something I aspire to on my more rose-tinted days. And there's a Haynes manual for my car.

4. "oohhhh! coool!"

...and this accounts for the rest of the stuff. Some of these are gifts, others are down to my own inability to resist the urge to SHOP; the latter feeds the former, naturally. There're candles - quite a few of them. Two lava lamps. Star Wars Lego. Wooden puzzles. Assorted ceramic/clay things, including Schweinfrosch ("Pig Frog" - origins in some really stupid joke from about 1996 that I no longer recall) the Dragon who blows smoke out his nose when you sit him on an incense cone. A cactus. Japanese tea cups. Fridge magnet poetry & perl. The obligatory Nerf gun. The non-obligatory second Nerf gun/Supersoaker cannon. Flat Eric. Bonhomme. A jigsaw of that bouncing sheep you've seen on Windows - there's a furry toy version of same around here somewhere, too. A wooden cat, the subject of a long-ago talk.bizarre post. A 14-sided lump of black stone I bought for three quid because it intrigued me (it's basically a cube with all the corners cut off). A miniature anvil. A santa hat. A penguinish creature who looks like he could be Tux, although he's actually some sort of mascot for the 1994 Guinness Jazz Festival.

Waider My toys! My toys! I can't do this job without my toys!