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Archive for January 30th, 2004

Miracle on Foster Street

Friday, January 30th, 2004

Yesterday I was informed that a local, prominent law firm (Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith) will soon be donating 15 Pentium-two class machines with Windows XP licenses to my classroom at Foster Center. I have had nothing donated since 1999 other than a few individual machines from home users. Since my budget is significantly less per year than it would cost to buy even one used machine, I depend on donations to keep things going, with very occasional grant money.

The equipment I have been using for many years is sorely out of date. I do have about two dozen machines, and I am grateful for every one of them. I still have 2 machines with Windows 3.1 (they are used for playing games), four which have Red Hat Linux, and all but two or three of the others have Windows95. I have about seven 486-class machines, and the rest are slow Pentiums (not Pentium II, III or IV). Most of my machines have 20MB of RAM memory and the hard drives are so small as to be considered obsolete five years ago. The new machines have 256MB memory and 6GB hard drives. Now, this may not be big for a business user, but it’s more than I need right now and it will keep me in the running for a good many more years.

I’m a bit beside myself. This brings me up to relatively current equipment when I was really falling behind and my machines were all sort of deciding to break at once. One can’t do sound, two have intermittent problems reading the CD, one CD won’t open from physical problems, one machine keeps rebooting for no reason. I’m so grateful for the gift. It will take a while for the machines to get to my room, but they are coming, and I am grateful.

I used to do some legal secretarial work (as a temp, for about a year), although not trained specifically in that field. I know that for a law firm of this type, they need the newest and best equipment available, as they are one of the most efficient and time-crunched businesses there are. Legal secretaries just crank out documents all day long, and they must be absolutely accurate or there can be legal consequences. I can see why these machines may not be seen as useful to a law firm. They are heaven to my neighborhood center, however.

Thank you to Foster Swift, and thanks to whoever it was who let them know I could use the equipment. I am grateful.

Knitting Beige
Yesterday I knit about half of the sample bag for my JoAnn Fabrics basic knitting class. It’s knit in Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick (extra bulky, about 2 stitches an inch). I thought I would not like this yarn, but it actually is very satisfying as a fabric when knit up. I don’t like knitting on size 15 US straight needles, though… they flail around in the air near my elbows and it just is not very comfortable.

The yarn is sort of a natural cream color with bits of darker fiber in crimpy texture to make it look more wooly. I am no fan of natural colors but for now I’m liking it just fine. I’m not sure I love the pattern, it’s sort of an envelope purse that is wider than tall and I don’t know how it will hold its shape. However, it does have all the things one needs to learn, and that is why the corporation has chosen it for the class project.

Later today Tony is planning to come by and we figure we will work on my two knitting frames/machines, one on either end of my little table in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll start those longjohns after all.