We're getting a new tester next week and one of the things I need to do before she starts is get her computers put into an office for her. That way she won't lose any time trying to figure out how to connect the hardware to our network setup, where to install an OS and other tasks that require knowledge of our domain.

I had three machines to set up. One is a brand new very nice quad core machine with lots of RAM and hard drive space. This will be her primary machine to work on automation and run virtual machines. This was the first machine I wanted to set up.

I also had 2 monitors and a keyboard. No mouse.

We typically try to connect each computer to a junction box so a single mouse, keyboard and monitor can be shared. Not only does this cut down on hardware costs, but it also results in less desk clutter. And here is where it started to get tricky.

The keyboard I had was a new USB keyboard. I also managed to scare up a USB mouse. Unfortunately, the junction box I had only had the old PS/2 style inputs. Getting a PS/2 mouse and keyboard might have worked, except the computer was so new that it did not have anything except USB ports.

So I spent some time locating some USB to PS/2 connectors. I got two of them, connected them to the mouse and keyboard cables. When I tried to plug them into the junction box, they would not fit side by side. The USB connectors were simply too big.

So I decided to plug only the monitors into the junction box and use 2 mice and 2 keyboards for right now. I figured I could get everything installed and then get a USB based junction box later.

Then I hit the problem with one of the monitors only have SVGA inputs and one of the computers only have HDMI output. Sigh.

You can imagine the frustration. The computers included some of the needed adaptors, but not all. Then to make this long story short, the network cables I had were not long enough to reach to network outlets, using the PS/2 mouse with the junction box caused the third machine not to boot at all, one of the replacement cables I had was bad (and that took some time to recognize), the camera I wanted to use to photograph this had a dead battery, and so on…

I stuck with it, though, and all machines are waiting for her to come in and log in.

One of the lessons Dan Escapa taught me was to blog about stuff like this as an outlet to help release some steam. it works, and thanks for listening in!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms welcome,

John