Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

I used to have a rule. It was a good rule, a sound rule, and it served me well right up to the moment I got engaged, where it pretty much went straight to hell.

It went like this:

"Never spend more than $2,000 on something unless you can live in it or drive it."

It turns out that $2,000 is an enormous amount of money to a geek who wears his clothes until they dissolve and eats whatever is near the reigisters at Trader Joe's. The only reason the number was $2,000 was because that's how much the computer I wanted cost. I got my car for $760.

But for a couple, pfft, two grand is nothing, especially when the woman has taste. Our first purchase as pending newlyweds, the Sofa We Are Going to Have for the Rest of Our Lives, nearly caused me to swallow my tongue when the brittle woman at the furniture store did the math, adding in the fancy cusions and the fabric we wanted and the Scotchguarding and all. I had to be physically restrained when she tacked on fifty bucks for delivery.

But now, nearly six years later, I'm so deadend to enormous

bills that I can look at what we spend on, oh, baby wipes and only spasm slightly. Heck, given how baby-wipe-oriented our lives are, I'm surpised it's not more.

Which, I'm guessing, is the only reason that I could have just spent $20,000 on new computers for work and done it all via the Web, without kicking any tires or talking to any humans. I supposed I've spent twenty grand at one time before -- the downpayment on the house -- but that took months and a lot of looking and poking and signing and dealing with annoying people. I ordered the machines the exact same way I order a book from Amazon, only without as much irritation at the shipping charges.

I'm sort of afraid where this trend is taking me.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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