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Repurposing

With a little help from my friends, I was able to get Nexus into a new case last night, with some new hard drives, a new motherboard, processor, 1280 megs of RAM, etc. The process was remarkably smooth once we found a power supply that could reach the motherboard from the Antec Three Hundred’s power supply tray at the bottom of the case. The CPU fan is a little loud, but tucked under my desk I was unable to hear it last night. I may still even get a quieter fan for the CPU, and two quiet 120mm fans to help keep the hard drives extra ventilated. I probably need to throw in one more SATA adapter to allow a full compliment of hard drives, and then Nexus will be set for probably the next five years.

The major hiccup during the upgrading of Nexus was a dead graphics card; however, the Radeon 9700 Pro from the currently languishing Kaleidoscope fit the bill and got the project back on track. However, it got me to thinking about what Kaleidoscope’s future will be, and this morning I figured it out. Kaleidoscope will become a Media Center PC. All it needs is a suitable AGP card with Media support (component video + HDMI, perhaps?). Since AGP is so out of fashion, I should be able to find a decent card for cheap, and with a few cables It’ll be ready to go. The surround sound addition will also be nice. The weakest link will certainly be the size and picture quality of the TV.

Google Appengine Sucks [Whoops]

It is an interesting idea, but it appears to be incredibly slow. Indeed, a few hundred add operations bring it to its knees. Lame.

UPDATE: See comments.

Nexus Upgrades On The Way

A few of these in the past few weeks:

This is an automatically generated mail message from mdadm
running on nexus

A DegradedArray event had been detected on md device /dev/md0.

Faithfully yours, etc.

P.S. The /proc/mdstat file currently contains the following:

Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : active raid1 sda[0]
732574464 blocks [2/1] [U_]

unused devices: <none>

Followed by the real downer:

This is an automatically generated mail message from mdadm
running on nexus

A FailSpare event had been detected on md device /dev/md0.

It could be related to component device /dev/sdb.

Faithfully yours, etc.

P.S. The /proc/mdstat file currently contains the following:

Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : active raid1 sdb[2](F) sda[0]
732574464 blocks [2/1] [U_]

unused devices: <none>

Led quite quickly to this:

1 x ($59.95) CASE ANTEC|THREE HUNDRED BK RT – Retail $59.95
4 x ($109.99) HD 750G|SAMG 7K 32M SATA2 HD753LJ – OEM $439.96

Which should be arriving from NewEgg sometime next week.

I plan to reuse former roommate Dan’s old motherboard and power supply in the upgrade. probably I will build a RAID 5 array from the four just-purchased disks and keep the good 750 that is still in Nexus around as a spare. The flaky drive will probably become available for cheap or free if anyone wants to risk it.
The new case will hopefully keep the new drives cool and comfy, lowering the risk of any future issues.

When Live is not Live

NBC seems to have taken a liking to labeling all of its Olympic coverage as “LIVE,” which is particularly mystifying considering that the gymnastics competition which is “LIVE” now was already won by China, as reported by the Seattle Times over 40 minutes ago.

Why is NBC lying?

For the ever-so-slightly higher ratings they expect the “LIVE” tag to gain? At what cost?

August Ride Civil

On Friday, I participated in Ride Civil, a monthly downtown Seattle bike ride that serves as a counterpoint to Critical Mass by having its participants follow all laws, yield to pedestrians, and try to have only positive interactions with those around them.

It is a noble goal and a good cause and August’s Ride Civil was larger than normal as well. Unfortunately it  still only attracted only about one tenth the people, brought out only about one tenth the energy, and as a result ended up not even one-tenth as much fun.

Still, riding with Ride Civil was a positive experience overall. I met some cool people, and I will probably ride again next month. But make no mistake: I’ll also ride in August’s Critical Mass.

Critical Mass Redux

Initially, I thought that both the driver and the cyclists who assaulted the driver after the driver ran over a cyclist should be charged and tried for the crimes they each committed. I even thought that the cyclists who attacked the car after the incident were really just shooting themselves in the foot, because without the damage to the car, the driver couldn’t have claimed that people were beating on his car before he drove over cyclists. However, based on the hugely biased police report that the Seattle Police Department appears to have no intention of correcting, I have grown pretty certain that even with no damage to his car, the driver would have avoided any charges.

The City of Seattle’s refusal to hold the driver accountable for his actions has, in my opinion, legitimized the vigilantism pursued by the cyclists. The City can’t expect its citizens to shun vigilante justice while the city itself shuns justice altogether. Maybe the cyclists who attacked the driver knew, from previous experience, that the city would not hold the driver accountable, so they knew they had to do it themselves. Or maybe the cyclists were just thugs looking for a fight. Regardless, in my mind, the cyclist’s actions have been justified by a government unable or unwilling to perform its most basic duty.

Ride Civil this Friday

Just a friendly reminder that Seattle’s Ride Civil bike ride is this Friday, on the coolest date all year (08/08/08). The gathering will begin at the Westlake Center at 5:30, leaving around 6:15. I’m planning on showing up there around 6:00, leaving Amazon about 15 minutes before that for a leisurely, law-abiding ride up to the Westlake Center.

Don’t forget your helmets, bikes, or hand signals.

The more the merrier, so plan on showing up and invite a friend!