Categories: "Hardware" or "Printers" or "Scanner" or "Storage"

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 ... 25

12/26/10

  04:51:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1523 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Home, Furnishings, Healthcare

I got me an HP....

... an HP Pavilion Elite HPE-450t, customized with things like:

  • Intel Core i7-870
  • 9GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM
  • 1.5TB RAID1 (2x1.5TB SATA HDDs)
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 2GB NVIDIA GeForce420

Should be good for doing BOINC &#59;D

Now, I bought this system customized expecting to pretty much plug it in and go, only having to add externally attached peripherals to complete things. Though I do plan to do upgrades in the future, specifically I got the the 3 DIMM ( 2x4GB + 1GB ) configuration of slightly more memory so that I could potentially take it to the 16GB max at a future date without having to buy all 4 new DIMMs. If I had bought the 8GB configuration, it would've come as 4 2GB DIMMs. Anyways...without doing anything else first...I just had to take a peek inside.

Now, I don't know if it was that I got a Core i7-860 Dell computer at work (replacing a P4-2.8Ghz machine, so slower than TARDIS - a P4-3.2GHz w/HT machine) or ordering this computer...but TARDIS had seemed to get slower and slower, to pretty much insufferable these last few days. Still not ready to turn new system on....more later.

Pages: 1· 2· 3· 4· 5· 6

12/22/10

  10:28:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 763 words  
Categories: Computer, Home, Furnishings, Printers

Staples Cormac Computer Cart, Maple

Link: http://www.staples.com/Staples-Cormac-Computer-Cart-Maple/product-nr_853580

As so often with any new technology purchase I make, there is a lot of scope creep...where I end up buying lots of other things associated with the purchase. Sometimes a bunch of these things come into the process before I even get around to the actual piece of technology.

This is one of those times. I still haven't gotten to the new computer, and I'm buying stuff due to it.

Since the Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair had gone so well, and the printer stand seemed so inadequate in the space (and ill suited for the task of being stand for old computer), I took a quick peek at Staples.com to see if there was an inexpensive desk that would fit the space and fit the bill. I had bought the chair last week, during last week's Weekly Ad sales....well, this week in the Weekly Ad was a sale on the Staples Cormac Computer Cart for $29.99 ($40 off).

After some measurements and having freed up extra space...it seemed like it would be a good fit and I went for it. Timing it so the delivery would happen today (Wednesday)...thinking that I would be home to receive it after a doctor office visit and before heading into work. Well, UPS was running slow today....it happens, especially this time of year, I guess. So, after waiting a little bit longer than intended, I headed in. I figured I could stick a note tomorrow for it to get left if it didn't get left. Its a 40lb box...it should be safe by my front door for a few hours, despite recent news of people stealing UPS packages...even following UPS drivers and signing for other people's packages.

Well, it got left, along with a few other packages....the box that the chair mat that I had ordered to get the order over the $50 for free delivery threshold. I didn't really think a chair mat would work in the space and I didn't need another one, but I couldn't find anything else on staples.com that struck me as something that was immediately available and could fill a need.

After settling in at home, I set out to assemble the desk. The only thing not included that it needed as a philips head screwdriver....it all went together quite well. And, of reasonable quality...given its price, etc. The mesh was dinged in some places, but only noticeable up close. And, the removable shelf came with two same side brackets, even though the instructions showed a left and a right. The parts list gave no indication that there should be a difference, as it was two part K's (unlike the sides of the keyboard shelf glides which was clearly a part L and a part M....conveniently part L was the left side) The problem with both part K's being the same is that the shelf only looks 'good' if used on the right side of the cart. In my current arrangement, I have it on the left side (since right side is into the corner of the room...) Though that may change as I position my computer in...since in normal setup, I have the computer to my right, and might move the desk away from the corner enough for it to tuck in on that side. :hmm:

In the current arrangement, the new chair mat doesn't fit into the space. It would if it was just the printer stand (which turned 90 degrees compared to computer desk, but not an L arrangement...the space is a cramped rectangle). I probably should've measured the the space to see if the chair mat would fit.

Perhaps I'll get it to fit when I get around to the reorg project of the other bedroom/storeroom/computerroom....

Pages: 1· 2

12/20/10

  12:53:10 pm, by The Dreamer   , 576 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Home, Furnishings

Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair, Gray

Link: http://www.staples.com/Staples-Desley-Mesh-Task-Chair-Gray/product_807574

So, recently I pulled the trigger on getting a new computer....which I'm sure I'll write about later, so I won't talk about it now.

But having done so, there was the problem of making room for a new computer. Since the new computer is to replace my current, it isn't so much space to put the new computer...but rather space to move the old computer to.

For a long time, I've thought about clearing a corner in the bedroom I use as a storeroom. Originally the plan was to locate a network laser printer to this space. It is very doubtful that I would have the juice to handle a laser printer in the living room, and probably definitely not when the the fuser fires up. Though one would hope that things have come forward to the point where it isn't as bad as the Xerox 4045 I once owned. I had snake power from another part of my house to run it, and it would still dim everything. I had already cleared networking an an outlet towards this possibility.

That probably won't happen in the near future now...

Anyways, I launched into plans to make the space happen....I had a printer stand that would free up with some work, that would go into this space....I would just use it as a computer stand in the new plan. But, it would need a chair. So, I did a quick online search....Amazon Prime was the usually first place. Though I had wish-listed some other options from Staples. But, I'm on a budget right now....so I went looking for less expensive options. First Amazon.com, and the Staples.com. I was looking for a mesh chair...nothing with a mesh seat in my current price range though. But, I noticed that the current Weekly Ad for Staples.com had a simple mesh task chair for $29.99 ($20 off).

Well, that's very cheap....since the plan doesn't have spending a lot of time at this computer, it should be more than adequate...otherwise I would want a chair with arm rests and a bit more adjust-ability.

The only hard part of the ordering process, was that staples.com kept apologizing for being down....

So, I spent the weekend working on clearing a spot for printer stand and a chair....as I went along, I decided to free up more and more space. If all goes well now, there will be a small computer desk going into the space as well. Considering something from Staples.com, and this week's Weekly Ad. I may yet do the network printer in this space, in fact I'm considering just moving my current printer (HP Photosmart 8450xi, which I am using networked)...since I'm probably going to need all the desk space with the new computer...and a pair of 23" wide-screen monitors.

Anyways, the chair arrived today...and I decided that before I had lunch I would set it up. Turned out to be really easy to put together...everything was included, along with extras. And, it was a lot better quality than I expected for the price. But, its still very basic. Though I wish I had gotten two. I could've finally replaced the chair that's falling apart in front of the computers in the other bedroom that's computers and clutter. Guess I'll have to keep an eye out....or stick with the plan to eventually get a much better chair in the living room and move that one.

So, wonder if I should get another chair mat or two...

11/30/10

  07:55:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 579 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel, TV, Healthcare, Scanner

Back from #chicagotardis 2010

So, I have put my Epson Perfection V30 scanner away for another year. That's the scanner I bought in a CyberMonday sale immediately upon my return from Chicago TARDIS 2009. So, I guess that means only one thing....I've just come back from Chicago TARDIS 2010, and finished going through all my digital photographs and posted some to my online album and scanned the professional photographs and autographed material.

This time around, I found Chicago TARDIS to be much more enjoyable....despite the hobbling around with the broken toe, and the wooden shoe being kind of slippery on the tile flooring. I only almost slipped twice....once in the lobby and another time in Holy Mackerel.

Full story »

10/30/10

  08:56:22 pm, by The Dreamer   , 445 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

I moved orac today

Its time that the full backups have been taking place on orac's backuppc. And, my /var/lib/backuppc doesn't quite have enough free space for a full of some of the jobs (I guess it doesn't matter if many, if not all, of the files would already be in the pool, it still needs more free space than I have in the filesystem to do the job).

So, I was looking at what I could about moving some stuff around so that I can grow /var/lib/backuppc by more some more....to perhaps 3.5TB. And, I thought about why it was that orac was located where it was. Basically it was just an open spot near the monitor.... And, it really needed to move somewhere, where I could better park the external drive cases. Currently the main one was a Rosewill RSV-S5...there's a Sans Digital TR2UT-B, but I had recently picked up a Sans Digital TR5M-B that I needs a place where I can park it near orac.... Along with the two old 500GB My DVR Expanders.

So, the plan was to move it next to lhaven, though I ended up moving lhaven into the spot opened up by orac. orac has side vents so it couldn't go exactly where lhaven was, but decided to move lhaven out of the way so that I could get in and cable up orac.

Before turning orac back on...I did the storage changes. I setup the Sans Digital TR5M-B, its smaller than the Rosewill RSV-S5....moved the 2 1TB drives from the Sans Digital TR2UT-B over to it, and hooked up the 2 old 500G MyDVR Expanders to the regular eSATA ports on the back of orac (the system has 6 SATA ports internally, and I had gotten 4 port SATA back to run 4 of the ports out for future upgrades....that was before I got the 2 port PM eSATA adapter for the PCIe x1 slot.)

Also discovered that the bays number the other way around in the TR5M.

Now with orac up again, I was kind of expecting the drives to be in different places...but they were all in the same place. And, 500G MyDVR Expanders in sequence after the two internal drives.

Quick look around, and then immediately went about turning the MyDVR Expanders into a RAID 1 set and a single ext4 filesystem. And, then I started moving files over to it. Of course, that slows down the build of the RAID....

But, now to wait until I decide how to move the other pieces around....

Wonder how long before I amass the 5 2TB drives to build the new RAID5 to move the current /var/lib/backuppc over to.... (keeping the current 5 1.5TB RAID6 for more important data).

09/01/10

  08:37:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 419 words  
Categories: General, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

TiVo HD 2 will be blank soon....

...I am now doing the process of removing the old 500GB My DVR Expander from it, which'll surely leave it blank. And, then it'll be the process of bonding it with the new 1TB My DVR AV Expander.

There was some thought on when I was going to do these upgrades....I hadn't worked it all out though, in the beginning. At first it was going to involve me getting the additional 1TB My DVR AV Expanders in separate Amazon Prime transactions. The gist was one to arrive today, and the other to arrive in a couple weeks when I'm taking the whole day off because I have a doctor's appointment in the afternoon.

But, as I was looking at the cart and the timing of things...I decided to just go ahead and get both at the same time. There's a risk that later I might not find a suitable time, though the bulk of the fall season premiere rush isn't starting until later this month.

I considered doing one this morning before heading into work...though its a lengthy process and I not really a good point in the whole thing to leave for work during. So, I deferred to after work. I wasn't sure what evening shows would need to be scheduled around, and what unwatched content I would need to tackle first. Though I considered staying a little late, so that I wouldn't have time this evening before I had to go out again. But, I opted to rush home instead so that I could do one machine (didn't check the ToDo list on TiVo HD 1, just intended to get it done before I had to go out again...which if there were scheduled recordings, it would be done before that. And, because there wasn't anything on the ToDo list for today for TiVo HD 2....I'm doing it now (that I've returned for the night).

I wasn't sure leaving it to Thursday night would work (non-TV things plus there are shows in the ToDo list for Thursday), and fairly certain that Friday night wouldn't work. So, at first I figured if not tonight it might be the weekend before I get to it. Of course, then I remembered that the first Wildcat game is this Saturday....a big thing. And, it would be on TV somewhere...so I'd want to be watching it somewhere (though likely through the TiVo Premiere...but I would be distracted from doing upgrades).

Anyways...it would've gotten done at some point. But, instead it got done tonight. :wave:

  06:48:16 pm, by The Dreamer   , 277 words  
Categories: TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

TiVo HD 1 is blank....

...there's supposed to be like 100 hours of HD programming on it, but that's what happens when I try to add 500GB of storage to it.

I finally upgraded the external storage from 500GB to 1TB.

I remember thinking about doing this last summer, except there was were a few shows that I hadn't gotten around to watching...and there wasn't time until the start of the fall season to get to them. As it happens a couple of them were still on my TiVo HD....

But, having gotten the new TiVo Premiere and putting a 1TB My DVR Expander AV on it. I found myself thinking about whether I would do this upgrade this summer.

There was tons more shows on both my TiVo HDs, but I had spent almost a week downloading all the older shows, that someday I should get to, using TiVo Desktop...(and some transferred to the TiVo Premiere). Thinking that there then would be a time that I could afford to lose everything on the TiVo HD to have the 500GB external storage exchanged for a 1TB....

And, after the 500GB came off, the TiVo HD was empty. But, now I got the 1TB on to it....so now I have capacity for up to 165 hours of HD (from stock 21). That should help avoid the crunch I ran into last winter...when I did have shows disappear from my TiVo because I had filled it up sufficiently for that.

I peeked at TiVo HD 2, and there's one show that is new since all the transfers....should be quick enough to watch it. Nothing in the ToDo list for today...so I might tackle it later this evening....

:wave:

08/08/10

  01:49:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 519 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Furnishings, Storage

the 'gumby' upgrade, not so good.

actually, pretty bad....

So, while I was looking at the items for the 'lhaven' upgrade...I happened to type other things I might want, and came across a PCI PS/2 adapter.

The new 'gumby' is legacy free...which was causing problems working under my KVM setup. Not quite ready to upgrade the KVM to one that does both PS/2 and USB....so I've been using USB to PS/2 adapters. So far I've tried two. Kingwin and Trendnet. The KVM is a Trendnet, so I kind of hoped the Trendnet one would work.

The Kingwin was first....it works pretty good, except that once in a while the mouse to stops moving. I have to let the mouse sit idle for a moment and then I can move it again. If I don't let go of it, the mouse still being active prevents the 'reset'. Annoying....

So, I got the Trendnet adapter....well, things work...pretty much all the time...except the scrollwheel. And, I've gotten quite fond of using it. Whenever it stops working, I have to unplug the adapter and plug it back in. This is inconvenient and even more annoying....

So, I switched back to the Kingwin, until I decide on what I would use. I wondered if there were a more hardware solution...IE: PCI PS/2.

So, I snapped one up on eBay to try out.

Full story »

  12:24:22 pm, by The Dreamer   , 199 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

upgraded 'lhaven', second times the charm...

After having had some time to lick my wounds from trying to upgrade 'lhaven'. I decided to take the plunge and try again.

So, I went back on to eBay....and bought another 1GB stick of memory, from the same seller as before...so that I could take the system fully to 2GB. And, while I was there, I bought another Athlon 3000+

And, then it was wait for another Sunday where I would have time to do upgrades....

...well, the upgrade went well this time. I took 'lhaven' down...opened 'er up. Swapped the 512MB DDR400 stick for the 1GB DDR333 stick, and swapped the Athlon 3000+ in for the Athlon 2000+, moved a couple of jumpers and turned the power back on.

It POST'd, and I checked the bios for a bit...watched the system monitor screen for a while, and shutdown again. :cool:

So, I closed up the case and put the computer back in its usual spot and let it boot all the way up.

Once settled, I checked BOINC. It didn't see the CPU change, so I forced it to run CPU benchmarks.

Athlon 2000+ == 997 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 3376 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)
Athlon 3000+ == 1312 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 4446 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)

And done. :>>

08/04/10

  07:36:47 pm, by The Dreamer   , 966 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage

orac's RAID6 is back

Last Saturday, I woke to find lots of SMART dialogs on orac's screen. It wasn't happy about a lot of drives, I had expected to see one or two...the usual when it does its monthly mdadm checkarray....except it wasn't Sunday yet.

I then saw that lots of drives were reading in the 80's Celsius. Concluded that the fan in the array had died and shut things down.

I then opened to see what kind of fan it used and see what my options on replacement were. First I tried looking for the exact part no. ARX DC Brushless FD1212-S3133E, DC 12V 0.32A. Lots of results of people complaining about it, etc. Not much in the way of satisfactory places for me to order it. Plus wasn't clear that it was sold in the specific pin configuration that the enclosure was using. It has a 3 pin on it, plus a 2 pin that doesn't quite look standard. Its the 2pin that plugs into the backplane of the array.

I then started looking at 120mm x 25mm 12VDC fans of comparable specs....figured I'd sort out the connector problem when I got it. I know I have a new soldering iron somewhere...that needs to get unsealed and used. &#59;D I then decided that I would take my search to Amazon.com and wait for it to lineup with getting it Wednesday... I ended up going with a Cooler Master Excalibur 120mm PWM Case Fan - Barometric Ball Bearing R4-EXBB-20PK-R0, it was more powerful than the old fan...but it came with 3pin and molex adapters. And, there's a pair of those feeding the backplane inside the array, so I figured on just tapping one of those to run the new fan.

As a side possibility, I would plan on checking the University computer store to see what they had on hand... I never got around to making that trip, but that's explained in part further on....

Full story »

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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