Monday, September 29, 2008

Horrible, terrible freedom

I did a bit of poking around this evening, and I finally managed to get my prism54 card working with WPA in Linux. Hooray! No longer will I have to suffer with the blight of windows just to securely connect to the internets while on the go, and I didn't even have to use the ndiswrapper windows drivers.

I think I'm going to try dragging my lovely black boatanchor to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can surf the web without having to deal with the filthy lab computers. We'll see how long it takes before I get sick of the extra weight.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just what the doctor ordered

This morning I went out to the Memory Express grand-opening in Winnipeg and picked up a new power supply for my old desktop slash new server. Got a Crucial 550 watt one, and after wrestling it into place I'm happy to say that my system is now alive and well.

Installing Debian onto the 4-drive RAID was fairly straightforward, though the process could be streamlined a bit.

The server is actually impressively quiet, even with all four drives thrashing away. I'd almost be tempted to keep it up here, but I don't need the extra heat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh fiddlesticks

Today I finally got my SATA card, which is the last piece I need to be able to assemble my old desktop into my new server.

At least, I thought it was.

Unfortunately, it turns out that with all the goodies and gubbins I've crammed into my poor little Antec case a 350 watt power supply just isn't quite enough to spin things up. In fact, it apparently isn't even enough to spin 1/4 of things up. (despite the fact that an online PSU calculator claims that a 250w supply should be ample)

So, now I face the lovely task of either spending $100-$150 on a new case, or $50-$100 on a new power supply. I sure wouldn't mind one of these.

I knew that I was going to have to get a new case/psu eventually, but I was hoping to put that off until I upgraded the rest of my server.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fixing things

I fixed my alarm clock this weekend. It is yet another example of the long list of dead electronics, cut short in their prime by the capacitor plague.

The replacement operation was simple enough. It was only a single filter capacitor. I did have a bit of an issue finding a replacement, as Active has a pretty limited selection. I ended up having to buy a 220µf 50v instead of the original 220µf 10v. This meant the replacement part was about 3x the size, and I had to mount it off to the side of the board so as not to interfere with the reassembly of the clock.

Of course, I only discovered the component interference after installing one and attempting to reassemble the clock. And, since I had already trimmed the leads, there wasn't enough lead left to reposition the capacitor, so I had to unsolder it and solder in a second one. Thankfully I got a 4-pack so that wasn't an issue.

On the bright side, the 50v capacitor has a lot larger electrolyte volume than the 10v one, so even if it's got bad electrolyte too it probably won't fail for a good long time. It's also a 105c rather than 85c rated one, so that should help things too.

Before you ask: yes, it probably would have been cheaper and easier just buying a new alarm clock. But if you have to ask, you've already missed the point.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

To be more specific

Now that I've got my stock slips I can tell you exactly what I've bought and sold, just in case you're so desperate to know what I'm throwing my money away on.

I sold 100 shares of Apple for 173.253, and 70 of Bombardier for 7.93. With these mad moneys I bought 460 shares of Palm at 8.439, 315 of AMD at 6.2082, 80 of Intel at 23.54, and 145 of nVidia at 13.139, then to diversify a bit I picked up 80 of Bank of Nova Scotia at 48.97, and 60 of CIBC at 62.88.

Of course, if you add up all those numbers you probably won't get a zero sum, the remainder has evaporated in commissions. A small price to pay for the gains to be had. That said, if I start trading a bit more I'll probably open up an account at some online brokerage with really cheap fees, but with the volume I'm doing now it doesn't really bother me.