robbat2: (Default)
From an email, I realized that I have a fair history of computer gear that I have had over the years. I finally went and finished putting dates on my gallery of computer hardware, and have a fun partial timeline below.

I didn't have a digital camera before this point, so these are the earliest images.
April 2001:
That is indeed xeyes. Using a Win32 X server, as my linux box was primarily a server, with an exceedingly junky 1Mb graphics card.

March 2002:
Webserver/router (left), along with machine that was being worked on for TechBC Teknights (it was after that).

March 2004:
IMG_7705: SGI Visual Workstation (VisWS) 320, SGI O2
IMG_7706: Pentium 233MMX desktop, VIA C3-1, Athlon fileserver

May 2005:
The desk seen previously has moved into my bedroom, and the entire wall area is now a workspace.

July 2005:
After returning from LinuxTag 2005, I cleaned up the mess!

August 2005:
Going vertical now, due to lack of space.

January 2007:
This is my home office. I do need to clean off the left side of the desk, so that Marissa can sit there, but there is also a lot of stuff that I need to finish off and sell, including the Sun FibreChannel gear, and 3 ATX machines.
robbat2: (Default)
Why is it that so few manufacters deal with digital optical sound in reasonable units? From the average manufacter that does computer speakers, you can only get digital optical if you go with a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system :-(.

This of course excludes anybody looking for a 2.0 sound system with optical :-(. I was pointed to using a seperate optical decoder for some cases, but means twice the number of power cables, and almost all of the optical decoders are bulky units.

However, thanks to somebody that posted on my previous query, I have now found at least one manufacter that does make what I'm after. Behold!

Now just to figure out somewhere locally that carries them, and see if I like the sound that comes out them.
robbat2: (Default)
I'm on the lookout for some speakers - with optical audio in.
I presently have a 5.1 set, with analog inputs, and I want to move to a much smaller optical set mainly for reasons of space and cabling.

However, it would seem that there is no such thing as a 2.[01] speaker system with optical input. You get it in 5.1 only :-(.

I'm hoping my reader-base can point me to a solution.
- Ideally similar to the Logitech designs, with a decoder in a seperate box that all input sources are connected to, and speakers connected to decoder - this is not a hard requirement - but I will not stand for having the decoder in the sub.
- 2.[01] sound. The sub is really optional for me.
- Optical (TOSLink) input is required.
- Having analog input as well would be handy, as would a headphones connector on the front.

Server Down

Aug. 6th, 2006 08:54 pm
robbat2: (Default)

There was a faint acrid smell, then a loud pop, and thereafter my server went off...
Unplugged/disconnected/etc, and opened it up, to find that it had blown a capacitor.
I have taken pics, but obviously can't put them until until the server is functioning in some way again.
A friend with a spare mobo that's a close match is coming over a bit later, but until then, my email and website are offline.

Hopefully the board in the server is still under warranty.
If it isn't then it's time to explore a new server, maybe in one of those shuttle-style mini cases.
Is anybody aware of a SFF system that has a PCI slot and TWO LAN ports?
It would need to fit 2x 3.5" drives as well, for my 3ware RAID.
robbat2: (Default)
On the day I returned from Portland (July 28th), I turned 24. It has solidified one thing I've been thinking about for a few years now with birthdays and christmas. Beyond an excuse to speak to family or grab dinner, these annual occurances mean absolutely nothing. I went out for dinner Friday evening with my parents.

My maternal grandfather (still residing in East London, Eastern Cape province, South Africa) phoned my cellphone on Thursday evening to wish me the best, and express regrets at being unable to attend my wedding due to age and deterioriating health. It was nice to talk to him out of the blue.

Marissa gave me a gift right before I left for Portland. It was a giant wooden puzzle, that unfortuntely turned out to have a nasty crack in the middle, so I need to return it at some point very soon, possibly Saturday morning.

Monday this week I decided to get myself a gift - I mean, there's no reason I can't. I'm not generally a materialist - there have been christmas/birthdays in the past where I specifically asked for various items of clothing, because I actually needed them, not because I wanted them. However, just as much as the next person, having a new toy to play with is worthwhile. I do actively limit my unnessicary budgetary expenditures where possible, and occasionally sell off old computer gear (buy my FibreChannel stuff folks!).

Anyway, I picked up a Samsung 940B-HAS 19" LCD for $250CDN, and a Bluetooth GPS unit for $110CDN, both on special at NCIX. The LCD works great, ddccontrol in Linux provides _more_ controls than the Windows Samsung utility, and now I've got a lot more space on my desk (and no excuse not to finish cleaning up my desk now.

The GPS unit works great with Bluetooth, but I'm mildly disappointed with it otherwise, because of the manufacters decision to use a USB mini-B connector on it for charging the battery, but NOT being able to use a normal USB mini-B to A cable to connect to the device in a serial port mode. Apparently I need to buy a special $20 cable, so I'll have to see about that tommorow. I strongly suspect that the manufacter (Holux) cheated and abused the Data+/Data- pins on the mini USB socket to be TTL-level RS-232 TX/RX on the GPS unit. I'll dismantle the magic cable to confirm this, and let other people know about it too.

May 2017

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