Monthly Archives: April 2007

Fun New Stuff

More news regarding cool new stuff. My old TV has been going south for, well, like 5 years. It used to belong to my grandmother, and it came to me quite a while ago. It’s been getting pretty bad lately, so I decided to take my income tax money and get a new TV. I initially planned to get a new standard definition TV with a digital tuner, but I found a 32″ LCD TV (Polaroid 3211-TLXB) on sale for a reasonable price. It’s got all of the inputs that I was looking for – VGA, HDMI, and Component. My DVD player doesn’t seem to output a good Component signal, so I’m stuck with using S-Video for now. Oh well, I’ll live.

[new TV]

I also need to stop going to eBay. The server I bought is working quite well, but my tendency as an impulse spender could easily get the best of me. I already bought two more servers. One is a dual P3 1Ghz with six 36GB SCSI drives that I bought mostly for the SCSI drives. The other is a Quad P3-level Xeon machine with 2GB of RAM. Having a quad-CPU machine just sounded cool. While I was looking through some of the eBay stores, I found an external twelve drive RAID enclosure that would connect perfectly to the dual P3 machine. I shouldn’t buy it since I don’t really need it, but it would be cool. Someone stop me!

Hardware Rollercoaster

The past few days have been a rollercoaster ride of hardware gains and losses. The first involved my web server. On wednesday I decided to upgrade the operating system on the box to the newly released CentOS 5, which supports Xen natively. I brought in a seperate machine to handle the Xen environments so I could perform the upgrade at my own pace. I was successful in getting everything moved over, and the OS upgrade went flawlessly. The issues arose when I tried to insert an IDE card to get around a nagging problem with DMA on my hard drives. Well, that didn't go so well. The case in that machine is huge, and the IDE cables just weren't long enough to reach the IDE card. So, I decided to put everything back te way it was and to deal with it. Well, the machine had different plans. When I put everything back together, the machine wouldn't boot. The diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard indicated a problem with the CPUs, and it wouldn't boot. It remains in that state.

I was pretty despondent over the breakdown, but I decided not to let the hardware I had go to waste. I looked on eBay, and found a server of similar vintage and capability, in 2U rack mount form. It has dual Pentium III 1.4GHz processors, a gigabyte of RAM, and six 18.2GB SCSI drives. It has the same RAID card that my existing server has, so I'll be able to make a nice somewhat-large RAID5 array. I'll have the two 18.2GB drives from my dead server as spares, and the 2GB of RAM from the original server will combine nicely with the 1GB of RAM from the new server. This gem came pretty cheap too… I won it for the paltry sum of $162.50. It should be here monday. Yay for me!

Not too long before I won the auction, I got a call from Circuit City saying that my receiver was ready for pickup. Since they actually ordered parts to fix it, I had confidence that it would finally be fixed. It was. Finally. Everything's hooked back up again, and I'm pretty happy. It's nice to have everything back the way it was.

Bottles and Cans and Bags, Oh My!

[A large pile of returnables]

Judging by this picture, one might think of me as one of the following…

  1. A raging alcoholic
  2. One of those can collector guys that rides around college campuses
  3. A lazy bastard who hates taking back his empty bottles and cans

If you guessed the last option, you’d be right. I hate the prospect of spending time in the bottle return area of Meijer. The place just stinks. I know, if I were to take back my returnables in a timely fashion, I could make the trips much shorter. But if you know me, you know that I’m a master procrastinator, and doing things in a timely matter just isn’t my style.

There are probably close to a year’s worth of bottles and cans piled up near my door right now. I’m hoping to score $100 or more. I’ll probably need to make two trips. Its a good thing I’ve got my iPod. Wish me luck!