Monday, February 22, 2016

Post 3196 - I'm Back

Hi, everyone. How have you been?

I haven't written in six days. That is because I have been sick. I was beginning to feel sick last Tuesday. I worked Wednesday, but I wasn't feeling well at all. It would appear that I caught Patricia's cold. She had been ill since the week before.

I left work a few minutes early. I got home by 4:30. And I was in bed a few minutes later, not really getting up until Thursday afternoon. I took a sick day on Thursday, which triggered the no-blog-post rule I have written about before. I took a second sick day on Friday, as I continue to fight the cold.

By Saturday I began to feel human again. I was able to go out for a little while Saturday afternoon to obtain some provisions. And by Sunday we were both feeling well enough to go out to brunch, and then to go see "Deadpool". You have to see "Deadpool", unless hard R rated films are not your thing, in which case you should not go see "Deadpool", because the F word is nearly a character in that film.

I returned to work today. Yay.

Over the weekend, as my ability to remain awake improved, I began to tinker with my home server again. I could once get 6 hard drives working in it. The best I could hope for by Saturday was 4. And installing Plex on that server sans a solid state drive that was up and running meant that the server was running that much slower. Every library update would take an inordinate amount of time, and tax the server/computer so much that it was nearly unusable.

I had to do something.

A friend had speculated that the power supply was on its way out. That made sense as the computer had been given to me, and I had not updated the power supply. An upgrade would be appropriate.

But I thought more and more.

The computer itself was very old. Two GB of ram. Running Plex and any other application would tax the computer like crazy. One of the usb cards stopped working over the weekend. What else would fail?

The computer didn't owe me anything. Perhaps it was time to look around for something else.

During my lunch hour, I went to Brilliance Computers on Kempt Road, about a 5 minute car drive from my work. I asked what cases they had. They showed me a lovely case for $95, but, of course, it lacked both a power supply and a mother board. Oh, and there was no processor or ram either. Just the case. That case could accommodate 8 hard drives or so, plus a lot of other stuff, assuming that I got a good enough power supply and motherboard, and ram and processor to go along with it. Pricey.

They were selling a used desktop computer for $350, which came with a 350W power supply, 8gb of ram, a good processor, a 500GB hard drive, and enough room was in it to hold the hard drives I wanted it to, I think. It even came with a legal version of Windows 7, with the COA sticker on top of the case.

I decided to get it.

I told them to swap out that power supply for something better. For 40 dollars I got a previously-enjoyed 625W ps. For another 60 dollars I got another 8gbs of ram. And now you know what I had to pay for the thing, once you factor in taxes and environmental fees.

When we got home tonight, I powered down the old computer. I took out the ram and the hard drives and the sata data cables and the cards I had bought for it, and even some of the screws, which are now on my mouse pad, twinkling up at me. Once I had cannibalized it for all the pieces out of it that I could find useful, I showed the aftermath to Patricia, who pretended to care. I then showed her the new computer, and she remarked how clean it was inside. I showed her where the new hard drives would go, and once again she faked caring.

After we watched this week's "Billions", I brought the new-to-me computer downstairs, hooked up the mouse and keyboard and the printer and Ethernet cable, plugged in the power cord, and started it up. It roared to life. And I am using it to write this blog post, while the anti-virus software does its thing.

I am not sure if I will keep the Windows on it, or revert to Linux Mint. I have to think about that a bit. Perhaps I will get Plex running on it and see how it compares with the Linux version. I have a Samsung laser printer hooked up to it. If I can't get it working under Windows, then I guess Linux Mint it is.

I am guessing that Windows is far more friendly to having multiple hard drives hanging around than Linux can be. With the old machine, drives would unmount after a period of time, and I would have to turn the air blue with invective to get everything hooked up and running again, usually after a reboot or two. But was it because the old computer just couldn't accommodate all those peripherals? Or was it because of Linux? I don't know.

Anyway, so far, so good.

I think I will have my shower and turn in. Been a long day. And tomorrow night I will have to start adding in peripherals to this machine. Sounds like fun!

See you tomorrow.


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