Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gearing Up For EXP4

According to UPS, the hardware should get here Monday. By Monday evening, the OS (Debian 4.0r6 - unless r7 comes out between now and then) should be installed & ready for the transfer.

Meanwhile, I have installed an x86_64 4.0r6 OS on a VM in my MythTV box in preparation and am hacking my own kernel in anticipation.

Debian supplies a set of nice kernel hacking utilities that allows you to roll your own and make a "genuine" Debian package from it. This is nice because by default they don't put the stuff I (think I?) need in it, mostly netfilter garbage. I have been hacking kernels for 15 years now (my first took 18 hours to compile on an old 386DX) and this is always a chore. Getting the bugs worked out and putting it into a package takes away a lot of pain.

As it turns out, the TigerDirect "deal" was, as usual, a little on the flaky side. I can only blame myself. I got the email early in the morning and didn't read the fine print.

First, they didn't include a CPU fan. I don't know why I didn't notice. It was printed in BOLD RED TYPE, but I missed it. When I found out (after everything was on the UPS truck) I expected to run out this weekend and drop twenty or thirty bucks on a fan.

Then it dawned on me. When I built the MythTV box out of pieces/parts last year I ordered an AMD64x2 that came with a fan, but the Asus box I built the system from had its own "slim-line" fan, leaving me with an extra!

YES! A small victory!

But knowing my inventory system ("throw shit in a box, put it in the basement, and forget about it") I knew finding it was going to be a major pain in the ass. Undaunted, I grabbed a box, cleared the cobwebs away, and looked inside. There it was on top of all the other junk staring at me.

Small Victory Number 2!

The other issue was the Systemax case. It looked like a mini-tower in the ad (beware "errors in photography") and since the motherboard was a MicroATX I assumed it was a mini-tower. Turns out it's a mid-tower with ten fucking drive bays!

Definitely overkill. Luckily I have a mini-tower from a project that never happened (long story) as well as another box in a ten year old full-tower that can use the extra space and a facelift.

So, Small Victory Number 3. YES!!!

As long as the motherboard doesn't turn out to be complete junk (and trust me, the "BIOStar" brand name doesn't instill a lot of confidence) it should be ready to rock and roll by next weekend which, for me, is a THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!

I haven't had a busman's holiday in a long time. It ought to be fun!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:50 PM

    ...sounds as if EXIV will be aptly named for more than just chronological reasons Hink. Hopefully the mobo works as advertised, and EXIV goes puplic with it's hair on fire.