I knew it would happen someday...

I believe my game rig has finally breathed it's last, at least in it's current configuration. 2 days after replacing the 5400 rpm hard drive with a 7200 rpm hard drive, it started giving me stop errors referring to the hard drive. I replaced the new (used) drive with the known good one and tried to use it to no avail. Oh well.

One side effect of this is that I'm now actually putting my money where my mouth is: "Linux can be a good desktop operating system on less hardware than Windows" is something that I've said for a while. I'm finding out that it's partially true.

I have a relatively current laptop that the Mrs. wasn't using anymore that I had scavenged the hard drive out of so I could have some portable storage for tools that I use frequently. I managed to find a 6.4gb hard drive at work to replace the one that I'm using as part of my toolbox. I just wanted to get something going so both the Mrs. and I can have a machine to work with when we want to, as opposed to both of us being too polite to ask the other "can I check my email?".

First observation: 128mb ram is hard to deal with when you're running a ton of services and a windowing system on top of it. Task switching in Gnome is painful. XFCE is much lighter than either Gnome or KDE, but it's still kind of tight. Swapping on this 4200 rpm drive *sucks*. I haven't tried disabling the mail/web/ssh/samba servers yet, but I'd really like those to run on this box eventually (as a dedicated server), so I installed them. Perhaps as a future test.

Second observation: There are many things that are going to be too difficult for the average user to deal with. I had a weird (but documented) kernel bug show up on this system that would just slag the processor on boot. Passing a switch to the bootloader fixed this problem.

Third observation: There are many things that are done better in Windows for desktop workstations than they are on Linux. Printing is a huge thing that's *much* easier on Windows than Linux. The hardware compatibility and available drivers lists are also much longer.

All said, now that I've hammered everything out, I like it. I've used a Linux desktop before, but I seem to gain new insight every time I do it. In the past, I've also had a fairly robust machine to use as well, with plenty of RAM and processor to spare. I have plenty of processor now, but being RAM limited, I see some things that I hadn't before. It's always fun to learn something, to borrow an idea from Voltaire. :)


I never thought I'd say this...

but my interest in all things computer is waning. Perhaps I've become disillusioned or something. It's odd to think about, as it's basically the only career path I have before me now. Anyway, thought I'd throw that out.

I've designed a DVD shelving unit that's fairly compact and can sit beside an entertainment unit. The unit is on casters and is double sided for the most efficient use of floor space, and can be cut from a single full sheet of plywood. It should hold around 300 standard DVD style cases (I used 8"H x 5/8"W x 6"D as a reference, so my space estimates should actually be a little low) in a 34"H x 13"W x 32"D area. The height will vary depending on the casters that are used. I came up with some other ideas that would work better for a permanent install, but seeing as how I'm in an apartment, that's a bit ambitious. Plus, I'd like to not get sued when I move. I think the security deposit is already history.

The reason the DVD shelving unit thing came up is because Michelle wants bigger cages for her Sugar Gliders, and the only wall that we can really use is being partially taken up by our current DVD/Video storage shelf. I looked for a prefab unit, but nothing really fits the bill for under $200, as I need something more stable than the wire frame units that are cost extremely cost effective. The cats rule the apartment, and have knocked over the CD tower that we used for our PS/PS2 discs so many times that I just took all of the CD's out and have them stacked by the television now.

The thing is that I don't have access to a table saw, so I can't really do anything with it currently. The number of cuts involved will make the customer service personnel at the DIY stores around here freak. I know this, because when I was building our loft bed, I had asked Michelle to get the guys at wherever she went to get a few cuts done on a piece of plywood that she had purchased for me. After the second cut, they told her "we don't do your projects for you". That kinda cheezed both of us off. I managed to do all the cutting I needed to do with a Skil saw, but with this project, I'd like my cuts to be a lot more accurate than I can do freehand. I'm thinking about maybe seeing if a cabinet shop might make the cuts for me, or if I can just rent time on their table saw. I guess it'll depend on the attitude of the person I talk to.