Category Archives: hardware

Monster v3

With friends visiting home from the USA and a sudden inflow of cash led to me upgrading my system. This is third and probably last version of my System.

It all started off when I was in Delhi where I bought my first PC. The original Monster.
2.8GHz P4, 2×512 DDR400, 2x80GB RAID0, Geforce 5600XT, Gigabyte GA-8KNXP.
That time everything cost me 10k each, processor 10k, RAM 10k etc. The Mobo was quite expensive, it cost me around 13k. It worked fine all the time I was in Delhi. Sometimes the RAID setup was giving problems. Other than that it was all fine. When I returned back to Hyderabad the 5600XT fried, so I then got a 6800GT (import). That was probably the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I was so happy when I got the card, but all that joy dwindled soon. As time passed, almost every component started failing, hard disks first, RAM, then finally the mobo. The mobo was the worst, the whole power circuitry melted in front of my eyes and I could smell the smoke. Lucky me, the mobo had a Dual Power System, as a result it JUST worked. I was also fortunate with the hard disks, Seagate replaced all of them at no cost. The reason behind all this was very trivial, none of the components were getting any power, especially in stressed states. The culprit was the 6800GT, it hogged so much power, that there was nothing left for the rest. I had some crappy 400W Frontech SMPS. I managed somehow, without gaming or any other GPU intensive tasks. Meanwhile my 17″ Samsung monitor started showing signs of fatigue with a blurred picture and a lot of flickering.

While I was in a miserable state and no cash to buy a proper SMPS, I got the news that Guns was leaving to the USA. I was thrilled, not coz he was going but coz then I could snatch his Antec 500W. He left, I snatched. To my horror, that Antec was already in a dire state. You might not belive this but its true, I had to heat the SMPS for 10 mins with a Hair dryer just to make it start. After starting though, it was all stable and was able to power the 6800GT.

I then started gaming again and since god likes to screw with me, one fine day the mobo went bust. This was around 4 or 5 months ago, at that time there were no motherboard supporting the processor. I was stuck.

Then Monster v2 arrived. This time I didn’t buy it but I snatched Guns’ WHOLE system! :D. It was an AMD 3200+, 2×512 DDR400, MSI K8N-SLI and a 7800GT. It was working great till….

… The Antec died (FFS). I gave it for repair as it was still under warranty and got myself a Zebronics 500W as a temporary replacement. It worked fine but I was still weary of the power quality and thus never actually stressed the system much. They returned the Antec to me but it still had the same problem. I needed the Antec bad, so this time I took a screwdriver and smashed some of the capacitors/resistors inside. I had to make sure it didn’t work. It didn’t and I returned it.

To my amazement after a month they gave me an Antec 550W TRIO series! Apparently they didn’t have the old model and had to replace the old one with the new model. All this wasn’t that easy though, stupid Guns didn’t tell me where he had bought it from. I had to go to the reseller for replacement and they refused to accept items from end customers. After some 20 calls and merciless bombardment of the word “WHY”, they accepted to take it and replace it.

Meanwhile my college paid me for maintaining their website. I instantly got myself a Viewsonic VX922 to replace the dying Samsung.

I considered upgrading the v2 to an AMD X2 and a 7900GS. But Guns was scheduled to visit India and as usual he was being a dick and wanted his system back. I wouldn’t have a system then. I was calculating the future.

After a week or so after my discussion with Guns, I read an article on AnandTech, 8800GT – The only card that matters. I was very impressed. I dreamt of playing Crysis on it and assumed it will remain a dream. But, all of a sudden all my projects paid off. There was a sudden inflow of cash in to my account. I did the obvious and decided to go all out and buy myself a completely new system. I asked Guns to get the 8800GT and another friend of mine, Srikar, brought me the RAM.

After careful planning and perfect execution , I have my brand new Monster v3!!






/me hopes nothing bad happens anymore.

Brand new Sony VAIO Rack-mount server

As you all know the screen of my laptop was broken since ages and I was using it a server. Today though, I was dead bored at home, monster was throwing one problem after another if I start gaming and I had no TV series to watch. The laptop on the other had was sitting idle coz I de-commissioned it as I couldn’t get wireless to ‘not crash‘ my router. If I had to put it on a wired connection, well let’s just say, there was space limitedness. The LCD was redundant it had no use practically, so I removed it.

It took a while to remove the screen, because removing it physically just wasn’t enough. I had to solder some contacts to bypass the monitor circuitry, just to tell the system that there was nothing at the ends of the wires. I had to do this because it was detecting the external monitor as a 2nd monitor and is automatically stretching the output. Well anyway, after I removed it, the laptop looked like one of those dell rack mount servers. Here are the pictures.





The Abandoned Screen

Monster haunted?

Ok, I should not have written the entry on windows installation lasting that long. Monster almost died just now. At boot up it popped up an error message telling me that the NTFS.sys was corrupt! I didn’t care about that and just hard-rebooted it for 3 times and it worked! It started normally, although it was a long 5 min startup which is a sign of my hard disks failing. Now Firefox doesn’t open, and some apps don’t seem to work coz some of the files are corrupted. I believe this erratic behavior is due to the Copernic Desktop search trashing the drives continuously whenever I left it idle. Just when I thought it was all going well something happens. I just don’t understand what’s wrong with the drives, a file corrupt a second ago gets repaired after 3 reboots? Strange! If anyone knows what the exact problem or the theory behind what’s going on, please do tell me.

I’ve scheduled the windows scandisk to check my drive on the next reboot. That usually solves the problem provided the system boots windows without issues; at least till the scandisk screen appears.

Rebooting!

An achivement worthy of posting

(Operating system) Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2), version 5.1.2600 (28 processes running, 169.07MB free RAM, installed 3w 1h 43m 15s ago, 3h 44m 39s uptime, 2d 13h 7m 27s uptime record)

Hurrah!

The longest lasting windows installation! 3 Weeks!.
/me hugs Monster :)

Miscellaneous Statistics
-23:27:41- [@cyberdick]: (CPU2) Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.80GHz @ 3087MHz (Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. 8KNXP mainboard) , 168.77MB free (HDDs) 149GB, 12.3GB free
-23:27:41- [@cyberdick]: (VGA1) NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT (256MB), 1280x960x32, 60Hz (OS) Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2), 3h 44m 7s uptime, 2d 13h 7m 27s uptime record

Stability

Now thats what I call Rock solid Sability. My Lappy running 24/7 as a

  1. Primary file storage/retrieval server, via shared folders.
  2. httpd (Apache 2)
  3. IIS http server
  4. mysqld (Mysql 5)
  5. Bittorrent client (4 downloads with 40 live connections each)
  6. Proxy server (rare usage)
  7. Slax 10.2 on VMWARE (again running httpd, mysqld, sshd, vsftpd and more)
  8. Client with KAV running

All this on 512MB RAM and no crashes whatsoever, but mysqld kept hanging on slax, so much for stability on linux. It went through all possible ways of torturing, like flashget Malloc-ing 700MB space over the LAN, Parsing typo3 pages.. etc. Who says Windows is unstable!? hippies.

Quote of the day :

Mrs. Cartman: Doctor, did you find out what’s wrong with him?
Doctor: I’m afraid he’s running out of time.
Mrs. Cartman: Why, what’s wrong with him?
Doctor: It’s his time. It’s running out.
Mrs. Cartman: What can we do?
Doctor: Well, I suppose we can try a time transplant. I’ll have to call a specialist.

Woohoo I now have a Sony Clié

While searching for an USB cable for my aunts Digicam, I found an adapter rated 5.2V. I searched through my database of electronics, and found nothing. After a while, when I was arranging my drawers I found an old Sony Clié, burried away in hundreds of CDs, instantly my brain mapped the query for the 5.2V DC adapter to the Sony Clié. Without hesitation I connected the two and the next moment it started up with “Palm Powered”.

It has some basic apps and some utilities. The best thing is the touch screen, its the first time I handled a device with a touch screen. Its fast and fun to operate. The slylus is light and makes writing a lot easier.

Here are its Specs :

  • Model : PEG-TJ27
  • OS : Palm OS 5 (v5.2)
  • CPU : 200MHz i.MXL Application Processor
  • Memory : 32MB RAM (Approx 23MB available), 16MB ROM, 128 MemoryStick.
  • Interface : USB, Infrared (IrDA 1.2), Memory Stick Slot
  • Display :TFT Color display with backlight, 320×320, 65,536 Colors
  • Battery : Li-ion polymer rechargeable battery, Life : 10 days approx. on one charge
  • Size(H*W*D) : 4 1/2 * 3 * 17/32 inches
  • Weight : Approx 5 oz incl stylus

A 200MHz proccessor withg 32MB RAM is impressive, making it almost as powerful as my old 266 celeron system. But the question remains, What can I use it for? I already have a l33t cellphone with a l33t camera and lots of PIM apps and more. It has no audio capabilities and supposedly can play videos, without sound. 😐 Games may be one use :D.

I am still facing problems trying to interface it with my PC as I dont have the Install CD that came with it. Googled for hours and didnt find the software required (Palm Desktop for Sony Clié). May be searching the underground areas might work.

No doubt its another formidable addition to my list of gadgets but may end up being one of the most useless.

talking of Gadgets, here is a list of all gadgets I currently own/have.

  1. Nokia 6670
  2. iPod Shuffle 512MB
  3. Yashica 2MP Cam. (Dosent work)
  4. Sony Clié PEG-TJ27
  5. Sony Vaio PCG-FRV25 (laptop but also a gadget :D)
  6. A Panasonic ultra-sleek ultra-small walkman. (This thing is the most advanced walkman youll ever see and the smallest, its the same size as a cassette box!)
  7. Panasonic discman (non-mp3)
  8. 2x Digital Organizers (Videocon & Casio)

Thats it I guess.

Today turned out to be a lot of fun @ coll, budding love stories are always are. I dont wanna disclose anything for now, I’ll do it when its public. Gunz also cracked me up with this

Me: 1
Gunz: Me Messed with sys clock…..
Me: ?!
Gunz: scheduled tasks did not run…..
Gunz: comp downloaded till 11 in morn :((
Me: =))
Me: bwahahha
Gunz: :((
Me: how much downloaded?
Gunz: 200Mb maybe
Gunz: only 1 day was left
Gunz: hope it does go too much over the 1gig limit
Gunz: Me gonna start saving b/w
Gunz: hope it doesnt exceed 1 gig :
Gunz: my father is gonna have a field day…..if it exceeds

Quote of the Day


Chef: Children, uh, what’s the one thing that’s more sacred to a man than anything else in the world?
Stan: Uh, bicycles?
Cartman: Ham?
Kyle: No, not ham, you fat fuck!
Cartman: Screw you! It’s ham, isn’t it?

Laptop that made my computers scream

Woke up very late, around 1230 in the afternoon. The reason behind waking up so early was that, all the computers in the house started screaming, literally. It was Kaspersky warning that there were port scans and intrusion attempts!, In all the three computers! After freshening up, I sat down to analyze what the fuck happened. Somebody turned on the latop a friend gave me two days ago for some maintainace work. Accidentally the network cable was plugged in, and coz my router assigns IPs via DHCP, that lappy was online in no time. It was filled with virii and spyware! and all those were trying to spead in my LAN! They made up my 100Mbit wireless router hang up! It was time to take some drastic measures, I had to introduce kaspersky to that system. I did. It detected nearly 400 infected files, and cleaned or deleted every single one! Then it was time for spyware to go, installed spybot, it found nearly 100 spyware entries! What the fuck was that guy doing on that comp all this time!?

Everytime the lappy booted, It showed a command window executing something, a bot to be specific. It was showing what it was doing very clearly, like when a service starts up in verbose mode. All the time I was under the assumption that it was some software installed by the user (me==noobie! :( ) but it was a virus starting up and initializing its bot!!! and Kaspy took care of it. Spybot found so much spyware that it wants to scan and clean again after a reboot! ROFL! With kaspersky and spybot installed, that lappy is never going to get infected by another virus or spyware! I always trusted Kaspersky and it proved itself again!

After all this, I went on to the terrace to check on the number of kites flying in the sky, and there were NONE! Population in our area almost doubled (with all the new apartments buildings) since the last time I flew kites. I expected the number of kites to double too, but there were none! wtf! Has everyone turned into those zombies which watch whatever that comes on TV?? or is everyone that lazy? or are they just scared that they might get a sunburn? Seems like I have to go to some other part of the city to fully enjoy pongal. I just hope there are atleast a few kite flyers tomorrow to play with.

Safri Duo rock! They are just amazing. Baya baya and Played-a-live are some of the best tracks from them. Listen and you will never forget. Scooter also is a good artist. These 3 trax were on my repeat playlist since evening, and I am still not bored!

Quote of the Day :

Mr. Garrison: Who was in charge of the feminist movement of the early ’60’s?
Cartman: A bunch of fat old skanks on their periods.
Mr. Garrison: Right. But who was the fattest, oldest skank on her period?