Thomas (boggyb) wrote,

NaBloPoMo fail, and computer upgrades

Err... oops?

My excuse is I got distracted by planning computer upgrades for Nyx and Aether, and trying to work out which bits to order from which supplier to minimise costs (no one supplier stocks all the parts). And then getting further distracted by working out if a certain upgrade is even possible.

Mainly as a reference for myself, for Nyx (the desktop) the planned upgrade is:
  • 3.5" front panel I/O module (4xUSB 2.0, audio, Firewire) to replace the existing top-mounted I/O module which I've always found to be in a somewhat awkward position (it's in the middle at the top, so I can't really put anything on top of the case). Removing the I/O module will let me put a fan there to hopefully increase the air pressure inside the case and stop the CD drives becoming dust-eating air intakes.
  • 3.5" front panel memory card reader, as it'd be more useful than the existing external USB reader. Slightly complicated as I'd like one that can handle SmartMedia, and massively complicated by the fact that there are no internal USB ports for it (the new front panel I/O module uses all of them). Or rather, no officially-available ports - the onboard wireless in Nyx occupies a dual USB header, but only uses one USB port and appears to have an unpopulated header to pass through the other one. It should be possible to solder a pin header onto that wireless card and use the other USB port for the card reader...
  • Pin header for the aforementioned onboard wireless card. Need to check the spacing carefully - not everything uses a 2.54mm pin spacing. And check which way round to fit it (top or bottom of the card?).
  • A couple of 3.5" to 5.25" front panel adapters.
  • A pair of 3TB hard disks to replace the existing ones which are a bit too old for my liking. Especially given that one of 'em sometimes struggles to spinup. Hard disks all seem to be much of a muchness these days, so I'm planning on getting whatever the current Seagate Barracuda is as previous incarnations have generally served me well.
  • A tube of Artic Silver 5 thermal compound for the graphics card repair.
  • And I've just thought that sticking an air filter in the front of the case would help against the dust bunny invasion. Need to check what size I need and work out just how I'll fit the thing. That's one of the few flaws with the Coolermaster Wavemaster case - no air filter on the intake fans. Not sure why they omitted it as the Praetorian had one.
While the processor is woefully outclassed by any half-decent one these days, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is still fast enough that it's not worth me upgrading it. Especially as to do so would require a new motherboard, in turn requiring new memory and quite probably needing PCI-E versions of the TV and SCSI cards.

I might need a new graphics card though if the repair fails. That'd be only the second significant hardware upgrade since building Khaos 7 years ago (the first being the SSD earlier this year)

For Aether (the laptop):
  • Intel PRO/2915ABG Mini-PCI wireless card. Yes, I know, the laptop's ancient and this is certainly a non-reusable upgrade (unlike the other one I mentioned yesterday), but for £13 including postage I'm happy to take a punt on it.
Aether could really do with a new battery and an upgrade to Windows 7 but that's a significant cost and at that point I'm probably better off outright replacing it (not to mention that I'm not sure if I can even find the drivers for Windows 7). The current hardware is over 10 years old, and while the Pentium M was incredibly fast for its time (outperforming desktop Pentium 4 processors running at a much faster clock speed), it's just not fast enough for the Javascript monstrosities that are modern websites.

That said it'll be a shame to replace it, as you just can't get laptops with 1600x1200 screens anymore.
Tags: aether, computers, khaos, nablopomo, nyx

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