Hardware rearrangements

Real fun day! :) After I woke up, I’ve continued with assembling of the new PC. When I was almost done, Olga came in and suggested that my home network planning and planning of hosts locations was totally wrong. After a bit of thinking I was convinced and started to redo the whole thing. Everything was going fine, until I decided to test it. :) Somehow it happened that I put 230 volts into the power supply while it was switched to operate in 110 volts mode. No surprise the damn thing exploded with a terrible sound, which caused me and Olga to go partially deaf for the rest of the day. Here goes 520 watts.

So, I call up Lev and ask him to come over, so that he could prevent me from doing lots of other stupid things. He kindly agreed, I brought him over and we started playing with the rest of the hardware. My high-tower case was now filled with 4 hard disks, CD-ROM drive, CD writer, Intel Celeron 2GHz processor and 256 megs of RAM. Surprisingly, the whole thing started to work using an old 235 watts power supply. I was extrememly glad until I started noticing lots of strange behavoir. First of all, machine state was totally different with every reboot – even /bin/hostname returned different results. Then things started to go completely insane and I’ve almost lost my mind. Imagine seeing different results from two consequtive runs of /bin/ls! /bin/df was no different.

After doing few things here and there, I found out that it’s time to restore the system from the proper copy of it on another hard disk that I had. Yet again a surprise – files were restored, but all of them were owned by root.root . Excellent! :) This was where I said – enough for today and went to the office. :)

Random bits

It’s saturday again! Trip to Kurium beach with Lev, Hazard, and Olga. Then back home for a shower, since the sea was particularly salty today. Some Pizza Mia, and then to Hazard for a movie. This time we watched Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb“, which was too real to be a comedy, but still was good. Back home to continue assembling of the new PC and general hardware rearrangement.

While building the new PC, I noticed a red sticker on top of the AGP slot on my new motherboard saying: “PLEASE USE ONLY 1.5V AGP CARDS TO AVOID PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THIS MOTHERBOARD”. That’s a bit too scary for the hardware idiot like myself, so I had to some Googling. The card I was planning to stick in was GeFORCE2 MX-200 32MB+TV. I don’t have to tell you how happy I was when I found a good explanation of wtf is 1.5V and how easy can I check the AGP card to comply right here.
Luckily, my card seems to be OK for the insertion. :)

2 Fast 2 Furious

2 Fast 2 FuriousOlga, Hazard and myself went to see “2 Fast 2 Furious“. Overall, it was a bit less then what I was expecting. They could have benefit a lot from keeping Vin Diesel, and watching fast car driving in “The Transporter“. I’d rate the whole thing as being 4-5 out of 10 and that’s all due to the crazy black guy, who was the only one trying to bring some acting to the movie.

Shopping for hardware

Since I’ve decided to replace my wireless video extension burned yesterday with a proper PC setup for playing DVDs, divx, and mp3s, I needed to do some shopping. The goal is to get something simple and good enough for my entertainment needs.

Quick shop inspection left me with Shuttle AB48N motherboard, Intel Celeron 2.0GHz CPU, a stick of 256MB DDR-333MHz RAM, and Prosource PS-520DF power supply (520 watts, since it’ll have to support a lot of hard disks in the same machine). I’ve paid a bit less then 200CYP (about 350USD).

Now I will have to push myself to actually assemble the whole thing.

Fire in the hall!

Oops! I’ve burned my Wavecom Wireless Video Set (just the receiver actually). Just in time – minutes before I’ve rented another couple of DVDs to entertain myself with. No problem – nobody like that wireless thing too much anyway. I’ll be getting myself an upgrade for the ex-home server machine (PII/233MHz), so that I could use it for DVD watching tomorrow.

Back to work on Hylafax

Interesting developments at work: suddenly my boss remembered, that there was once an effort to use HylaFax in stead of GFI’s FaxMaker for Exchange. This effort was done when we were migrating MS Exchange 5.5 to MS Exchange 2000 and FaxMaker was stupidly refusing to work. A lot of waters ran since that time and noone remembered where we stopped and what exactly has been done. Currently, we are about to renew our FaxMaker licenses and that is where everything starts. After a quick review and series of simple tests, it turned out that 95% of job has been done. There is a Red Hat Linux 7.1 machine with serial multiport card attached and configured. HylaFax is installed and it even can send faxes. There are two phone lines connected for testing purposes and even Exim has been configured to work as email2fax gateway. The remaining 5% of the job include things like proper coverpages, access rights, incoming fax routing to proper people, and reporting both for users and management. These 5% should be finished until the end of next week, so that several people could try the functionality. So, here I am on my night shift in NOC sending faxes to myself. And they say that shizofrenic people sometimes use email to talk to other personalities within themselves.

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir DogsNot to leave the evening spoiled I watched the second movie. And that was “Reservoir Dogs“. I’ve already seen this Tarantino’s masterpiece long time ago and with terrible Russian translation which forced me to fall asleep like twenty times during the movie. Now I can confidently say that that was only thanks to translation. Excellent movie, with excellent acting. It’s rare that I get to see such good movies, so I value them especially.


EquilibriumFinally, I’ve watched “Equilibrium“. Disappointment. It’s not even close to “The Matrix”. The story (plot) is not finished, there are lots of glitches. Like millions. To start with, after the war people are usually very peaceful and don’t need hard military control. Secondly, I haven’t seen a single mutant, although the story takes place after the Third World War, which involved nuclear weapons. Hell, there is no even one ugly face in the whole movie. All men are body builders and all women are sexy, big breasted brunets. That’s boring. Lots of things like that.

Additionally, plenty of staff has been just plainly stolen from “The Matrix”. Camera positions, style, and effects in certain places. Like when these guys are coming from the downtown in the car in the beginning of the movie – it looks exactly like the scene when Neo has been taken to see the Oracle in the Matrix. The way he sees staff passing by while sitting on the back seat of the car… Black leather coats, haircuts, the way people talk… They even tried to steal martial arts, but that was difficult, so they failed miserably. And I am glad for that.

There are couple of nice fighting scenes in this movie, but it’s not worth the whole movie. I would rate the whole thing as 3 or 4 out of 10. Definitely not 7.8/10 as it stand on IMDB.