atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6309: That's so fast!

1) Ordered rearview camera on Thursday. It arrived today. Ebay, $17 shipped. The rearview mirror with integrated LCD clips on to your existing mirror and it actually has two video inputs you can select from. So, theoretically, I could put a low-light camera on the front of the Jeep and use it to enhance my nighttime driving.

I do not want to have all kinds of wires hanging all over the place, so I'm going to be installing this one the right way: removing trim and hiding the wires in it. This probably means I will get a bad case of the "might as wells" and redo the headliner, which has only needed redoing for half a decade, because removing the trim is "step one" in that project.

And when I do install the thing, at the same time I'll run a power wire for the GPS, because I might as well. Right?

* * *

2) Today we went all over creation, Mrs. Fungus and me; we went to a pet show, and then to a flea market. After that we went to Best Buy, where we got two SSDs, one for each of our computers. I got the $30 PNY 120 GB one; she got the $54 SanDisk 240 GB one. Two mounting kits.

Got home, flopped for a bit; then tossed the drives in and copied WoW to them. WoW now runs fast on our machines, for two reasons. A) The obvious one, that SSD is just tons faster than HDD. B) Getting WoW onto its own drive means the system doesn't have to load WoW at the same time it's updating virtual memory and doing this and doing the other thing, all of which require HDD access. So instead of everything going through one pipe, it goes through two.

When SSDs come down in price more, so that a 1 TB drive is no longer $250, we'll migrate to all SSD. For the time being, the HDD is fine for everything else. We leave our machines on (they're on UPSes and we put them to sleep when we're not using them) so booting is a "sometimes" thing, and we don't use any other software that is so disk-intensive.

I do expect them to get cheaper. When I bought the 120 GB drive that's in Seiren, it was something like $70 on sale; now they're about $30 on sale. There are several FLASH plants coming on line all over the world; and with Samsung et alii having perfected 96 layer FLASH, and now being able to store 128 gigabytes on a single IC, it should not be very long now.

Let's face it: with that kind of density available, a 120 GB drive is literally three chips and a circuit board.

And of course that doesn't even take into account the fact that we're still waiting for memristor memory to make its debut. Intel's 3D Xpoint memory is (I'm pretty sure) memristor memory, and that is both faster and more durable than FLASH memory is; but that's only one company. Everyone's invested in FLASH now, but that won't be forever.

Near term--I'd be surprised if a 1 TB SSD was still $250 this time next year. Maybe $175-ish? Depending on how the new capacity shakes out, of course. Sub-$150 is the price point I'm really waiting for. I could probably get along with a 500 GB drive, in fact, but I prefer not to. Once name-brand 1 TB SSDs go to $149 MSRP I'm there.

Anyway installation was a breeze; the hard part was that these things don't come with SATA signal cables and I had to dig out a couple. Of course these are marketed as replacements for existing drives. Still--

The PNY came in a box; the SanDisk in a blister pack. Heh.

* * *

...trying to figure out how to play around with the backup camera without wiring it into the truck. I have some 12v adapters around here, maybe that would do it....


Yep, a pair of 12v adapters for external hard drives did it. Powered on both camera and monitor.

Monitor can display 16:9 but the camera outputs 4:3, so I had to switch modes on the monitor. Camera has two LEDs which don't have an "off" switch.

Basically, you wire the camera to the backup light circuit, so when you go into reverse, the lights go on, and so does the camera. The monitor is wired to something that's on when the ignition is on, so it goes on as soon as you start the vehicle, but it looks like a mirror until the camera goes on. The presence of a video signal tells the monitor in the rearview mirror to switch on.

Pretty clever. And it was $17, shipped.

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