atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3006: Vista does too much stuff automatically.

The torrent box was running a torrent of the Haruhi movie last night (BD rip FTW) and the hard drive was thrashing like a combine.

The machine was emitting a constant rattle, regular as a metronome, that went on for hours...and finally I got worried and started trying to find out WTF was going on. Finally I concluded that it was probably (only "probably") the hard drive doing a defrag, because that showed up as having been started Saturday morning at 3:45 AM and I shut the machine down less than an hour after that.

So it was probably just finishing that up. I let it run all night, and when I got up this morning the machine was dead silent. The system doesn't have any cooling fans, relying instead on convection to keep things cool; if I can figure out where the hell to put one I might change that, assuming I can find one that's quiet.

Out: any fan that takes up an expansion slot or a drive bay. I don't have any to spare.

There are slim fans that would fit on the side of the case away from the hard drive, and I may end up buying one and bolting it in. The case has vents on its sides so that will help, and I can probably affix the fan to the case (rather than the cover) so it won't be a cast-platinum-iridium-plated bitch to install.

* * *

Missiles were pointed at Michelle Obama's hotel room! The horror! So they had to turn the ship around.

...if someone wanted to blow up your hotel room it wouldn't matter which way the missiles were pointed when they were on their launchers. These are guided missiles; they have targeting hardware and software which makes them able to steer themselves to hit their targets.

I would love to have heard the conversation in the wardoom aboard that ship after this nonsense.

* * *

Last week, the choir director mentioned that they'd like some more members, and this week the pastor reiterated the call for new members. I've been thinking about it.

I can sing, though no one would ever pay to hear me. I can't read music. It would mean more socializing and more networking, two things which are never bad for a lonely bachelor; and it's not like I'd be a soloist or anything like that. It'd provide more incentive for me to get my butt to church every week, which would be a good thing.

Ah, I don't know.

* * *

Last night I made chicken stir-fry, and it turned out well, except for when my wok exploded.

...feeling mildly hypoglycemic, and getting a headache, I cut up the chicken and put it in the fridge to marinate. Then I cooked eight gyoza and made a bowl of instant wakame miso soup, and ate that while the chicken marinated.

The dipping sauce was about a teaspoon of ginger powder, half a teaspoon of mongolian fire oil, and two tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. It was perfect. The wakame soup is a Kikkoman product, and it's a simple instant soup mix to which you add 3/4 cup of water. The funny part is how the seaweed expands; when you first dump the mix into the bowl the seaweed bits are the size of chives, but after about five minutes they reconstitute to their proper size, which is about the size of a postage stamp.

You can usually find these soup mixes at oriental grocery stores; they're good and tasty and you can't tell the difference between them and the stuff you get at Japanese restaurants--which means either the restaurants use the same thing, or else the Kikkoman mixes are just that good.

So anyway: I ate the gyoza and had the soup, and then started cooking.

A few weeks ago I noticed that my supply of onions had gotten seriously moldy; if I had left them be, they would have become completely inedible, so I peeled the moldy layers off them, cut up the remainder--being careful to preserve them as halves, just sliced--and froze them.

Like an idiot, last night I took a half-onion from the freezer and tossed it into the hot oil without thinking. Frost had formed between the slices, and of course the hot oil melted the ice and the water drops then sank through the oil--

Luckily the stove is the "halogen" style and there are no open flames or exposed heating elements; the oil didn't catch fire. If it had, I was ready to grab the baking soda (full box!) to put it out; but that wasn't necessary. Nonetheless it made a god-awful mess. I flipped the onion out of the oil with the spatula, but the damage was done; after I defrosted the onion in the micronuke I was able to put it into the oil without causing another explosion, and I cooked the rest of the meal normally.

Cleaup took a while. At least the food was good, even if I did almost destroy the kitchen in the process. *sigh*

Anyway, the punch line came this morning when I walked out to the kitchen to start a bagel toasting; there is apparently still a very thin film of oil on the kitchen floor, because I nearly fell on my ass when my dry feet hit the vinyl. I caught myself on the counter, did a silly "I can't get my feet under me!" schtick like you see in slapstick comedies (on purpose), and resolved to find the mop and mop the floor at my earliest convenience.

* * *

With all the nonsense attended to, the torrent box (El Hazard) is nice and quiet, with only the occasional tick from the hard drive as it saves another bit of the Haruhi movie. That's the only torrent it's running right now; soon I expect to migrate all the BakaBT torrents to it and resynchronize them, so I can start building up my seed ratio again.

I have to figure out what I want to do with regards to storing the stuff, though. I can't put another hard drive in unless I take out the DVD drive; that's not really a problem but hard drives cost money, and I don't want to spend much more on things I don't absolutely need. In the past six weeks I've bought a motorcycle and a new computer, for crying out loud. Granted, they were both on the cheap, but still....

One thought I had was to get some kind of SATA controller that has RAID hardware. I could set up two 1 TB drives in RAID 1 which would give me some data security. Not as good as RAID 5 would be, but good, since the chance of both drives failing at the same time is miniscule. Then it'd be a matter of simply moving stuff around and/or backing up to DVD when I run out of room.

The system board doesn't have any provision for RAID (not with two SATA ports on a $40 board with processor) and there's no room in the case for more than three 3.5" drives in any event--I could get a mounting kit to put a 3.5" drive in the 5.25" bay, but there's nothing to plug it in to. With a SATA controller in the PCI slot, I could run 3 drives if I wanted. Keep the 500 GB as the system and software drive, and then run two 1 TB drives in RAID 1 as the data drives. That would work well, but hard drives do not grow on trees and I'm not in a position to buy two terabyte drives and a RAID-capable SATA controller. Not right now, anyway.

Since I will not be using this machine for WoW (even though I could) I don't need superfast drives. 5,400 RPM drives will do, and those are cheaper; at CompUSA I saw 500 GB drives for fifty-odd dollars and terabyte drives were not that much more. But there doesn't seem to be as much of a premium, when it comes to drives that aren't on the cutting edge, for 7,200 RPM. And 1 TB is now approximately "middle of the road" these days, especially since the 3 TB drives started coming out.

The on-board video is good without being stellar. I was able to watch anime on it; we'll see how it does with video in 1080p.

* * *

The other thought I had was that a guy with a machine like this could get a Blu-Ray drive and a better video card with TV outputs; by adding a remote he'd end up with a kickass set-top box. But that's not my aim for this machine.

* * *

When I was looking at mini-ITX boards I didn't think about the top end of the spectrum, concentrating as I was on low cost torrent machine.

But they've got mini ITX boards that can take an Intel i5 processor, for crying out loud. As always it comes down to how much speed you're willing to pay for, I guess.

* * *

As for me, I managed a bare 3 hours of sleep before getting up for church. I think I'm going to take a nap now.

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