Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Server

I recently bought some computer parts and built a server (with some help from my friends). Here is a quick photo-diary of the build event:

The case (CMStacker)

A 4-in-3 disk-holder

A couple of the disks (320GB, 7200rpm, 16MB cache each)

All the disks loaded (6 in total)

...and inserted into the case (and also an optical drive at the top)

The Motherboard (K8N Master2-FAR)

..with processors (2x AMD265 64bit DualCore Opteron = 4 cores!!) and crossflow fan (at top of motherboard)

...with processor fans

...with initial memory (2x2GB PC2700 ECC/Registered = 4GB)

...with memory(!) fan

Video card and card with manual speed switch to control some of the fans

The power supply (Silentist)

Initial wiring

Tidied wiring (sufficient for me :-) )

Compared to my desktop this machine is a giant!

The finished product!

In total it has 9 fans comprising: 2 case fans, 1 power supply fan, 2 processor fans, 1 memory fan, 1 motherboard fan, and 2 disk fans making. If things still manage to get hot then there is space for another fan on the left-side cover.

It still needs more memory - it will have 12GB in the end!

It will be used as a virtualisation host with each virtual machine running on its own disk. This is in response to having to work with some finicky-to-install and resource-heavy software - we have spent (wasted?) far too much time trying to get the installation just right (only to find other things subsequently installed can affect these) and a shortage of machine powerful enough to run the software (mainly from a memory standpoint). Once we outgrow this then Amazon's EC2 will be utilised - I was going to start out with that, but in the end I needed to get the server setup quite quickly whilst having a million other things to do (plus there are actually some legal considerations with regards to Amazon's datacenter strategy...but that discussion is for another time).

[N.B. No animals were harmed during the building of this server, though nabe and beer was consumed.]

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Seriously cool

So, as well as a stream running through, my ideal garden has one of these in it too.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

amateur robocop?

I like this sort of project.

Do you wonder what I read ?

Whether you do or not, here is a link to items I deem worthy of letting people know I have read (I use google reader to read my feeds now (I am finding it faster to get through than netvibes; basically because it is easier to see if something is uninteresting and skip over it) and that allows you to share items that you deem shareable).

Raw view; feed. - I will add them to the side sometime soon.

Passport issues

Unfortunately, I have a passport like this... :-(

The people who designed this should be fired! Why do governments consistently let amateurs do poor amateurish work ? Security is hard, but there are good people who know a lot about it - unfortunately it seems that none of them were involved in this...

The real bummer though is that this less-secure passport is more expensive (passport holder pays)! I want my money back and a new passport that doesn't open me up to new identity theft opportunities.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Why do I like insects so much ?

Random fact about these guys (found this particular one the other day just on a tree outside a nearby house): their large eyes mean they can see up to 60 feet away! That strikes me as being darn good.

That said, I think the furthest I have ever seen is 200 miles from dinosaur national park to some far off (perhaps it was only 200 miles away!?) mountain range in the US (admittedly the air condition was good on that day).

But, how should seeing power scale ?
1 mile is apparently 63360 inches. If it scales linearly then her/his eyesight is pretty poor compared to mine; if quadratically, then it is of the right order of magnitude; if cubically, then it is impressive. Anyone know how to compare insect eyes and human ones ? I am guessing that they should scale linearly, but the type of eye obviously should have a significant influence. Who knows about this stuff ?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rakuten head and WoW

Joi Ito made the following statement in a recent interview with the Japan Times (I do not know whether the interview was conducted in English or not):
  • "When I go to my WoW guild, my raid leader is a night-shift nurse. We have bartenders. We have unemployed people, lots of military folks, policemen -- there is a community made up of a very diverse set of people. And what's interesting is that every single MBA who has tried to take the leadership role in the guild has failed. Leadership in these kinds of situations is much more about listening, and leadership is not exclusive to people in the leading class."
And further down talking about Rakuten he makes the following statement:
  • "I think Mikitani-san [Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani] knows the world. He speaks English. He went to Harvard. I don't think he's been very stifled."
A little search reveals that Mikitani got an MBA from Harvard in 1993. So, that got me wondering: although Joi is not saying Mikitani is stifled, is he implying that he cannot lead an agile organisation ? ;-)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Great post

This is a great post from a great blog and it made me laugh out loud!

Actually, there are a lot of articles that I want to share with you all after I have read, but I don't have the time/inclination to make a massive link posts, so I am entertaining the idea of using the new Google Reader's share feature. It let's you post any blog entry you have read to an RSS feed that is then publicly viewable (e.g. Robert Scoble's shared feed). I need to work out how I can manage my identities for this though (more specifically, I need to see what identifying information leakage there might be).