Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Mandrake 10.0 final

Upgraded all my machines to MDK 10.0 final. Slick.

It's a pretty good distro, which only misses out on a couple of points: urpmi is a bitch - configuring is not easy (even with the many sites dedicated to helping you); downloading large files is a pain on a modem; seems to like having local CD copies available (err, my machines span 2 sites); updates aren't available all the time - perhaps this is part of MDK's general "subscribers get early access model" (et sim. phpnuke) which is silly and annoying.

My only other comment was on a personal stupidity moment. Overclocked, my IDE bus is not 100% reliable (with CDs mainly), so upgrading was a dumb thing to do: I wasn left with large amounts of /usr/bin /usr/lib /usr/X11R6/[bin,lib] and etc/pam.d bollocksed (ordinary files replaced by files which contained random data).

Luckily rpm still worked fine so (after dropping back to 133/33 and) a few lines of bash created some 'rpm -Uvh --force --replacepkgs' goodness that sorted it all, but I still felt a bit foolish.

You live and learn ;-)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Case modding - how not to do it (16:36 Tuesday 06 April 2004)

I put the Akasa 12cm fan in the side of my case by first drilling holes successively larger until I could put the jigsaw in.

I'd marked out a maximal and minimal pair of concentric holes (I'm not interested in perfection) and so got down to it.

Pieces of advice:

1. Make sure you mask off the case. I hadn't realised that the actual jigsaw would scuff/scratch the case under it's entire body. (Dumb, I know). Not that this matters on my shit case hidden in the dark.
2. Fix the case to a rigid object before commencing any cutting. The whole case (or side panel) vibrates and moves around like nobody's business; as do your arms and your eyeballs.

A combination of the above factors meant that I didn't cut the hole in completely the correct shape (its a bit too big on the lower left hand quadrant for a length of about 20mm and peaks up to 4mm of extra hole, in a tangential direction).

Still the motherboard is cooler, the case looks cooler (thanks to the 4 funky lights in the fan, and the Biochem warning grill).

But if you want to do it properly, don't cut corners like I did.

I can honestly say that I could never cut an accurate window in a case.

Originally published on 16:36 Tuesday 06 April 2004