Tuesday, August 6 2019

computers, naps, and work

Dear Journal,

Good morning, and hope you're doing well on this drizzly morning. We had some nice summer thunderstorms roll in last night. Ziggy and I took a spontaneous nap on the couch while listening to the thunder. Sometimes in the evening, especially during weeks where I don't get as much sleep as I'd like to, I'll take a quick power nap on the couch with Ziggy. Her nose gets cold, and she likes to tuck her head between my head and the pillow, and a few minutes of listening to her breath will effectively lull me to sleep.

After a quick power nap, I dragged up the downstairs computer and opened it up. My goal was to just have a quick look, maybe remove some dust, then put it back, but the project kind of spun out of control and before I knew it, I had all the parts completely removed and set aside. There's a lot more going on than I anticipated. As I had feared, the power supply is a giant, hideous gray box. But it just occurred to me that if I could boot it without the video card, I might be able to get away with a smaller, more low profile power supply - and that's better for our electric bill as well.

Before I knew it, it was 10:45, so I rushed to re assemble the computer before evening TV time. The computer booted, but there was no video output - thanks to my brilliant strategy of not taking pictures or notes and just winging it. On the bright side, now that the computer is only half assembled, it should be much easier to pick up where I left off tonight.

I'm thinking about just selling off the parts individually and buying a low powered Atom board. I'm kind of over the whole "beefy computer" thing. This past year has been an unofficial experiment in cheap, low powered machines, and for the most part they all have worked out pretty well. The only time I have trouble is running chrome on my raspberry pi, but I try to do that sparingly. I can still take notes, make journal entries, and even write some code without having to open up a browser. I would also tout the electric savings, but I'm sure my desktop and servers are a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs to run our AC in the hot summer months. We like to keep it cold - I like when every room in the house feels like a chilly basement.

So what else is going on… the interns and I have started on the second to last week of work, and it's a doozy. Last week we rehearsed the disaster recovery plan and designed some ambitious improvements, and this is the week where we pretty much just attempt to build everything. As always, they're way further along than I anticipated, but overall it should be the perfect amount of work for the last two weeks we have together.

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. When was the last time you cleaned the dust out of your computer? I bet it looks like coral reef of dust bunnies in there.