heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

Problems galore, but nothing insurmountable!

I have been writing these articles on the assumption that the instructions I gave to Ewen were followed, and they were - only it didn't work! I would love to hear from any Unix bod who can explain why "rm -rfv *.html" didn't work.

There was a further small delay as Ewen, well beyond the call of duty, fired up his SCP client and went and deleted all of the HTML files... by hand, one by one. There's loads of subdirectories and loads of files. We're probably looking at over a thousand.

Then, an interim update was put in place with the 'essentials' put back in place. Google gave the site a checking over and reported it was okay.

Whoo-hoo, this crap is finally sorted. Now to work on getting back to normal, and then to stuff (such as Eurovision) that were deferred...

Anyway, loads of kudos to Ewen for his work getting HeyRick sorted.

 

A new look

It is perhaps no big surprise that I have a geeky index page. Something that was missed on a lot of people was that the 'buttons' of the old style index were RISC OS action buttons. This time, I have gone for Windows XP's "FisherPrice" theme, firstly because I quite like it - the Win2000 styling is SO industrial-utilitarian and Vista is trying too hard to be Mac, and secondly because it will be more widely recognised.

If you want to reminisce on the original layout that HeyRick offered for over a decade, it's there on the right - and you can click the picture for a full-sized version.
The old version had logos on some of the buttons. I plan to introduce these to the new version as well, I just didn't have time today.

Let me know what you think, and don't forget that there's also a text-only version available.

 

Extra cooling

While it is hot outside, there is a little problem of it being hotter than usual inside. As it is, Ayleigh runs hot. Inside the PSU, it looks as if there are four powerful voltage regulator ICs bolted to a heatsink. The surprise is the cooling fan built in the PSU does not run particularly fast.
The motherboard does not have temperature sensing hardware onboard. I know the harddiscs were quite warm because I touched them, though the SMART temperature recording said 37°C and - get this - 8°C! So with no other way of monitoring the temperature of parts of the machine, the sane approach is to not take chances.

So I opened up the machine. A variable-speed fan was mounted on the outside of the PSU to blow air through it. The little controller board was attached to one of the two heatsinks. The power for the circuit was taken from the 12V supply to the original fan. Accordingly, the fan has cranked up to maximum temperature in about a minute, the PSU still runs hot, but now there's twice the air flowing through. This should also, hopefully, assist with sucking air out of the box to keep the insides replenished with cold air (as the GPU and CPU fans don't point to anything in specific, so long as heat is taken away from the respective heatsinks).
In order to aid air circulation in the lower part, and lower the temperature of the harddiscs, another fan was installed to suck air in through the lower expansion slots. This fan runs off 5V and is powered by tapping in to the additional supply to the graphics card.

The picture below is at a strange angle. Upper right is the PSU with the extra fan bolted to the outside. This is at the top of the box. Upper left is the fan tapped off the graphics card. This is the the bottom of the box. To the front (lower middle of the picture) you can see the harddiscs, one being 250Gb and one being 80Gb (those are decimal gigabytes). They are unplugged in this picture as I was testing to check the fans were going to work as desired.

The downside? A computer with two harddiscs and four fans is, well, a tad on the noisy side!
Still, at least I restrained my psycho tendencies. It had crossed my mind to take the blanking slots off the two unused 5¼ bays on the front and bolt on that old three-phase extractor fan I have kicking around someplace. The power cable is as thick as your thumb, hooked to a plug the size of a plastic beaker. Why didn't I? It sounds like a jet engine warming up. There's a limit to sanity, and a three-phase ass-kicking fan is beyond that limit!

 

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