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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do it yourself

Have netbooks changed anything in the last couple of years? They have for me. I bought a little, at the time recently released, Asus eee 900. After installing a Linux distribution and some messaging, podcasting and screencasting programs it was ready for prime time! Ever since, my 3 year old Compaq laptop has been seating on the desk, being used as a desktop computer.

Don´t get me wrong. It´s a fine machine, but I rather have a nice silent desktop with a big screen in there instead of a laptop. So I set myself on a quest to find the holy grail of machines. Not expensive yet silent and nice. Did not care that much about processor speed or graphics as I hardly ever use what I have in my 3 year laptop either. It turns out it is not that easy to find something that is already built up for you (at least in the Basque country).

So after going round and round for a bit, I decided to build my own machine. I did a little bit of research and found that a good desktop case is the way to start. The one I've chosen is an Antec P183. It is quite heavy but very well organised and nice looking in my opinion. The second most important thing was a silent CPU cooler. The one I got is Zalman CNPS9900. It´s big but size is one of the weapons we have to combat heat and we shall use it to our advantage. Next thing I focused on was a nice power supply. Antec has some that look nice but my choice was a Enermax Modu 82+. It has cables you can add or remove as you need them. This is a nice feature to keep the inside of the case well organised.

From this point onwards I did not paid as much attention to the details when buying parts and the guidelines were to avoid fans. I bought a ASUS P5KPL/EPU motherboard and filled with 2 modules of 2GB Kingston memory. I don´t recall what brand the PCI graphics card is but it does not have a fan. The hard drive is Western Digital 1 Terabyte Caviar Green and the CPU is Intel Celeron E3200 2.40GH.

Assembling everything is not difficult. Remember to add the fan support underneath the motherboard. Other than that follow the motherboard instructions.

Finally there is a point I want to make about efficiency. Lots of friends query me about what computer they should buy. Every time they do, I try to avoid answering. First I´m a software guy and don´t now much about hardware. Secondly, it depends on your needs. However, over time, I have realised that most of them have gotten it wrong and I can no logger hide my opinion. For an average office and internet user It´s not CPU speed and graphics what you have to focus on. The speed of the hard drive is one of the biggest factors on a cold start nowadays. The only focus on hard disk is however, on its size rather than speed.

Coming back to our home made, silent computer, there is a hard disk in town that is fast and completely silent, the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD. Although the price is quite high, it looks like they have finally found the way to speed these drives up. Keep an eye on these SSD drives!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Behobia-Donostia 2009

Autobusak 9:40 inguruan utzi gaitu Behobia herrian. Milaka korrikalari, hotza galanta eta giro bustia. "Prestaketa kaxkarra ein dot aurten be ba", nire buruari eta halan da guzti be, erlojua aurrera. Tik-tak, tik-tak, 10ak eta nire lagun Mikelentzat, motxila kamioira sartzeko ordua. Eguraldia aldakor dabil, baina euririk ez momentu honetan.

Mikelen marka urrin dago nire helburuetatik. Egia esan aurten, bigarren aldia izaterako, ez dekot argi zein helburu dekodan.

Prestaketak amaituta, berotuteko ordue da. Momentuz, biok batera gabiz eta horrek, aurretik dekoguzen 20 kilometroetan ez pentsetan laguntzen deust.

Halako batean, goizeko 10:45 ailegatu dire eta Mikelentzat bere lekura joateko ordua. Bostekoa emon, animoak elkar trukatu eta bakarrik geratu naz berotzen. Nire irteera 11:17.

Goizeko 11ak eta Lehenengo irteera ofiziala. "Hor joango zan Mikel" neure burueri. Berotzen nabil nire irteera gunearen ondoan eta halango batean zaparrada ikeragarrie! Danok busti bustita. Animoak bajatzen dabizela sentitzen dot. Nire eskoitik zuriz jantzitako mutil bat aterkin baten azpien. "Sartu zu be hona", berak. "Eskerrik asko", nik. "Hau eguraldia!", nik. "Ze kristo eiten dogu hemen?", berak. Eta ni azken esaldi horreri bueltak emoten. "Cielo azul!" frantzez neska batek eta nik "ai gixajea". Animoak lurretik ezin altxatu eta halango batean jendea "ohe, oheoheohe" kantetan. Horrek animatzen gaitu eta irteerara.

11:17, ein barri dodan lagun Markinarragaz animoak alkar trukatu eta aurrera. Jendetza piloa kaleetan, manifa bat emoten dau. Hasiak gara galapan eta ezin gustoko erritmorik hartu, halan da be, euria leundu da behintzet. Irun herria paseu eta sentsazio onak igarten doaz, apur bet sakatukotzat ia zelan erantzuten dabien hankak.

Gaintxurizketa ez dot txarto pasatu eta beherantzako bidean. Lehengo urteko marka hobetuko dodalakoan nago baina ondino asko falta da. Holango galapaldietan, badagoz momentu batzuk, bide zati luze bat ikusten dozula aurrean. Holangoetan, burua makurtu eta hutsean pentsatzen pasatzen dot nik denbora. Lezora ailegatzen gabizela halango momento batean murgilduta nago. Bapatean, 15 bat metro aurrerago altu entzuten da "... BAJO LA LLUVIA HEMOS PASADO GAINTXURIZKETA Y LEZO, EL VIENTO NOS MUEVE HACIA LOS LADOS, EL GRANIZO CAE CON GANAS, PERO EL OBJETIBO ES UNO PARA TODOS, DONOSTIA Y YA SE ENCUENTRA MAS CERCA". Tipo bi, bata irrati baten antzeko aparatu bat lepotik eskegita eta bestea mikrofonoagaz korrika!! Hori bai meritoa. Jendeak animoak emoten dautsiez eta ni be animatu naz. Pasaiaraino irribarrea ahoan.

Pasaia, zuk dekozu paisaia. Ezta ikusi zaituten lehenengo aldie baina ikusten dotzutan bakoitzean luzatu eiten zara. Portu bat baino ez da, aldatsik ez dau, baina morala jan eiten doste. Trintxerpera ailegetan nazenerako, dana alde batera itxi eta ohinez segitako gogoak sartu jataz. Urrun gerantzen dire, Lezoko komentarista haren hitzek. Hemen hitzek ez, hankak emoten deurie min.

Baia barriro be, atzo Maialenek Bergarako agurrean botatako bertso bukaeraren egia etorri da bidera. "honek eluke mereziko zuekaitik ez balitz" (gutxi gora behera). Eta han egoazan Mirakruz magalean, jendetza piloak danori animoak emoten. "Aupa Asier!!" entzun dot eskoitik. Dortsalean irakurriko eban. Ezkerreko aldetik ordea, trikitixa, ikusi mendizaleak, kantuari doinua jartzen. Momentu hori da, aurreko 16 kilometroak eta aurretik datozen 4reri, sentsua ipintzen deutsona. Oilo-ipurdiz hasi naz Mirakruzeko infernua igoten. Baia jada ezerk ez dau ardura. Beste urte batez, ez dot aurrekoa gainditu baia bueltatuko naz gustora.

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