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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Gifts Galore!

Hello all!
I've finished my finals for the semester and now I should have more time for the bucket list!

I have been working on my computer some. I received a new cd/dvd burner which I just installed with no issues. I also got a 1TB Western Digital HDD. Right now I'm working on getting another Arch setup on it.
I had space issues with my first Arch partition. I didn't have much space for anything, including root. It frustrated me to no end, but seeing as how cheap HDD's have been getting, I figured that would work nicely for me!

I just tried to install Arch on my new HDD, but I'm having issues with the new .iso file from the website. The CORE install has the 2.6.33 kernel in it, but for some reason daemons is asking for the 2.6.35 kernel. People are saying that creating a local repository is easy and will do the trick, but I think I'll try a Netinstall tomorrow morning. That seems to be easier.

On a slightly less computer-y note, I also received the wonderful Arduino Duemilanove and I've already started chugging away at it. Luckily, all my previous C knowledge has paid off and I'm not struggling at all with the programming! Just last night a made a solar controlled servo!

I found a few servos in my parents basement. My dad was once into model airplanes, which are filled with servos. As a sensor I used a small solar cell designed for breadboards and protoboards.

I have a few photoresistors and a continuous servo coming in the mail, should be here tomorrow.
I'm going to make a solar cell tracker similar to this,
Though I figure it's possible to do the same with only 2 photoresistors using similar logic.
Once I do that I think I can scratch learning arduino off the list.

My girlfriend has been bugging me to do some haul videos of my gifts, so expect some videos in the future! I'll have to get used to the whole video thing.
I'm using as a good reference! You should all check out his blog and channel.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Adding One to the List

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates, schools been really busy and I haven't had much time to scratch a few off my list.

But one thing I have done is found a new project I want to work on. It's called Arduino, and it's an open source microchip controller-esc programming package and controller. The board itself can be bought already assembled and the programming language is in C, which I know fairly well.

Once I teach myself how to use use the Arduino, I'll be able to add some more complex projects to the list, and I'll be one step closer to that elusive peristaltic pump!

On a side note, the next PSR solar car is coming along rather nicely. We just got our webcam back up, and you can watch our progress live HERE! We finalized the chassis two weeks ago and we took the carbon fiber panels to WJI Waterjet in Indianapolis. Mike Trapp showed us the ropes and volunteered his time to help us get the car completed.
Next step is to finish the bottom body of the car so we can fit it with the chassis. In the meantime, we'll have to build the front and rear suspension, which we have designed as of last week. Then we'll have a moving car!

Edit: It seems like the webcam is down again. I'll have to look at it again.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Need your ideas!

With all of my school work, I haven't had much time to scratch stuff off my list.
So my solution is to add more!

What I'd like to have is more small projects I can do on the weekends, between my schoolwork and the solar team. I might limit the list a bit, maybe between 3-5 new entries, maybe more if you guys come up with some real good ideas!

There's not much of a theme, but I'm leaning towards techy, maybe nerdy too. I'll except almost all ideas. I'm going to avoid anything that involves playing video games (ie, beat halo on legendary, etc...). I'd also like to keep it fairly cheap, less than $40.

Recently, I've gotten a lot of ideas from Home magazine (no plug intended), so there might be some good ideas there.

Post some ideas below!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nothing New

Well guys, sorry for the lack up updates. I've recently started my junior year of college and am tied up at the moment.

What I've been spending most of my time on recently has been the Purdue Solar Racing team. I am currently acting as the Mechanical Engineering Director for this semester, so I've been keeping busy with that.

Check out the website!

As for computers, I've recently found out I can get win7 for free through MSDNAA (Look it up). This should be really nice on the wallet.

Because I've recently rediscovered my joy of computer games, I've decided to dual boot windows for steam. I'm afraid WINE will degrade the performance too much. But now that I can upgrade to win7 free of charge, I have no reason not to. Don't worry, I still love linux.

I can't wait for Steam to include all of their penguin friends in on all the action. Does anyone have any updates on the rumors?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Got the new Firefox 4 beta yet?

I do!
It's looking pretty slick so far. The new toolbar looks to be build with a minimalist approach, much like Google's Chrome. In fact, I don't see much of a difference between the beta and chrome after a few tweaks, and by tweaks I mean editing userChrome.css and rewriting the code! Personally, the first thing I did was move the tab bar to the very top line. By rewriting the file, you can do things like change the default font size and color, move icons around, and make your own transparent image backgrounds. Being able to change the font size can be really interesting in Linux, due to some font size issues.

Here's my layout

Looks like Chrome, right? Yeah, no kidding. From my slight experience with Chrome, it's almost exactly the same, except the address bar isn't integrated with the Google search bar. The search bar is still located on the right of the address bar just like it was in the older Firefox.
Firefox still has all those famous apps too, even some new ones.
One interesting app which GodofGrunts showed me, is called Tab Candy. It allows tabs to be better organized.
Check this out

An Introduction to Firefox's Tab Candy from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, the Tab Candy app is not included with the Firefox 4 beta on the official Mozilla website, nor is it available as an extension or app. Instead, if you want to try out Tab Candy before the official release, you have to download Firefox 4 beta Here.

The official Firefox 4 release, including Tab Candy, is scheduled to release in November. I can't wait.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick Arch Linux install!

Well guys, I've been talking about it for a while now. I think its finally time to show to you guys how I install arch. It usually takes me about 10-20 minutes to get to a non-text based stage with a login screen and all. Let's begin!

Note: If you're going to be using Arch Linux with another operating system, such as windows, go ahead and create another partition on your hard drive using the OS that you already use. This partition will be where you're going to install Arch.

First step, find the arch .ISO or .IMG file Here.
You'll notice a 32bit and a 64bit version. 32bit versions can't read ram greater than ~2.9 Gb. 64bit versions won't work on older CPUs such as a Pentium 4. There's not really much difference between the two other than that.

Burn the .ISO to a CD, or copy it to a USB drive using Win32 Image Writer or Unetbootin. Win32 will only copy .IMG. Unetbootin will copy both, but may not work on all versions.

Insert the CD or USB and reboot. Make sure you change your boot order in your BIOS menu to boot from either the CD or USB.

You then should see a screen that looks like this,

Go ahead and select "Boot Arch Linux from Live CD"
Log in by typing "root".

Read the information on the screen and run

Soon after you'll see a screen that looks like this,

This will be your installation home screen. You will go through each one at a time.

Select Source - From here you choose either a net install or core install. Core install will use the information on your disk, while a net install will access information from a remote server. If you have a slow internet connection, you may want to select core. If you downloaded and burned the net .ISO or .IMG, you will use net and not have this option.

Set Clock - Select your timezone. fairly straight forward.

Prepare Hard Drives - This parts fun! If you're going to use PURELY Arch and not have any partitions on your hard drive, just select Auto Prepare. This will completely ERASE ALL OF YOUR PREVIOUS INFORMATION on your hard drive!

If you are using windows, mac, or any other system on your computer, select Manually Prepare hard drives. Split that previously created drive space into 4 seporate parts, each with 32Mb, 500 - 1000Mb, 4,000 - 15,000Mb, and the rest in the last. Highlight the 32Mb part and make it bootable. Make sure you keep track of the names of the parts (typically sda1, sda2...) as you will have no other way of identifying them. I like to write them down.

After finishing this, select Manually
configure Block devices, filesystem and Mountpoints
. Configure
your parts as follows,
32Mb - ext3, /boot
500 - 1000Mb - Swap
4,000 - 15,000Mb - ext4, /root
*rest* - ext4, /home

Hit Done, this may take a while.

Select Packages - Here is where you select which programs to initially install. Personally, all I would recommend you add is "Sudoers" under Base. You can install all of these packages later using

Install Packages - Select it and let it do its magic. This part may take a while.

Configure System - Select Nano. Select /etc/rc.conf,

Scroll down to where you see HOSTNAME="something" and replace something with the name of your computer (whatever you want). Hit ctrl-o to save and ctrl-x to exit. Select /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and scroll down to your country and delete the # symbol in front of about 5-10 lines. You can delete all of them, but you don't need to. ctrl-o and ctrl-x. Select Root-Password and type in your password twice. Hit Done.

Wait a while...

Install Bootloader - Select
GRUB and select your hard
drive, typically sda.

to reboot!

When you reboot, you can remove the CD or USB from your computer and change the boot order if you want. If you do this, you will see a screen that looks very similar to the boot screen you saw earlier, but with less options. Select the Arch Linux option.

If you choose not to remove the CD or USB, you will see the same screen as before. You can select More Options... then select Boot from Existing Arch Linux install.

Next you will get back to the original text screen where you can input commands.
Go ahead and log in to root with your root password you defined earlier during
the install.

From here you can configure your system and install a Graphics User Interface (GUI) complete with a desktop, icons and more.

First thing you need to do is update your system. Run
pacman -Syu

pacman is the program Arch uses to download packages from the Arch server. Don't confuse this with the little yellow dot muncher. Pacman stands for Package Manager. -Syu is a command specific to pacman. It tells pacman to update all of the packages currently installed and look for a newer version of the linux kernel.
Other usefull commands are -S (standard download and install) -Q (search your computer
for packages) and -R (remove packages on your computer).

Next you want to add your user account. Run
useradd -m -G users,audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,power -s /bin/bash (all one command)

Where is whatever you want to name the account.

To read more on the useradd command, go Here.

Add that user to your sudoers list. Run
nano /etc/sudoers
Nano is the program used to edit text, you chose this before the configurations in the install.
Sudoers is the configuration file that holds a list of all allowed sudoers. /etc is the directory where the configuration file is located.

If you scroll down, you should see something like this
Directly underneath that, add
Once again, where is the username you just created.

While you're at it, find the line
and uncomment it (delete the %).

Once you add the user name to the sudoers list, you can now run root-only commands while logged into that user. Just add "sudo" to the beginning of your command. For example,
sudo pacman -Syu

Next we're going to get started on the GUI. Run
pacman -S libgl xorg mesa alsa-utils

Find the correct video card driver for your system Here.
Some common drivers are
xf86-video-nouveau (Experimental)

If you don't know what video card you have, run
lspci | grep VGA

Once you find the driver you need, install it using pacman. For example,
pacman -S xf86-video-ati

Install your mouse and keyboard drivers.
pacman -S xf86-input-keyboard xf86-input-mouse

Next, let Xorg work its magic. Run
Xorg -configure
cp /root/ /etc/X11/xorg.conf

And now for the important stuff. Deciding what windows manager you're going to use. The
two most command managers are Gnome and KDE. These are both equal in performance and have very minor differences. If you don't have a preference, just pick one.
For Gnome, run
pacman -S gnome gde gnome-terminal gnome-extra
For KDE, run
pacman -S kde
There are many different windows managers out there, such as Openbox, Fluxbox, Xfce, FVWM2, and more.
Windows managers are purely user preference. Decide which one you like by trying a few out later.

Next we need to edit your daemons. Run
nano /etc/rc.conf
rc.conf is a configuration file for your computer that holds the daemons. This might look familiar,
this is were you changed your computers name. /etc is the directory where rc.conf is located.

After you open rc.conf, scroll down to the daemons list. It should be the last line in the file.
It should look something like this,
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network crond)
Go ahead and add these items to the list.
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng hal network alsa crond gdm(for gnome, kdm for KDE))
Order DOES matter, try to make is similar to what is above.
ctrl-o, ctrl-x.

Once that's all done, you should be able to reboot into Arch and be amazed by what you see next.

After logging into your created user account, you can now control your desktop like any other computer.

Use and be happy!

If you want to read more about my projects, visit my current blog at

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bucket V2.0 is born!

Well hello boys and girls! The Bucket V2.0 is up and running.
The build was fun and I had no hiccups with the hardware installation! As for the software, that's another story. But long story short I got it working. I'll have to reinstall Arch, but know I can get the x86 version instead of the i686 because my CPU is 64 bit compatible.

All that money on a computer and I still don't have a decent camera. Note for you guys who read this, I am accepting donations.

I got all of my essentials running good and played TF2 for a bit today, but I'm so tired from work I'm going to take a break for a while.
I'm going to take a rest for tonight and maybe tomorrow. I plan on installing arch again soon!

Check one off the bucket list.

Leave those comments, it keeps me going!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Minor + Major

I've had some changed in the past couple days. Let's start out with the minor stuff.
I logged into arch a couple times and played around with flashplayer and Conky. I can now watch Youtube videos! I also configured my Conky! Right now its fairly basic, didn't change the font, but changed the data it displays, changed the size a tad bit, and the location. Some funny things, I turned on double buffer because it was flashing every time it updated, about once a second. The double buffer made my desktop icons disappear! I figured it out eventually, had to add a couple more lines of code. I couldn't get the standard weather commands to work, and I don't feel like writing Python code to get it to work, so I'll leave that for later. I was also a tad disappointed that I didn't have any temp sensors that arch could read, so I couldn't display any temp reading, which would've been very nice. Overall getting Conky to work the way I like was pretty fun! Maybe I'll play around with some python code later to make it look prettier. Right now the font is pretty boring.

And now for the major updates!
I decided to spend some (quite a bit) of cash and update the bucket. First I got a graphics card to play a steam game my brother got me for my birthday. I am extremely satisfied with the buy. It's cheap, but crammed pack full of features. It can also run the games extremely well. I still haven't figured out why its so cheap.
Up to 3 monitors: VGA, HDMI, and DVI
HD compatible: up to 1080p, though I'm running it through VGA, which isn't.
Direct PSU input, my PSU isn't capable.
The only complaint I have is the heatsink is only plastic fins, it tends to get hot after a while of gaming. The manufacturer recommends +400W PSU and mine is only 240W. It seems to still work fine after about 4 weeks.

But why have all those features and not be able to use it?
This morning I decided to get a more powerful PSU, so I got this.
Antec EarthWatt 430W, and keen observers will notice it comes with a computer case too! This PSU will allow me to directly power the GPU without having to go through the motherboard, which would allow me to use all of the capabilities without having to worry. Plus it's rated for +400W, so if I decide to RMA the GPU, they won't get me for not having a proper power supply. That case is pretty slick too! Comes with plenty of ports and a 2.5 HDD slot. So I could install my hard drive directly without having to use the case I made, but I'll probably use the case, because I'm proud of it.

But isn't the motherboard is custom fitted for SFF current case?
Yeah, it is. So I wouldn't be able to use the motherboard with that case. So just now I decided to get one that would!
Nice board for the price. Once again, you might notice that it comes with a dual core processor too! Both of these items are really top notch. I'm surprised I could get them at a fairly low price. The motherboard has full overclocking capabilities, so I can finish what I started with the actual bucket list!

But Ian, that board requires DDR3 Ram, you only have DDR ram!
Yeah, your right once again. So in order to use it all, I'll have to get some DDR3 ram.
This is pretty much out of bare necessity. I want 2GBs of ram, and this was the cheapest option. The board is capable of 1666 ram, but I went a tad lower with the 1066 so I can overclock it if I feel like it later.

Total Tallies:
$85.98 -GPU
-$20.00 mail-in rebate
$69.99 -PSU
$44.99 -Case
-$20.00 Combo discount
$79.99 -Board
$67.99 -CPU
-$17.00 Combo discount
$47.99 -Ram

Running total: $536.90

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More action

Wow, long time to posts! Well between work and other time wasters, I haven't had much time for my computer stuff.

But now I've got something to post about! As I might have mentioned before, I first connected the Bucket to my TV and used a wireless keyboard and mouse from my couch, but I realized my eyes couldn't handle the pain anymore, so I decided to move back to a regular monitor and a desk.

While I was at it, I decided to reinstall Arch Linux again, and this time I did it right! I decided to install Gnome instead of KDE, which is slightly smaller. I also decided to go with more reasonable partition sizes. 7.5Gb for root, and 5.5Gb for home. What's left over is set aside for boot and swap partitions. One thing I was worried about is setting home as a logical partition, and not primary, but it runs fine, so I'm not going to worry anymore.

For the most part, everything else ran pretty smoothly. I haven't installed video acceleration drivers yet, but I hear old Intel chips are a pain. The audio driver installed smoothly. I had to get used to the fact that i can run the box speakers and the headset output jack at the same time, which is interesting. Also, the volume controls on my keyboard integrate really nicely, but the master volume in the mixer doesn't change any of the other volumes. I just plugged in my speakers, which has an external volume control, so I'm not going to worry about it.

As for my other projects, OCNix is coming along slowly, but surely. Many of the main guys have been AWAL for the past few weeks, which brings some difficulties. I've been writing the wiki for the project for a few weeks now. Also, the alpha build has been released. Anyone can go grab it and burn it on a CD. Go ahead and try it out!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back on Track

I got my computer back to work! I booted the Arch Linux .img file using another program, one that was suggested by the Arch team. This one worked will. Once I installed GRUB I booted to windows with no hassle.

Installing Arch as a partition is another story. I only set aside about 10GB for Arch, which apparently isn't enough. I installed hal and xorg, and all my hard space went away... no more space for anything else I would like to have. I was planning on running Arch Linux for my OCNix testing. I would download and build everything in the host Arch, then run OCNix itself as a Virtual Box guest. But nope, not enough space.

Oh well, at least I got my windows back!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dead Beat

So it's been a while since I last updated my blog. The other night I decided I wanted to dual boot the bucket with windows and arch linux. So, I went out and bought a spare flash drive thinking I could easily boot from it. Turns out the only program that allows me to easily make my flash drive bootable doesn't work with Arch linux. Well, it does, but not the most up-to-date one.

So I decided to try installing a slightly out-of-date version of Arch Linux, which was a very bad idea. As soon as I got to the package installation stage, it wouldn't let me download the correct list, and I couldn't continue with the installation. So I decided to reboot into windows. Which it wouldn't let me do....

Hopefully all I have to do is finish installing a recent version of Arch Linux and it'll work, hopefully.

On a side note, OCNix is coming along rather neatly. We smashed quite a bit of bugs last weekend, which means we are ready for our alpha stage. For those interested, I'll leave a link to the installation process we wrote a couple days ago.

Installing and making OCNix .ISO

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hard drive finished

Hey guys, I finally made some progress on the computer. Turns out I will not be able to overclock this computer without buying some extra parts. So that process will be postponed until further notice.
I have however, finished the hard drive case. I took it to work today and machined down the surface of the old hard drive I took apart. Here's what it looks like.

Not too bad. I also drilled some holes and tapped them for screws, but my measurements were slightly off. I managed to screw two screws in, which should be enough.
Here's what it looks like after the hard drive is screwed in.

I made a little hang over area for the cables. It might be a little difficult to see.

Now hopefully if all goes well, it should screw right into my case.

I've also been working with arch linux a little more. I installed the vbox additions and I know have an integrated mouse feature, and can copy and paste between windows and arch linux.
I also started testing on the latest addition of OCNix. I bet the new release is out by now. I'll go get my hands on that as well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Late night

Well, its 1:30am and my day is about to end. This morning I woke up to a 1GB ram card on the desk. Looks like my dad was looking out for me again. I plugged it in and it ran fine.

Also, I decided I'm going to make a holding bracket for my hard drive, as its only a small laptop drive. Currently, its just sitting inside the computer where the hard drive would normally be screwed in. I plan on moving it safely when I can.

For my bracket, I decided it would be easiest to use a case from an old 1GB hard drive. I gutted everything out, and now I just have to figure out how I'm going to mount the hard drive inside it.

I also installed Sun's VirtualBox and attempted to install openSUSE, but I gave up after a couple tries. I did manage to play with it using the liveCD. Now I'm installing ArchLinux, which I think is much more fun. I have much more control over everything, and I'm learning with a nice learning curve. I also had some help from the OCNix guys.
Right now its installing the GUI, after about 3 hours of installing everything else. I think once I work with this a little more, I can scratch off a goal from my list. Installing linux really isn't difficult, especially if your running it through an app like VirtualBox. I would imagine installing on the actual hard drive wouldn't be any more difficult.

The installation process is all text based and has a custom boot loader. A GUI isn't preinstalled with arch linux, making it much more flexible if you choose to work solely from the terminal. If you choose to install a GUI, which most people do, you can choose from any GUI that is available in the package manager, including both KDE and Gnome.

The guys at arch linux put together a nice beginners guide to installing and running arch linux. It's almost exactly like unix code, and comes with python language preinstalled.
The link to the guide can be found Here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Up and Running!

Well guys, I finally got the computer running, and it's only 11 PM!
This is officially the first blog post from the computer, which I will affectionately call, "the Bucket".
First thing I did was take that laptop hard drive and plug it in. No adapters required. unfortunately, the winVista that was installed on my laptop couldn't be ran on this computer, which I would have expected. Luckily, being home for a week has it's perks. My dad came through and found a winXP disk laying around, which is great, because I've always thought XP ran a little better than Vista anyways.

The installation was pretty harmless. I formatted both of the partitions on the hard drive, so I'll have to reinstall Steam again.

Everything worked right off the bat, with the exception of the network card. Plugging in the ethernet cable showed lights, but didn't connect to the internet, or even show a network available. Instinctively, I blamed this on the guys at Microsoft, but I finally realized that the Broadcom network card, which is integrated into the motherboard, didn't install the drivers correctly. I just downloaded them on my other computer and carried it over via flash drive.

Next up, I'll see how virtual box works, and see how to run linux through it. I'll put that off 'til tomorrow. I was initially thinking of installing openSUSE, but am still open for ideas. Go ahead and leave comments!

ahh... a clean desktop.
Haven't seen those in a while!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time for another update.
I bought a few things. The idea is that it'll get shipped by the time I'm and it'll be there waiting for me. First thing, I found a guy on the forums named pcnuttie selling a EMachine LCD monitor.

$64.00 after shipping, everything included. He says it was lightly used for only 3 months. From what I can find online, EMachines are affordable machines, and $64 is cheaper than any refurbished I could find.

Second, I bought some ArcticSilver thermal paste, pretty much a staple for replacing heatsinks.

I bought this from for $12.98 after shipping. At quick look, it only contains 1 cc, but each use is only a pea sized.

Running total: $184.97

Sorry for the slow movement, but I didn't have access to a keyboard or monitor, and I've been busy with work and school.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Linux development built just for overclockers!

Interested in some innovative software built just for overclocking? Then check this out!

After doing some research on overclocking, I came across these guys at developing a linux software package called OCNix that will include everything an overclocker might need to overclock and test they're computer, including stress and benchmark programs.
One of the leading programmers, GodOfGrunts, said
"OCNix is a Linux [distribution] aimed at computer enthusiasts who want to be able to stress test and benchmark their hardware without taking the time to install a full operating system."
Currently, this package only requires the user to run what is called an "liveCD", which means installation of the programs is not actually required, but instead can be read directly off the CD itself. Later on, however, they do plan on making the distribution completely installable, meaning you can run OCNix just like any other Linux operating system.

A large selection of open source software will be included in the package, including Memtest, Phoronix Test Suite, and MPrime, Linux's version of the famous Prime95.

OCNix is built directly on top of Arch Linux, which is an extremely light version of Linux, meaning little disk space is required to run.

I'll be sure to try this out as soon as I get my computer running!

The developers working on this build are, GodOfGrunts, xtascox, error_404, and GonX. While Version2 and biatchi started the project, but are no long active. Each of them frequently visit the forums, and their thread can be found Here

Here is a pre-beta screenshot.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Package

Well guys, the computer came in today. First thing I did was take the case off (which was annoying) and look at the guts. Everything matches the description, which is great.

(Sorry for the poor quality. It was taken with a webcam)

First thing I noticed was the giant heat sink. This sucker's probably the biggest stock heat sink I've ever seen. It's a Foxconn, and is going for about$5.99.

The motherboard is a basic Intel with build in graphics card, but room for more. There's two 256mb RAM sticks in there, with room for two more, if I'm not mistaken.

(Once again, sorry for the poor quality. The camera doesn't like close-ups)

If there's anymore info you want, just shoot a comment or email my way. I'll try to get pictures.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A thoughtful redo

After looking around some more, I've decided to cancel my first order.
I found a much more appealing computer on!

This guy is a HP Compaq dc7100 Pentium 4 with 3.0GHz and 512M ram. It's listed as a Compaq with the manufacturer being Dell.
unfortunately it doesn't have a hard drive, but luckily I have one laying around from an old laptop. They're both sata, so hopefully all I need is a 2.5 - 3.5 adapter.

so the computer comes out to $89.99 and shipping is $18.00, which comes to a total of $107.99. Only $6 more than the 1.7Ghz XP Pro.

Overall I am much more impressed with compared to When I canceled my order, I had to IM a guy using aim and ask him to cancel it for me. never sent me a conformation email, and never asked me to validate my card. Not to mention shipping which was $4 more.

A seasoned overclocker warned me last night that Dells are notoriously tough to overclock, as they lock the bios and speed settings. After a quick google, I came across a method that requires I download a program called CPUFSB. If I have any troubles with a locked "Dell" compaq computer, that'll be my first step.

On a side note, I plan on getting a Stumpleupon link here. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finding the goods

Well I finally worked up the courage to get my project computer. As I am cheap, I decided to go old first. I picked this little sweety from


It's by no means pretty and I'll be sure to spark it up a little bit. Maybe I can add that to my list.

Here's the stats (From
Dell OPTIPLEX GX260 Low Profile Chassis, Celeron 1700 Mhz, 512 MB RAM, IDE 40 GB Hard Drive, IDE CD-ROM, 1 Floppy Drive, 64 MB Video RAM, 1 Parallel Port(s), 1 Serial Port(s), 6 USB Port(s), 1000 MB INT Network Adapter, Sound WinXP Professional Installed.

I was mostly looking at the 1.7 Ghz processor. I'm not too happy about the IDE, but I can deal with that for now. XP Pro is also a nice option, though its not necessary.

Overall my running total is $79.99 for the item, and a whopping $22.91 for UPS ground shipping, which should take 3 days, I'll be looking for it on monday.

I'm still looking for a monitor and keyboard. I'm looking to get a cheap LCD monitor. Any ideas?

Brain storming

Well here it all begins.
Over the past few weeks I've been putting together a list of things to do, and I have affectionately named it, "The Geek Bucket List".

So let's get it going.

1) Overclock a PC.
2) Install a liquid cooling system.
3) Make a peristaltic pump.
4) Install Linux.
5) Build a computer.

This list is still a work in progress. I'll add some soon and later.
If you have any ideas, feel free to comment or shoot me an email at .
That's right, boiler up!