Jan 182013

There was a e-waste recycling event close to my house and I successfully dumped these: an HP jet printer, an IBM ThinkPad (the very first Windows tablet, or in some other name), an HP desktop (Pentium 4!!!), some keyboards and mouses (actually this is some sort of illegal I guess? As they mentioned “anything with a plug” but anyway …), a DVD player (I’m pretty sure it stopped working for quite some time). There are some other stuffs I hesitated to recycle because of this or that – a 1 mega pixel digital camera, 2 random brand cell phones (feature phone with color screen), two iPods, one camcorder, 2 LCD displays.

It seems the time to upgrade – the main desktop @ home is not performing quite well after upgrade to Windows 8, I’m thinking of replacing with a iMac, or a Windows 8 laptop … I don’t have enough machines to test cluster now and was thinking of virtual machine, but it seems better use some sort of mini PC so that I can test home automation as well (my dream … hard to come true without buying stuffs :D).

There may be more to come, let’s see.

Dec 052009

Just got a HP Photosmart Premium, a wireless enabled all-in-one printer.

Good to see that machines in the house can share one printer now, in old days it was not that easy (different platforms, different locations).

Dec 042009

It was said corp IT is now able to switch HP laptop with a MacBook, there is a guy in our group got his MacBook, and another guy’s request is being handled and will get in “couple of days”.

I’m thinking now – maybe I should get my HP laptop replaced as well. I’m checking software installed on my laptop now, so that I have some rough idea of what ability I’m going to lose by switching to Mac.

I believe I’m still going to have MS Office, and I will still have Firefox and Thunderbird, I will have Yahoo Messenger, and I think Adium can do all Pidgin does. I don’t think I need putty and WinSCP. I assume I can still get software for Blackberry and Nokia E90, but if they are not available it won’t be a big deal. I will have Perl, python, Java, subversion, etc. by default, which is good.

I may lose GNAT Ada, and have to find a better Common LISP environment. I need to find a good media player, while i think VLC should be good enough. Obviously I will lose all those Windows development environment, but if I can get Fusion I could run a Windows image (not sure about corp IT policy though). A new printer (all-in-on) is on the way and I believe it works with Mac (my current one does not work quite well).

Pretty much everything is fine :). I will submit the ticket after coming back from the Christmas vacation.

Nov 272009

Trying to search online for an affordable 8-cores machine, but now I’m asking myself – why?

Well, one of the most obviously reason is that if I can have one powerful machine, I can retire 2 or 3 machines at home, include one P4 desktop from year 2003, one PowerBook from year 2004, and one P4 laptop from year 2005 (this one is actually in question).

I found out that I need this many machines just because I need to test all those multiple host development and deployment. What could be ideal to me, is that I can have 8~10 hosts running in two separated network, so I can test more than what I’m playing now.

Actually I should not expect for a 8-core box as it will be pretty expensive (haven’t locked down price yet), based on my experience with current dual-core machine, it seems a 4-core box can satisfy me – it will be able to run 8~10 VMs but I need at least 8G memory, and if it is 12G then all data VMs can run at 1G mem which will be more like a real world.

So I should forget about 8-core machine unless someday Intel or AMD roll out a single 8-core CPU for desktop. It seems to me the most reasonable plan to consolidate computers at home is getting a new iMac, let it be the home desktop, running all photo/video editing, storage massive data, etc, and take the current home desktop (which is a 4-core desktop) and then retire the PowerBook (maybe leave it running somewhere? Anyway it does not occupy too much space) and the P4 box, and turning current dual-core machine as the second Window machine at home, pity I don’t think it can run Windows 7.

Oct 282009

I believe I will need to re-install bunch of dev/testing nodes @ home in near future, so I need a online backup service, better be free (I just need it for ~2 weeks), with ~10G space, supporting rsync.

Will dig around to see any luck, what I got earlier is 2G for free, but there is no rsync support.

Aug 152009

Finally I decided starting to replace mouses I’m currently using, start from the development machine at home.

This is the one I bought yesterday:


Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000

so far so good, though I’m going to try some more other models especially Logitech.

Jul 182009

My mom’s computer is too old to be “cured” – I didn’t check through but I believe it is running a Pentium 4 at frequency 1.x Ghz, and it has 192M or 256M memory. Mom told me couple of times that if I want to do anything with the machine, I have to be patient.

Well, I’m less patient :(. So I decided to get a new desktop for her. I went to an “electronic market” with RMB 5000 in my pocket, thinking of getting a desktop plus a printer.

Well, none of those branded reseller could sell me a machine without display/keyboard/mouse, so I went to a DIY shop, asking them build up a basic desktop for me. After discussing about the configuration (some AMD Sempron dual-core, 2G mem, 250G disk, a DVD-RW, all others are on the integrated motherboard), the guy told me it is RMB 1,600, about $230. People told me you have to bargain for the price there, but I didn’t that day :). The price was far below my expectation so I don’t mind they are going to get 100 or 200 more in profit.

Actually I was wondering how they can make money to support all the employees there – there is a seems-to-be-the-boss, with 2 boys sound like senior (they can make a configuration and can do the installation), plus 3 others seems to be intern or something (they were helping). It was said the cost of rental is couple of thousands a month, and I don’t think they are going to make more than 10 deals a day – and it was a weekend.

Whenever I went to printer it is another story – inkjet are roughly $70, while the ink will be $30, laser printer is about $300, while the toner is about $150. The business model is pretty clear here, that is, you get the printer for almost free (actually inkjet printer is free as it contains two ink boxes inside, right?) and get profit from ink/toner. I’m not sure if HP is the one invited this but obviously it’s a good deal.

BTW, I didn’t buy the printer as I don’t think my parents want to afford the cost.:)

May 272009

My WorkshopWorking from home today, and found that I should post this photo here so that people know how I work at home :D.

Actually I have only two machines on the desk – on the left is the company-issued laptop that I still need to check some bookmarks (sorry, I’m still surfing libre there which supposedly not to be), other two monitors are for my desktop machine, the one in the middle is a 17″ LCD, dedicated for the virtual machine (a Windows XP) for all those risky stuffs, such as surfing BBS site (virus, etc), and installing some test software. The one on the right is a 19″ LCD which is actually the working environment, running putty, Thunderbird, Firefox and Yahoo Messenger.

I think I can shutdown the laptop at home, from tomorrow, as almost everything is there on the desktop now. I also found not using laptop at home will make my life healthy, as I won’t hold it the minute before I go to sleep, and I won’t capture it once I get up.

Though, I think I will turn my blackberry to be the laptop, bring it to my bed and grab it once I wake up 🙁 its screen is way too small and is killing my eyes, I should find something bigger, maybe … E90 or Nokia’s next flagship phone 😀