Locations in web form thingys, a huge power outage in Singapore, nostalgia comparing how we thought of computer speeds in the 80s, 90s and noughties, my vintage 200MHz Pentium MMX machine still running, the megahertz myth, building computers from Sim Lim Square, the Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64 and Commodore 1541 disk drive, 6502 chips in everything, TMnet "high speed" monopoly in Malaysia, getting paid to podcast, stalling internet connections driving me crazy!
Posts tagged with "sim lim square"
As I mentioned in a recent post, I've assembled another computer recently for number crunching and compiling applications for other machines and for university projects. Given these needs, I figured I'd buy a motherboard with simple onboard graphics and use the money I saved to buy more RAM. After all, I won't be playing any games on here (save for some terribly addictive little KDE games!) or encoding video. In fact it's quite feasible to think sometimes I wouldn't even interface with it directly at all, but rather just send it tasks remotely from my MacBook Pro through SFTP or NFS, or check up on it with SSH or TLA.
Problem is, it's as reliable as I am... without coffee! The order of events:
- Once booted into FreeBSD it works beautifully
- After a random unspecified amount of time, all processes on the machine visibly slow to a crawl
- Eventually it stops responding to all keyboard and mouse input and has to be physically turned off
- After waiting a few seconds and powering it back up, the display refuses to come back on
- 10-15 seconds pass, the motherboard reboots itself
- After another random unspecified amount of time ranging sometimes from 5 minutes to 5 hours it can be turned back on again with the video output.
- Lather, rinse, repeat
It's downright maddening. I've flashed the BIOS to a newer version, I've stood in a circle around a campfire chanting various lines, I've stood on one leg while singing Majulah Singapura and Advance Australia Fair backwards... nothing seems to make any difference. What bothers me most though is the randomness, at least if it failed and worked again predictably it would be easier to figure out what's going on.
I'm sure it's just an inevitable manufacturing defect which statistically is bound to happen when you buy electronic components, but it's still disheartening. While it was working, this computer was the fastest and most responsive system I've ever used, period! Not to mention the time it took to compile kdebase from FreeBSD ports... wow I've never seen the compiler notices fly by so quickly!
More as the story develops.
I'm having an unusually free day today. Aside from taking my mum to oncology and doing some light programming catchup work for university things have been smooth sailing. So I thought I'd spend the morning at Sim Lim Square, one of the two heavyweights in the Singapore dedicated computer shopping centre scene.
My mission was to buy a replacement processor and motherboard for my dad's desktop which was turned into a brick on the move back from Kuala Lumpur. I ended up getting the dual-core energy efficent 65W Athlon 64 X2 4000+ CPU and an ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard bundled for SG$240.00 and some stock PC6400 1GB RAM for SG$64.00.
The prices blew me away mostly because I could remember just a few years ago when the X2s were so elite and high end they were in the thousands of dollars. It's amazing how yesterday's
high end chips become today's
value ones so fast.
By no means is the motherboard state of the art, but my dad has two very large capacity PATA hard disks and two expensive optical drives so I had to get a board that hadn't jettisoned their legacy internal connectors for SATA. They're becoming more difficult to find.
With all these awesome parts for such peanuts, it sure makes my NetBSD Athlon XP 2800+ look crappy now!