October 25, 2011

Recycling Part 2 : Pentium 3 and a dodgy motherboard

My uncle dropped by yesterday and got a 10 year old relic of a PC he'd come across somewhere, to see if I can make it work. It's a lot older than my first PC

I'd previously written about salvaging useful parts from Computers for use elsewhere, but it turns out it's not as easy as it may seem. There's just nothing you can do with a floppy drive now!

A few pictures below:

Intel 815 Motherboard and a Pentium 3 800 Mhz under the hood
I remember this one from School. Unreliable and prone to malfunction

The processor sitting under a thick coat of dust. 40mm fan was enough then!

My trusty old Jackly screw driver kit made dismantling a breeze

Every component from the capacitors to PCI slots were covered in thick dust

128x2 of SD RAM running at 133 Mhz

40mm brushless Intel fan

It took a hard brush and a jet of water under the sink to wash away the dust

The heart, a Pentium 3 Socket 478 processor. 

Clock speed: 800 Mhz.   We have 1 Ghz phones these days...  

Relic of the past... the 1.44 Floppy drive

It took some real blowing and scrubbing to clean the cabinet
I tried installing a copy of Windows xp but the system just won't boot from CD, no matter how much I tweak the boot options. I even tried a few Linux distros...no luck.

Will update this post once I get it working. Or it's the garbage bin or free distribution(via erodov) for this one!

October 20, 2011

Auto blues

My heavy laptop weighing me down, I board the 7 seater auto rickshaw from Tolichowki. It's only a 1 km ride but I'm in no condition to walk. The driver screams away in a bid to get in a couple more passengers and I take a look around the cabin. Job goers like me going home from a long, tiring day at work. But while I crib and rave about working in a recliner seat in 24/7 air conditioned bays, they toil away at jungles of concrete and dust, one wrong step a long fall into oblivion.

With the auto fairly occupied our driver slowly steps on the gas and I get this sudden jolt to my nostrils...the all too familiar alcohol! The guy sitting across has managed a trip to the local wine shop and is already swaying like crazy. I shift to the far left by the window, looking outside trying to grab some air...anything to escape this unholy stink.

A young kid in a Maruti Zen speeds by. That reminds me of the visit to the bank today.

Spotting a colorful poster hung outside I walked into the local SBH bank at my office site. I went straight to the Asst Manager and inquired my eligibility to apply for a car loan. She broke into a wicked smile almost immediately and asked how old I was! An interrogation ensued. The "fact" that I worked at a "reputed" company and my Dad being a central government employee, she softened and offered me a seat. They say hearing "Take a seat" at banks is half work done. Car? she asked. Maruti 800...no more. She quickly dialed
a dealer she knew and inquired. They sold only Alto and above. She then suggested I wait for a few months more before applying. Yep...I thanked and left.

Snap. Back to reality. My favorite shawarma point zoomed by and a long stretch of used cars by the side of the road... I turned away.The guy had picked up speed and it took two taps on the shoulder and a loud call over the blaring music to get him to stop. I crossed the deadly main road, picked up a bottle of thums up and walked home.

October 8, 2011

M8ro : Windows 8 is here!

The last time I got a copy of a pre-release version of Windows was at Tech-Ed 2009 where Steve Ballmer himself announced it and we all got a Windows DVD and some nice freebies.

Wow, it felt good watching the man himself unveil the new OS and speak on the cloud and search engines.

Steve Ballmer delivering his keynote. I didn't have a good camera then! 

The new OS named Windows 8 is a mix of all things good from  the runaway hit Windows 7 and the popular windows phone 7. The metro OS makes it's first appearance for a desktop format though we all know it is optimized for touch based displays(read tablets).

I downloaded the 2.8GB Developer preview which locks out the good features such as Tile customization and Marketplace. Links below for installation(It's no linux anyway).



Had to let go of my previous OS...

The beauty that is Metro

Will post a video and a lot more pics later. One observation: my underpowered HP 2133 is probably not powerful enough for the OS...there is considerable lag in windows and transitions.

October 7, 2011

Battery woes, work and trance

After a long, tiring and mostly depressing month of September, October started on an optimistic note. I cannot discuss office life here without turning a few heads(and a few offshore) so I'll just keep it short.

I mentioned in my earlier post, the NP 500 battery on my Sony died on me last month and gave some really frustrating moments...it would flicker out at such alarming regularity and timing I missed some really great shots at Maredmilli. And perhaps for the first time ever, my own blog came to the rescue! I deep froze the battery for about a week before charging it for a full two days and tada! It's back to normal! I am double convinced this method works! It's giving at least 10 flash shots for 1/100th of charge...remarkable.

It took 3 days to blow my salary. I bought a refrigerator and a pair of Sony headphones...the latter just another addition to my useless and regrettable purchases.

The shiny packaging, the overly friendly sales guy and the image of my patch tape covered Philips earphones back home convinced me into buying these cans. I thought I'd give it a glowing review...white box pictures and all. It's just not worth it...the base is flat and trance just sounds lame. And what's with the low volume?
Ironic considering Sony means 'SOUND'

Back at office, I am being called the next "ghajini' with the number of post it notes I've put up at my desk. Call me whatever, I think they help. I even put up a stack of them in the drawer for easy accessibility...in four colors! Miss the usual yellow though.

Now that my PC has replaced the defunct Acer laptop at my brother's place, I'm making do with my  work laptop with the extended Benq 22 incher. I must say working and playing movies on a dual screen setup is very very addictive.

And oh, I woke up to the new of Steve Jobs' death. As Obama so rightly put it, the fact that most people got the news of his passing on the devices he had pioneered was a testimony to the impact he had on technology and this generation.

CEED is coming and I'm yet to fill in the application! Now that I have a job, maybe I can finally look forward to getting a case of Prismacolors for myself.Some random sketches from my (very rare) spare time at office.

Moonbeam is on a roll. Their latest album is in word- awesome. The synths are enchanting and the beats groovy. I can't post link to downloads here but they're all up there on youtube here: Cocoon is a good place to start

And yes- I'm running out of ideas for blog posts...no time.

October 3, 2011

I stepped in. Your turn.

Atir bhai, this one's for you! The synths just drove me crazy.
'Step into my world' by Moonbeam.