Already the 19th. sigh Some updates regarding what I've been doing lately: I've been tinkering a fair bit.

The weather hasn't been very cooperative for flying recently, so I haven't had a flight since last friday and before that there were two weeks without anything: rain and/or wind and/or work commitments on the few usable days. Ah well. I'm at 94 hours (did exactly 50 hours in the last 12 months)...yearning to complete the hundred real soon.

The semester is over; had the exam today (just need to mark the papers), but the next semester starts in three and a half weeks. We'll see how much I'll manage to relax inbetween.

But back to tinkering. First the "table" got a cable hole and a bit of wooden slat underneath to strengthen it.

The cables and the powerboard are hanging off the slat...I have a hanging fetish ;-): things that don't need to sit on the floor won't sit on the floor.

With the work table working the other one was free for tinkering and I was ready for some more Tool Fun. First I bought a cheap Dremel knockoff ($29 and$10 for a big set of itsybitsy tiny accessories). Looks like a doll's toolkit. Cute! (except when you're a bozo and make cutting disks @ 27krpm flex a bit too much so that they snap and bits fly everywhere. I'm not a total luser, however, and wear safety glasses for such endeavours)

Then I snarfed an old AT case off \rho and started hacking it apart, with the intention to eventually transplant the media box from its cardboard home to a custom Real Computer Case.

The gutting of the AT case was...fun. I snapped lots of cutting disks, then used brute force and ignorance (in form of a 1500W angle grinder) for some of the less delicate cuts and eventually cut the top panels with the jigsaw (my ears rang for 20 minutes afterwards, despite the plugs).

Heat glue, balsa and isolation tape were main construction elements. And the thing was too hot and too noisy: the stock cpu fan is of the 40mm screeeeeamer variety and the one slow-turning fan in the PSU didn't suck enough air into the case. Also the heat glue fixing the standoffs for the mobo decided not to stick for >24 hours, and I had no good idea on how to attach the LCD to the cut up front panels. Time for the second try.

More fans and space for them to suck from the bottom of the open case, more heat glue. Still not good: the heat glue on the LCD PCB didn't stick, either, and the cpu got still a bit warm because the suspended fan blew across the cooling ribs, not along. Time for the third try.

The motherboard got fixed to the case with some screws, a cpu fan was reinstated (with a 50 Ohm resistor to bring it down to about 9V and quiet operation) and the LCD got attached to a balsa backing plate which got screwed to the case. And have I mentioned that I have a hanging fetish? Of course the box did end up suspended out of the way underneath the table with the stereo... And just in time: the stereo's cd drive finally failed :-(

After mucking around with my computers I decided to do a bit of stuff around the house, did some gutter cleaning and minor landscaping (ie. fixed some ugly walkway borders with paver blocks) and for the first time here I bought some green stuff for the back and front yards.

We'll see whether any of them thrive: I am not good with plants and only hardy stuff survives me. Anitta gave me a lot of tips, though, and so I bought mostly shrubs and (supposedly) unkillable plants: as groundcover Moses in a Cradle aka rhoeo, Creeping Boobialla aka myoporum parvifolium, and native violets aka viola hederacea. Some decorative grass/cover in the form of Turf Lily aka liriope gigantea and as shrub/bush/hedge plants a few lilly pillys aka syzygium australe.

I'll put up some images as soon as it's obvious which ones will survive; the violet is not looking too happy already... Maybe I'm more suited for stuff like the Cast Iron Plant

Got finally around to try Grog's beer recipe and now the fermenter is faintly bubbling from under the kitchen bench (it sits in the spot where the trash bin is). Three weeks more until I've got something to drink (hopefully; if it doesn't get infected or something else going wrong...)

[ published on Wed 20.04.2005 01:36 | filed in | ]