The Laboratory

“The Lab is Open…January 24, 2005, 23:06 -” with those words I began to chronicle my mad scientist experiments in my computer lab.

Welcome to my laboratory. Watch out for the beakers – and don’t light any matches.  Here is the apparatus:

  • 64 Bit Machines:
  1. ASUS CG5290 “Game” Box – Intel i7 CPU 920 @2.75GHz, 9GB ram, 1TB hard drive storage, NVIDA GeForce GTX 260 graphics card.  Windows 7 (debating whether to reload or dual-boot Linux here)  I reloaded this with 64 bit Linux (Debian amd64 kernel build).  Got the games I really care about working already – and loaded all the development tools I ever wanted.  It runs way faster than Windows 7 ever did – and given the expanded development repertoire after a small amount of suffering, I’m considering this an upgrade. As of October 2012 – had to use this box as the basis of a replacement for my wife’s identical machine – who’s video card blew and was having some disk issues.  I yanked her hard drive and 120mm fan (I suspected part of the problem was a cooling problem – I was right) – and retrofitted my machine with those – and swapped hers for mine.  I still have an ASUS CG5290 sans hard drive or fan (her old machine) sitting forlorn and waiting for me to save enough money to equip it with a new HD, video card and a couple of fans.  When it is back in working order (crosses fingers hoping the motherboard is okay) – my plan is to run KVM on this and use it as a virtualization/development system.
  2. Mac Mini  Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @2.47GHz, 2GB ram, 160GB hard drive storage. OSX Snow Leopard
  3. MacBook Pro Intel i7 CPU @2GHz, 8GB ram, 500GB hard drive storage, AMD Radeon HD 6490M. OSX Snow Leopard
  4. ASUS eeepc Linux
  • 32 Bit Machines:
  1. Homebrewed Intel Pentium 4 (SMP thread capable) 1GB ram, NVIDIA GeForce graphics card.  Debian Linux.  Reloaded this one with Slackware – and working on turning it into a firewall for two reasons:  to monitor my network traffic better after getting hit by the Java zero day (daughter’s machine ended up with MBR trojan that was tricky to clean up), and to load a newer kernel to fix buffer bloat (network grinds to a halt when anyone downloads anything) – which was unavailable via Debian (they value stability over cutting edge functionality – and I can understand and appreciate that – but too impatient to wait for them to catch up).
  2. Homebrewed AMD x2….BIOS hosed on one, and smoked motherboard second.  Both were Pentium 3 equivalent machines.  Got them used for $50 – so no big loss.  They are reposing in the great PC graveyard in the sky (sold for scrap December 2012).
  3. Sun Sparcstation 5 – RISC CPU  (mothballed).
  4. IBM RS6000 Red Hat Linux (mothballed – don’t know if I can afford to pay for the electricity to plug it in).  This is also residing in the great PC graveyard in the sky (sold for scrap December 2012).
  • Ancillary Devices:
  1. iPad (original – WIFI only – 60 GB storage).
  2. iPhone 4 (3G capable – 14GB storage).
  • Experiments:
  1. Building a Linux based firewall – January 2013 start.
  2. Building my own Linux distro that focuses on security, performance and usability – February 2013 start.
  3. Building user space management and development tools/APIs to compliment the OS – concurrent with the distro development.
  4. Building a better mousetrap.   In this case, a better virtual world/game platform.  February 2013 – adjusted my priorities given lack of a Linux distribution that does what I see needs to be done (security, performance and usability) [currently in research mode – hope to have hooks in OS distro to support this project].
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