Part of the process of having a new desktop is moving my Debian VM over, and by virtue of getting off the Windows Insider programme, being able to use VirtualBox again (for desktop purposes, Hyper-V is really substandard, it has a bunch of features that seem pretty great for enterprise use though).
Midway through, I noted that I haven't documented the process of building out my toolchain for this blog, so here it is:
# apt-get install git python3-pip python-dateutil apache2
$ pip3 install --user pelican Markdown
Note that my installation of
s3cmd is still using Python 2.7, so installing
python3-dateutil was ineffective. I'll have to fix that at some point, as where possible I'm trying to move everything I write to Python3.
Next, to use Pelican from my local binary directory, I had to add the following to
$ cat >> ~/.profile
# set PATH so it includes user's private PIP bin if it exists
if [ -d "$HOME/.local/bin" ] ; then
Finally, point Apache (via
DocumentRoot) to my output directory so I can view changes on localhost before pushing them to S3. Don't forget the
Directory entry so the permissions aren't missing.
I also had to do some hackery to the
render_math plugin, in order to get it to place nice with the newer version of Pelican. I can probably undo this once the changes are merged but for now I'll leave it.
Edit: Whoops, last commit wasn't signed. Forgot to add the git configuration:
git config --global user.name 'James Fraser'
git config --global user.email "firstname.lastname@example.org"
git config --global commit.gpgsign true
Okay, so the new-to-me case I picked up last week has sat empty long enough, and I didn't like the teething problems I'd heard about with Ryzen (which I was super pumped for, until I found out how unavailable they were) so I decided to go with the "safe" option and picked up an i7 7700K. I want this desktop to last me a while, maybe chucking an updated GPU in a couple years as finances allow, so I picked up something that was pretty snotty and had room to overclock.
To bring the budget back into line, I went with a GTX 1060. It's good enough for everything I'm playing now, but I'm not sure how the next couple of years will go. A power supply, a cooler, and a couple of other things rounded it out, and I re-used an optical drive and a hard drive to finish it off. After ensuring it was gonna work, I did the hard drive shuffle in our laptops: ghost my 500GB SSD onto 750GB spinning rust. Put my SSD in Sabriena's laptop so she's got double the space, then once I was sure the reinstall went flawlessly I took her 250GB SSD and put it in the desktop. Reinstall Windows 7, then take the upgrade to 10.
I wasn't happy with the temps I was getting with the cooler I bought (a Cryorig M9i, the 7700k is a very hot CPU), even stock, so I bumped it up to a Noctua D15, which was a little outside the budget, but I wanted to keep the bloody thing cool. I'm very impressed with the D15 - though it's a giant, it does exactly what it says on the box. The second cooling fan is very tight in my case, as they're 140mm fans, and I reckon there's maybe 145mm clearance on the outside from the RAM (which the second fan covers) to the edge of the case. I thought for sure I wouldn't get the side on, but it worked.
We only went so big with the desktop because Sabriena didn't want one - I probably could have swung building two modest ones (though I doubt we'd have been happy for more than a year or two), but she was adamant that she didn't need anything other than her laptop. Well, she bought Dark Souls III after we had the machine running, and has played on it almost every day since!
We've now been considering bumping up Duncan's, but given the age and form factor of his machine we're looking at several hundred dollars just to bring it into 2017. Probably not going to happen for a while. :(
I dabbled a bit in overclocking. Because the CPU is grossly oversized for the GPU we're running, I can't see the sense in leaving it clocked, but I wanted to have some idea what the unit is capable of. I can't make head or tail of Asus' ROG BIOS stuff! The auto settings apply way more voltage (presumably to guarantee it's stable, at the expense of temperatures), but no matter what I try I can't set anything manually. I can set clocks and voltages manually via the AI suite in Windows, but I can't set things like the LLC and such which I'm sure is holding it back.
I had it stable at 4.8gHz at 1.30v in AI suite, which HWMonitor64 reckons gives it 1.35v VID at each core. It ran an x264 video encode benchmark for about an hour. 4.9 crashes it after about 20 minutes, no matter the voltage, so 5gHz is out of the question. Temperatures are good though, staying firmly below 80C regardless of clock - it just won't stay stable. I'm assuming it's something LLC related.
Jealousy from Shaina's new PC has set in, so I finally got off my arse this weekend out to Mum's to pick up an old PC case I'm trading off my sister - I swapped her a bunch of NDS games for it, so we both did rather well.
It's a pretty old case, but not bad in my humble opinion: it's a Coolermaster CM690 (the original one, not the II or III). Four cooling fans in it, below-the-board cable management and a bunch of other neato things. Now to start thinking about other parts to go in it - I really want to spring for an i7, as I'll be doing more than just gaming on it and for once I'd like to build a PC that I'll be happy with for at least a couple of years, but unless I can find some work soon the budget is a bit tight for that (doable, but tighter than I'd like).
Suspiciously, a couple of YouTube videos I found made it look like the specific i7 I was looking at will play GTA5 almost as well as my current laptop, with merely the onboard video. Crazy!
Anyway, before we left Mum and Dad's we stopped by a swap meet at Clunes which they were attending, and ended up hanging out for almost two hours because Duncan was having fun (and scored a free lunch out of it too). I happened to ask some folks what they wanted for a 3DS that was on the table, and despite the fact the price was more than reasonable it was a tiny bit more than I had on me, so as they were leaving I decided to ask if they'd take the sixty bucks I had, and they said yes. It was a fantastic price (I'd later learn I can take it into EB Games and get $130 trade-in value for it), but was still a gamble as the unit didn't power on when I looked at it. Turned out the battery was just flat, as when I got home it played on the charger just fine.
I'm not sure if I want to keep the 3DS or flip it. I like the idea of having one, but Duncan doesn't seem terribly interested in playing anything with me. I played a game for an hour or so the night I got it, and it's quite uncomfortable for me to hold compared to say a PS4 controller. Since I can get a pretty fair amount for it, maybe I should chalk it up to good fortune and sell it on? Duncan already has his (they're identical) that I can use (albeit being forced to use his Nintendo ID, but I don't think that matters). Not sure yet.
Today we were supposed to head out to Mum and Dad's for a visit, but when Sabriena looked out the window this morning she noted that there was a bunch of water on the driveway. I shrugged and said "it's probably condensation" since the top of the car was covered in it, but she looked again and it was red.
"That's coolant," I thought. Sure enough, the heater tap that's been dripping for a few weeks now (I was going to replace it nearly two weeks ago, but SuperCheap didn't have any in stock because they'd been apparently stolen) looks like it's let go. Under it is completely saturated, there's no coolant in the overflow tank. Damn it.
I filled it back up with some demineralized water and drove to get a new one. They had them in stock, thankfully, so I bought one and another couple of gallons of water to refill it - I'm damn sure not putting any coolant in it until I know it's not going to leak out!
I then spent the next couple of hours doing it. It's not a terribly involved job: easy enough to get to, four house clamps and it pops right off as it's only clipped to the body. Unfortunately though, because of the heat the fittings crumbled apart as I tried to remove them. I went to remove one piece of hose because bits of crumbled plastic fell into it, and the plastic "tee" fitting it was connected to crumbled as well. I thought I was going to have to chase leaks all over the place, but I got that fitting off without further incident.
But how to replace it? The car can't go anywhere. I had to get my bicycle out of the shed and ride it up to get a replacement, at a cool twenty bucks and in ~36C heat no less. I got home, replaced everything rather trivially, refilled it with water and bled the system out. Took it for a test run, and everything's dry, so I shut it down for the night.
Update: The next morning, everything's still dry, the coolant level is about a CM down from the cold-fill line. I left it there, and on Tuesday morning when we took Duncan to school it's still there, so filled it to the cold-fill line. No more leaks, for the time being.