Another Day

New monitor was mailed yesterday. It's still going regular post so Costco.com's helpdesk truly blows (I asked them to expidite). I also asked them to tell me whether they charged my TV yet, and I haven't heard about that either. It still hasn't posted to the card, so maybe I'll be calling AmEx again ... yay!!!!

I reinstalled Vista on the new PC. Now it just hangs to black instead of showing a BSOD. Then again, I have been really slow on installing new devices...


Long day

What can I say. Went with the family to Chuck-E-Cheese pretty much as soon as I woke up. Came back and finished mowing the grass. Looking at ways to make a linux based PACS server work for my employer. The stuff I'm using comes from here. Documentation is what you'd expect from an institution's research project...non-existant. Anyone have an exmple config/pacs_connect.cfg and/or config/pacs_Database.cfg they'd be willing to let me look at?

The defective monitor was returned to Costco. Apparently to exchange and item with this company, you have to return it and order a replacement. There was a one cent difference (their favor) between the money I got back and the amount I had to pay.

Speaking of replacements, I still haven't heard for Antares Digital about the new drive.

Not like that matters much, the new PC its going into needs a RAID driver before I can use it.

Dunno what's worse, that or the fact The new theater PC hangs when I login (unless in safe mode) and is BSODing.



It's here ...

... and put together. Portatech did end up switching out the motherboard. I guess because they threw in a GeForce 7100, they didn't feel the need to tell me what they had done and/or refund any money. Luckily, there were enough slots for everything. I did run short of a power hookup because the GeForce 8800 Ultra requires 4 of them. A quick run to Compuzone fixed my issue though.

Everything is now in it, and it's running. It BSODed on me twice, but has been problem free since being updated. It's sweet too. I just want the speakers and it's "monitor" to arrive :-D



It's been a long day, three meetings (two back-to-back) and the other one last longer than an hour. Tried to change some wiring in the house and it was 4" too short...yay.

Tomorrow will be a better day though. An approaching package tells me so.

Oh yeah, I went ahead and bought that monitor from costco.com. It's going to take them 20 days to get it to me.


Everything's Blue

The Blue-Ray burner arrived today (one day early). It's in another snazzy retail box. Hopefully the PC it's going into will also follow the trend and get in a day sooner.

The server is now downstairs connected to the router. So, it can route packets, and will be building source trees as soon as I can download them.

Still haven't heard any word from Antares about the new HD, guess it's time to send a note.

Mulling over returning/exchanging the first Acer monitor that I opened. The second one has NO dead pixels at all.

I'm also mulling over whether I should get one of these as a monitor for the newer computer.

Something's Installed

Finally got DragonFly on the new server. I had to disable the RAID and configure the BIOS to only recognize one HD in the machine. There is no working Wi-Fi and because the livingroom doesn't have an ethernet hookup, I have no network. But it's up and running :-D

I have my DB classes tomorrow. I never got the video working. Should be a fun class.


Slogging on

I woke up early today and began the process of linking the bsdinstaller into the DragonFly BSD tree. My goal is to have `make iso` supported from /usr/src/. We'll see if it works. I've got a patch of my progress so far, but am still waiting on the old build machine to complete (so I can even begin to think about testing). I'm sleepy now though.


Funky Friday

It seems like its been a long day. Lets see, first I helped the kids play Slip-N-Slide while wife went shopping. When she got back, I called Portatech about the motherboard situation. First the phone was busy, and after trying a few times with the same response, I finally got through. Notified them that I wanted 4GB on 64-bit Vista Ultimate and asked which motherboards of their stock would support this. The lady put me on hold for a minute and was going to transfer me to support. Then she asked for my phone numbers (I gave home and cell) and name, and told me someone would call me back within an hour.

I went outside to meet the FedEx guy. He's having trouble finding the house even though he is right in front of it (one of the numbers fell off our mailbox). He hands me the server barebone computer \o/.

Take it out and look it over. It's got a window on the side, and some other snazzy stuff. However, the power supply is 100W less than advertised :-@. That's probably because it isn't exactly the same case as I asked for :-S. It still powers all five HDs :-D, but one cycles between "beep" and "ka-DUNK!" :'( Honestly after the way the box looked when it got here, I count my blessings that there isn't more dead drives.

Send e-mail to Antares Digital informing them of such and wait for phone to ring. My brother comes over, it's been four hours since calling, and I'm worried the contact window is running out, so I call back. When I finally get through the time is over and I get a machine. Foolishly, I don't leave a message.

Then, the UPS guy shows up with the webcam (as I expected), and the two 24" widescreen monitors. The latter were a delightful surprise. I get my brother's help to move the 21" CRT off my desk and replace it with one. There's a few dead pixels (one, red, 1/4" up the left side; several on top & bottom edges at 1/3 of the screen increments. Even with it only hooked up to my old GeForce MX2, it still looks sweet.

After waiting for mumsy to show up, we leave for my breakfast dinner (family tradition). Home Team BBQ is pretty good, but I didn't eat much for some reason. Might have had something to do with the 2-year old in my lap :-)

When I get back, I see the phone rang because of an Out-Of-Area number. Of course none of the people that were still here answered it and the person on the other end didn't leave a message. I get a little mad at this until I check my mail and see that not only has Antares Digital replied back with an RMA number and the address, but Portatech has mailed something that will arrive on the 19th. My credit card doesn't reflect any activity since the 11th (but that just showed up today), so I'm assuming their research lead them here (PDF).

Youngest daughter lets me put her to sleep instead of momma, so I'm heart wrenched over that (awwwww).

Tried to install DragonFly BSD on some part of the server after eldest daughter and wife went to bed. Unfortunately the installer still thinks pkg_* are in other locations. And of course the source configuring this variable has already been fixed...


Motherboard Oh Noes!!!111OneOneOne

Ok, lots of stuff shipped today. The only items from my birthday order that are still not heading their way to my door are the GigaWorks THX S750 speakers, and the portatech.com computer. Sadly there is a problem with the computer. Here is the note I got about it today:

The motherboard (intel-dg965ryb) from your order, will not work properly with 4 gigs of ram installed with os-vista-ult-x64 as ordered. We have found that the maximum ram this motherboard supports is 3 gig with this operating system. However, it works properly with 4 gigs of ram when using windows xp home edition 32bit.

Well, I'm going to point out that this is the first computer that I've bought since '98. This computer can expect to be used for just as long, and because so, must be able to last that long. This is why I'm going with 64-bit, 4GB of RAM, and the ultimate edition of Microsoft's 64-bit operating system. If I have to switch out the motherboard to do so, so be it. I will not settle with a watered-down edition of an outdated 32-bit Operating System.

It's my birthday


It's been a weird one. Lots of things going on right now that I need to work through. It was my day off, but work still called me up with some problems they were having. I was able to push them off until tomorrow so that's good.

The Sound Card/audio experience arrived today. This was a snazzy large retail box. AOL, QuickTime, etc. seem to be bundled in some fashion to this device. Dunno if that's good or bad.

The bad news is that I got an email from smksuperstore saying my order was put on hold because it failed a test. The weird part is someone from SMK / PCBOOST.COM already sent the same order number on 7/9/2007 (check the blog). I'm hoping it's really the portatech.com order that hasn't been sent yet (and they can resolve the tests of course).

Alice said it best, "Curiouser and curiouser..."


Another day, another package

Today the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 from PC Alchemy arrived. One day early too :-D

Too bad I still don't have a PC to put these things in...


More Arrivals

Today two more items for the new computing infrastructure showed up at the house. They both arrived while I was cutting grass. The first package to arrive contained the five 500GB SATA2 HD from Antares Digital. I must say that I'm a little worried. Here's what they were packed in:

Yep, that's only one ply of bubble wrap and a layer of crumbled packing paper separating 2TB from the crumpled area on the corner. Joy!

The other thing that arrived was the shipment from Comp-U-Plus. The wireless keyboard & mouse, and my new trackball. The keyboard is smaller than I thought it would be. But that's good, right?

The good news is that the server barebone (from SMK) shipped today. It's being sent FedEx ground and should arrive on the 13th. At least I'll have something to work on this weekend :-) Of course I'll be putting those HD in it, so I won't know until then whether they work :-(

While reading the mail from SMK/PC Boost, mail from Costco arrived. Looks like my dual 24" are shipped as well. They'll get here on the 16th.

Maybe there will be joy in Mudville after all \o/

EDIT: Deidentified picture, added info about second arrival


More Computer Stuff

I finally finished with all my purchases. Here's what I've gotten today:

Based on their outstanding service, I decided to use Amazon again. This time to get a webcam. For some reason (maybe because I used the gift certificate I forgot about last time), the order isn't going to ship until the 12th ... very weird.

I also picked up two 24" Acer monitors from Costco.


My birthday present -- new computers

My birthday is coming up. I've been saving up for a year and a half to get a really good computer infrastructure in this house. Last Monday (7/02/2007), I finally bought everything. I'm getting two computers. One fileserver with 2TB of space, a desktop with the latest-and-greatest components, and the newest networking system I can get. Here are the components:

From Antares Digital:

  1. Five 500GB Seagate SATA2 Hard Drives

  2. eVGA geforce 8800Ultra 768MB 2.1GHz PCIe VGA Card

From SMK Super Store:
  1. The server barebone computer consisting of:
    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2.0GHz) (Socket AM2)
    • Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 nForce 570 SLI DDR2-800 eSATA A&2GbE ATX Motherboard
    • Cooling Package w/ Whisper CPU Fan, 2 Stealth Case Fans & Arctic Silver
    • 120mm Stealth Case Fan (Ultra Low Noise)
    • Atlas Precision Brand - 512MB DDR2-667
    • Thermaltake Tsunami Aluminum Case - w/ 680W PS - Silver
    • Standard 450 Watt Power Supply
    • Priority Processing
    • Extended - 3 Year Warranty

From Provantage:

  1. A SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro

  2. GigaWorks THX S750 7-piece Dolby 7.1 Speaker System

From PC Alchemy:

  1. Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 MCE Combo ATSC/QAM/NTSC, PCIe x1

From Portatech:
  1. The new desktop consisting of:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 ( 2 x 2.66GHz - 1066FSB)
    • Intel DG965RY
    • Cool Package - Stealth (Ultra Quiet Fan, 2 Stealth Case Fans, Artic Alumina Compound)
    • Kingston Technology - 4GB - PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) (Dual Channel Kit)
    • WD Raptor 74GB 10000RPM SATA Hard Drive (Commercial Grade - Ultra High Performance)
    • Windows Vista Ultimate (X64 - 64 Bit Edition)
    • Thermaltake Mozart Home Theater PC Case (Silver/Black)
    • Echo Star 680 Watt Power Supply (Dual-Core Certified)
    • 52X CD-Rom (Reads CD Discs)
    • Standard - Build, Burn-in, Test & Ship Out in Approx 3 to 5 Business Days
    • 3 Year Warranty

From Amazon:
  1. Xtreme N Pci Adapter (through J&R Music and Computer World)
  2. D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Wireless Router

From OpticStor:
  1. LG Electronics GGW-H10NI

From Comp-U-Plus:

That was Monday, here's what's happened so far (as of this post, 2007-07-06T21:53).

First the good news, today the doorbell rang and the items from Amazon arrived. They certainly get Gold Stars for having their act together. This is a company that "gets" the Internet. Order was "processed" during the night, and handled and shipped the next morning.

For the most part, everything else is in transit. Except the items that are on backorder: the graphics card, the speakers (until 2007-07-30), and the Blue-Ray writer.

Now, the bad news. Google Checkout (which Comp-U-Plus uses) informed me that my AmEx was denied. So I called AmEx's 1-800 # that same night. Got some Indian guy that told me two things had raised flags, the Comp-U-Plus and Portatech. He cleared them. I asked if anything else was going to be "flagged." He started into a script about how this happens for security and he's not allowed to describe why or which items get flagged. He also reminds me this is the reason they called me (when I really called them). So I thank him for his time and hang up. I rework the Google Checkout. The trick here is not to click the link to "retry your card," but to click the button at the bottom that says "use this card." I then go to bed ...

I get some confirmation mails about some of the products, but hear nothing from Portatech and SMK SuperStore. Assuming "no news is good news," I think nothing of it.

What I didn't know is that both of these vendors had sent me mail, but because it used the phrase "problem with your credit card" and "follow this link" MSN's spam filter grabbed it. I didn't bother looking in the junk mail folder (how many of you check yours?), so I give it until today. Both their websites still said the order is processing, so I assume something is up.

After calling AmEx again and getting an Indian woman, I find out both SMK SuperStore and Portatech were denied. I "clear" them and hang up. Call SMK SuperStore first and get a Californian woman. I explain what's going on. and tell her about my birthday. She puts a "rush" on it (although I already paid for Expedited service) and says it should be out by Mon. I then call Portatech and get the same woman (both are apparently a front for www.pcboost.com). We both have a quick laugh and she promises to do the same thing to this one. So, I hang up.

Now, my birthday is going to come and I'm going to have all these parts and nothing to do with them :'(

DAMN THESE FALSE POSITIVES. It's 2007 can't we be accurate by now?!