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My major success story this week has been to utterly screw up my desktop computer.

Over the last few years, I’ve started selecting PC components based on silence. When I did a replacement of the motherboard/CPU/cooling systems last year, though, I kept them in the same case. It wasn’t a bad case, really, although it reminded me how much of a poor life-choice cheap cases are (A cheap case generally has thin allumenium inside, which never fails to take a blood sacrifice). However, since then the machine has started making irritating “my fan is dying” noises, so I decided an upgrade of the fans was in order. One short trip to Amazon later, and I had a brand new Corsair case, with smoothed aluminium edging, no-screws hard-drive and optical drive installation, and – in a nod towards the new world order I hadn’t seen before – places to put SSD drives!

It’s black, and it’s got white LEDs in it, and it’s got a window in the side (I last bought a case with a window in it in 2003, during the saga of the Gold Plated Power Supply) (Hell’s bells this site’s old) and while putting things in to the new case did not require a blood sacrifice, taking stuff out required a significant sacrifice of my right index finger, and dealing with cross-threaded screws, and the fact that my machine now has four fans in it, plus a water cooled CPU taking up a fan pin, and only three fan pins on the motherboard. This can be repaired later. Before summer, probably.

For the full several hour experience, you needed to be here, but in rapid portrait-o-vision here is a 30 second timelapse of the whole thing (Portrait-o-vision because it was taken from my phone mounted in the dock, and there’s no sensible way to crop it)

Having done all that…

… it still made the noise. Turns out it was the power supply, which I’ll have to replace next month. In the meantime, turning it upside-down replaced the irritating fan-scraping noise with an even more irritating but far more intermittent high pitched whining.


The other major feature of the long weekend (I was off Friday though Monday) was that part of it was Streetfest, at which my new company, Skute, were doing a thing.

Due to some happy fun organisational issues, I didn’t get a full version of our thing up on the testing servers until Friday, at which point it became obvious that there were a couple of major differences from my exploratory tests. Differences that were pushing page generation times over thirty seconds, which is a magic death figure for our architecture. On top of that, there were some issues with the mobile experience that meant it was now missing the point in all three dimensions at once.

Basically, over twelve hours of Friday, I ended up doing a lot of the query optimisation work I’d never got time to complete to get initial loads somewhere sane, and then a heavy caching layer over the top of that to get subsequent loads closer to tenths of a second than tens of seconds. Something of a heavy day. The load times when we went live were… mostly fine, though apparently the mobile bandwidth on site may have not been up to much. It’s all a learning experience.

I’m feeling somewhat over-teched this week. May need to devote some evenings to pure creative.

Plus, it’s election time again, which is always good for my faith in humanity.

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