2020 Desktop Build!

After upgrading my 2011 desktop recently with a new CPU and RAM, I caught the PC building bug and started wanting to build a whole new machine. My initial plans were to take it slow. But there’s only so much I can do there. If I got a modern motherboard, my existing CPU and RAM isn’t going to work, so those three need to be done at once. But I figured I could start with a case anyway. I went with Phanteks Enthoo Pro. A few things I was looking for that influenced my decision: Plenty of space for internal

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Backups, XFCE, Bit-Box v2?

Backups Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on upgrading my home desktop computer, and I’ve documented much of the process here. New RAM, new CPU and cooling fan, several missteps along the way, but I got it all working nicely. Which of course meant that something new had to go wrong. First, let me tell you about my current backup system for this box. For a number of years, every time I switched computers or OSes, I would back up the entire disk (or at least my home/user directory) to an external hard disk. And then I’d copy

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RAM, Bit-Box, Attractors, Interpreters

What have I been up to over the last week? A few things. RAM I got my next 16GB batch of RAM in for my desktop. Out with the old, in with the new. It works. With the upgraded CPU and double the RAM, this 9 year old computer feels like new. Now I have an extra 32 GB of DDR3 RAM that I will probably never use. The four on the left didn’t work in my computer, but I suspect it might work in some other motherboard. The rest of it all works fine. It’s going to end up

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Bit-Box?

I’ve been working on a custom keypad build. I think I’ll call mine a Bit-Box. In my post last week I shared the initial proof of concept breadboard build and the second prototype build. This past week I finished the “final” version. I put “final” in quotes because I’m already thinking of how to make a better one. Anyway, here’s how it came out: The previous iteration used an Arduino Micro clone, a plastic project box and some push-button switches. For this one, I wanted a nicer enclosure and better switches. I got some Cherry MX keyboard switches from Amazon.

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Computer Upgrades

A lot of things going on this week, so I’m probably going to have to make more than one post. This one will be about some general computer upgrades I’ve been making. Dell XPS 13 Battery Replacement So, I bought a Dell XPS 13 back in 2016. It’s a sweet little computer. Really thin, lightweight, almost no bezel. But in 2018 I was really yearning for another Thinkpad and got myself a T-480, which I really love. I haven’t been using the XPS much but felt bad about that since it really is a great machine. So I pulled it

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Weekend Update June 26, 2020

I’m going to try to do some kind of weekly update about different things that are going on, things I’m working on etc. Maybe just rambling thoughts. Lately, there are two major projects I’ve been keeping busy with. One is a custom Arduino-based keypad. The other is a GTK based live algorithmic drawing tool. The Keypad I’ve wanted something like this for a while. I did a bunch of searching but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. But then I found the Elgato Stream Deck and that looks amazing. It’s also not cheap at all. Strangely though, after

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Animated Sinusoidal Cardiods

I think I just made up a thing. Usually when I think that, it just means fewer than a few hundred people have thought about it before me, so who knows. Let’s start with cardioids. A cardioid is a heart-shaped curve. One way to create a cardiod is to roll a circle around another circle of the same size, tracing the path of a single point on the moving circle. Like so: I discovered another neat way to create a cardioid while checking out the math art challenge. #MathArtChallenge Day 7: Cardioids! In this method, you divide a circle into an

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On the Road to Becoming an Audiophile, Part I

Over the past several months, I have been on the road to becoming an audiophile. The saying says something about the journey being more important than the destination. In this case, I totally agree. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I don’t even want to become an audiophile. But taking the first few steps towards improving the quality of my audio experience has increased my appreciation and enjoyment of the music I listen to. Of course, appreciation and enjoyment are very subjective things. I can say for sure that during the times of my life when I was most into

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2019 in Review, and a new project

I don’t blog much these days, but usually do manage to get in a year-in-review post every December or January. 2019 was a tough year. Not bad, but lots of changes, lots of stress Work I’ve probably been more focused on work this past year than I have been in many years. To be honest, work has often been somewhat of “what I do in between my side projects” rather than the other way around. This year, the balance was very much the opposite. In fact, I had no real large side projects at all in 2019. As mentioned in

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Onyx Nova Pro update

Back in March I wrote a review of the Onyx Boox Nova Pro Ereader: https://www.bit-101.com/blog/2019/03/onyx-nova-pro-ereader/ Now, nearly 5 months later, I thought it would be good for a quick update. tldr: I still love it. Like, really love it. Details: PDF reading I’ve had more of a chance to consume PDF content on the device. As mentioned in the first review, most PDFs are utterly unreadable on a 6″ Kindle. Because each page has a fixed layout, when rendered full screen on a 6″ screen, the text is generally way too small. On a Kindle, you can zoom in and

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