Blog entries from January, 2007

new addition: Apple IIc Plus

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 at 08:18pm

As of today I have a Apple IIc Plus in my collection.

Getting it running was a bit convoluted as this model was only released in the US its power supply is 110V. First I plugged in an Australian to IEC power cable. I then used a travel adapter to change the Australian plug to a US one which in turn plugged into a step-down transformer. As I don’t have any suitable 3.5″ disks for this I plugged in an external 5.25″ drive and proceeded to play some Lode Runner which was harder than it used to be due to the increase in processor speed.

As usual I now need to find some time to take some photos of this and other items I have obtained over the last few months…

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We should be thankful

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 at 08:13pm

Fourteen months ago we moved into the renovated open plan area. Since that time there has been a general dissatisfaction with the environment.

We should be thankful.

Today we used one of the meeting rooms upstairs which allowed us to see the newly renovated area, which people are moving into later this week. As the area was just offices (no server room like our area had) there was no significant change to the layout, a couple of walls were moved, some paint, new carpet and new desks.

In our area most desks have a blue 1.5 metre partition on one side (supposedly made of acoustic material) and a dark gray short ‘wave’ along the other side (made of hard laminate). These can be seen on my desk except that my desk is not typical due to the window:

My new desk

What we saw upstairs was disturbing. All of the partitions are made of a hard laminate and the majority of the desks in the space (slightly smaller than ours and in an L shape) have the low ‘wave’ types. This means that there will be zero privacy. However this is not the worst. Down one end of the space the partitions are 1.8 metres high and are intended for people who are on the phone all day, they are sitting in an echo chamber.

While our space is not the best we now know that we have the lesser of two evils.

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Shedding power

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 at 09:29pm

This afternoon there was a mass power outage that affected most of the state.

So how did this affect me?

Firstly it made the ride home interesting as I pass through a couple of major intersections that turned into a free-for-all as there was no power for the traffic lights. I had one near miss while crossing Ferntree Gully Road when a car decided to floor it through two moving lanes of trucks…

Secondly I was able to see how long the UPS I got for free would last which I can determine from the MRTG logs on preston (my linux box that was the only device running from the UPS):

  • My router last responded at 4:10PM. This gives me a five minute window (until 4:15PM) for when the power went out.
  • The last uptime entry (i graph the system uptime in seconds) was at 16:55PM, again with the five minute window.

This means that the UPS powered preston for between 40 and 50 minutes until the batteries ran flat. Once I move the router and cable modem onto the UPS I should easily get 30 minutes of runtime which is more than ample to handle most of the blackouts I have experienced. If shaun, my windows desktop, was also running I would be surprised if I get 10 minutes…

And what was the uptime? 8,209,932 seconds which is just over 95 days. I think this is the third longest uptime for preston (it wouldn’t have been so high without the UPS riding me through some small outages) with the longer times being 115 and 105 days. In comparison I never exceeded 100 days on gromit, my old linux box.

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