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Glad To Oblige

Wayne LaPierre, spokesweasel for the NRA appeared on Meet the Press and indicated that if people thought that putting armed police in schools was crazy ‘then call me crazy’. Happy to help you out, Wayne – You are crazy.

Time for a couple of ‘war stories’ from law enforcement. I will leave off the real names of the people involved, because most of those who know these guys today, don’t know, or forgot about these incidents.

A veteran uniformed police officer stopped by his bank and walked in on an armed robbery in progress. Both the cop and the robber had six-shot revolvers. More than two dozen shots were fired at a distance of less than 20 feet and neither was hit. Fortunately no one else was injured but the bank’s lobby was a mess. The robber gave up after he ran out of ammo, while the office still had bullets. The robber reloaded once and the officer twice during the incident.

An off-duty officer stopped by his favorite bar on his way home after work. Just after he sat down, two men came out of the men’s room and one of them had what appeared to be revolver in his hand. The officer drew his auto-loader and fired 14 rounds at a distance of less than 15 feet. Neither of the men was hit, and they surrendered. The weapon turned out to be a pellet pistol designed to look like a Smith&Wesson large frame revolver. The officer was a member of his department’s pistol team and a range instructor.

These were trained police officers that I personally have seen group their shots on a timed course at 75 feet. When confronted with a shoot situation, their accuracy disappeared. You have to be a stone-cold killer not to experience an adrenalin surge and a blood pressure spike in a life or death situation. You experience hearing loss and tunnel vision as your brain stem prepares the body to fight or run by diverting blood from ‘unnecessary’ systems. Training reduces the problems, but they can’t be eliminated.

Given these realities, what are the realistic chances of someone with less training and seasoning than an NYPD SWAT officer being able to make the head shot required to take out a shooter wearing soft body armor and firing an AR-15 at you? An armed guard at that school would have been the first person to die, and wouldn’t have prevented anything. The shooter knew what was going to happen, and that is a huge advantage.


1 Kryten42 { 12.24.12 at 6:33 am }

You are correct (of course) Bryan. I have seen similar events in combat also. Part of the advanced training in SF unit’s is about dealing with fear and the ways the human body deals with those situations (producing adrenaline, endorphins, etc.) that, if you are not fully prepared and do not know how you will react, will force an error. People I know who know some of the techniques used in advanced training (such as advanced SERE training) are appalled at what they see as simple brutality of those courses. They don’t understand that unless we know our own reactions, and our limits, we will end up dead quickly. and the idea is not to simply find the limit, but to exceed them, push the limit further. Somehow, people see that as quite acceptable and not worthy of comment for top Athletes, but is *brutal* for Military Pro’s. I have called out a couple of people for their hypocrisy, and had interesting reactions. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was a junior weightlifter, and took it very seriously. I trained very hard, and I can say with certainty that I suffered just as much then as I did in the Military courses. In fact, thanks to the Athletic training (which included martial arts and assorted sports), I had a very high pain threshold and tolerance compared to everyone else in my course. No doubt this will sound cocky and arrogant, but is simple fact. If it were me in those situations you describe above, the offenders would be dead. I was trained to take out a target (human or materiel) at ranges up to 2km or more. If the target was human, I would watch my target carefully, to get to know them intimately, and then when the moment is right, kill them. People ask how I can live with it. Same way I did the job. With proper training. Day after day after day, we were trained… “One shot. One kill”.

There was one mission where my orders changed. I was told to only wound the target. I actually became confused. It was one of the rare occasions I actually questioned my orders. I was told to carry out my orders. I replied “I am sorry sir, I cannot do that.” I was asked why, I replied “One Shot. One Kill. Sir.” Thankfully, one of the more senior Officers stepped in and ordered my team to stand down, which we gratefully did. The mission was given to one of the other UN force unit’s (possibly US or French I later heard).

When I had my anti-terrorism training, we were first taught that there in no more dangerous enemy than one who is quite prepared to die. So, we had to be prepared also. ๐Ÿ™‚ The look for traits in candidates that made us suitable. I have known since I was born that we get one guarantee only. One day, we will all die. I have never worried about it. I was taught that it’s far more important to concern myself with living. Some people miss the point. They think that because I don’t fear death, I’m an accident waiting to happen. On the contrary, I have survived numerous incidents because I am more concerned with living than dying. Even as a youngster. I survived a high-speed car impact when I was 12. I was on my bike, and saw a sports car at the last couple seconds before it hit, and I leapt up from my bike (which was completely destroyed) and my hip hit the windscreen and I bounced up, came down on the *trunk*, bounced and hit the road. There was a man watering his garden who saw it. Turned out, he was a Doctor. ๐Ÿ™‚ He ran over, almost certain I’d be dead. I ended up unconscious, bruised and grazed, but no broken bones or serious wounds. If it weren’t for my instincts, I would have been dead. No doubt about it. It was a lesson I was very glad to learn at a young age that has served me well. I have lost count of the number of times I have been told “You should be dead!” Oh really? Sorry, I disagree! ๐Ÿ˜†

Curiously, it was because of such incidents that I was invited to join an SF unit. Well, those and the fact that I already had most of the skills they wanted. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Like Athletes, training can and does work. But only with a human that has the ability, the desire, and with time. There is no short or easy solution. And some (maybe most) people are simply not cut out for it, no matter how much training or time.

Curious isn’t it Bryan? Give the two extremes a gun, and they are quite dangerous. The person who fears death, and the person who doesn’t. The one who fears death is a danger at any given moment (the tragedy waiting to happen). The fearless one is a danger at the right time and place. ๐Ÿ™‚

So… on that note… It will be Christmas day in a half hour! And I have a 7AM breakfast feast to attend. ๐Ÿ™‚ So good night, and enjoy your day everyone, however you choose too. ๐Ÿ˜€

2 jamsodonnell { 12.24.12 at 7:39 am }

Glad to say that I’ve never held a pistol in my life – only .22 rifles a couple of times and a Lee Enfield-303 once… I can’t imagine pointing a gun at a person.

Happily the nearest thing to a gun I handle these days is an AK-47 shaped water rifle!

On that note I hope you have a very happy Xmas

3 Bryan { 12.24.12 at 11:02 pm }

As we both know, Kryten, making life and death decisions isn’t easy, nor should it be. To be justified, there has to be a lot of hard work done in advance. People just don’t seem to understand the basic reality that if you aren’t prepared to take someone else’s life, don’t have a gun. A gun isn’t a magic talisman that endows you with courage or strength, or even the understanding of what taking someone’s life will really mean to you personally. The taboo against killing another person is a core belief in most Western Cultures, and the military has to spend a great deal of time and effort to bend that taboo enough to create soldiers. Unfortunately, too often the taboo is shattered and some people will always be a danger even when they are no longer in combat. It is a delicate balance.

After a while you can sense the ‘bad people’, the people who aren’t posing, but really will shoot to kill. I’m referring to both ‘cops’ and ‘robbers’. Most of those who become cops will eventually fire, but it will usually be uncontrolled, and late. There are only a few that will make the first shot count and end the problem. Of course, all of the other cops at the scene will then fire to show they were willing to, and you end up with dozens of rounds fired when one or two would have been sufficient.

I hope that people put a stop to this NRA plan quickly, because I see it resulting in more dead children at some point, and schools more dangerous than they have ever been.

I hope that the water pistol is obviously not a real weapon, Jams, because we have had some real tragedies caused by people having toys that looked too real. You saw my water pistol in a cat picture a while back. I wasn’t interested in anyone making that mistake where I live.

I’ve trained on all of the small arms the military and police forces have, but it was part of the job. If I lived in an urban area, I doubt I would still have a gun, but is is a useful tool where I live. I would note that the military is much more centered on weapons safety than any civilian organization. They don’t believe in ‘gun accidents’, and get rather pointed when one is fired at the wrong time.

4 Badtux { 12.24.12 at 11:37 pm }

On the other hand, there was the case a few months back where two NYPD beat officers encountered someone who had just shot his former boss outside the Empire State Building. When the person turned around with a handgun in his hand, they swiftly jumped for cover and returned fire as soon as their weapons cleared, with one of the officers then leaving cover to get a better angle on the perp while the other provided covering fire. I believe they fired sixteen rounds and seven hit the perp within the five seconds that it took the whole event to play out. Not great, but far better than you’d expect given the fact that the perp was partially obscured by the concrete anti-terrorism “jars” (thus why one of the police officers had to leave cover to get an angle on him).

On the other hand, these were police officers who had recently undergone shoot/don’t shoot qualification training that was designed to overcome hesitations in these kinds of situations. A typical civilian? Don’t make me laugh. The civilians around this event didn’t even have a clue anything was going down until bullets were flying and they were diving for cover.

Regarding the NRA proposal, all I have to say is that if Mr. Wayne LaPierre believes it to be a good idea, he can put his money where his mouth is. $5B worth of taxes on guns and ammunition should suffice to fund the plan, right? If it’s such a good plan, surely he and his fellow gun enthusiasts would be happy to pay that tax, right? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

5 Bryan { 12.25.12 at 12:39 am }

It takes lots of time and training to get a good response by officers, and it isn’t something everyone can do.

This talk about ‘volunteers’ won’t cut it, because in most states you have to be a sworn officer to be in a school with a weapon, a carry permit isn’t enough. It’s that way even in Florida, so laws would have to be changed before anything could be done. Then you would need to find and certify people before you spent the time and money on training. The final cost could be as high as $10 billion/year – approximately 100K schools and a cost of $100K for a sworn officer. [My small town pays the Sheriff $100K/year to provide one full-time deputy for 40 hours per week, and the deputy is not getting even half of that in salary.]

Let the NRA propose the tax increase to pay for their plan, and then they can be taken seriously.

6 hipparchia { 12.25.12 at 3:26 pm }

i love that bank robber story….

It takes lots of time and training to get a good response by officers, and it isnโ€™t something everyone can do.

i had several years of formal training and informal practice in archery and riflery, and have whiled away many a saturday afternoon at the shooting range with various handguns. my target-shooting mad marksmanship skillz were pretty darn good, back in the day, and i’d even had enough self-defense martial arts type training that i could probably have a better chance than most 6 year olds ๐Ÿ™‚ of getting a gun away from an assailant. ok, so the part of the self-defense training that i was best at was how to dive out the nearest window when the guy with the gun is coming in through the door, but hey…

that said, some years ago, several of us of like background got the chance to try out one of those shoot-don’t-shoot simulators. about half of us did the total freeze-up deer-in-the-headlights thing and the other half shot the place up much like your bank robber story. iirc, only one person in the group of 20 or so showed any promise at all, and that person still got killed by the bad guy more than once.

7 Bryan { 12.25.12 at 10:39 pm }

Getting ‘killed’ isn’t nearly as bad as ‘killing’ the wrong person. It is not usually a problem in the military [collateral damage], but it is a major problem for police forces. That is one of the biggest problems of hiring veterans for police jobs, you have to make them ‘unlearn’ the military rules of engagement.

That said, getting killed in definitely not recommended or expected. You are not expected to risk your life unless it is absolutely necessary to save the lives of others. You are taught to seek cover and use it, because you can usually make a better, more accurate shot than standing up and making yourself an easy target.

8 Jim Bales { 12.27.12 at 9:16 am }

Just a follow-up on the NYPD incident that badtux noted.

ABC (American, not Australian — sorry Kryten) reports 10 bullet holes in the shooter, who was killed, along with injuries to 9 bystanders, all injuries by bullets or fragments of bullets fired by the NYPD officers.

FWIW, both officers are 15-year veterans of the force, and neither had shot in the line of duty until that day.


PS — Wayne LaPierre is crazy!

9 Bryan { 12.27.12 at 11:40 am }

I remembered that, Jim, which reflects a problem with the ammunition for auto-loaders in an urban environment. To feed reliably, auto-loaders require fully jacketed rounds. Fully jacketed rounds ricochet and fragment which is a problem in cities. All of the ‘tank traps’ they have in cities these days are turning city streets into ‘combat courses’ with ricochets almost guaranteed.

I used a specialized semi-jacketed round that deformed, or ‘splashed’ when it encountered a hard surface. It was more stable and ‘cleaner’ than an unjacketed round, but it transferred more of the energy to the target. It didn’t penetrate like a jacketed round, so it was less of a danger inside a building. I also used the .38 caliber, although my weapon could fire .357 magnum rounds, for the same reason.

If I was still working, I would still be using the same tools. It doesn’t matter how many rounds you can shoot when you can achieve your purpose with the first round.

10 Kryten42 { 12.30.12 at 10:44 am }

Hiya all! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hipparchia, you never cease to amaze! ๐Ÿ˜€ A woman of many talents indeed! ๐Ÿ˜€

Accurate shooting, especially in the face of danger, is a real skill. There are so many variables, and you don’t have time to consider them all! You have to practice, practice, practice until most of them become autonomic. One example is simply your heart! Fear makes your heart race which in turn forces a massive volume of blood to race around your arteries & vanes at high speed to allow your muscles to react strongly and quickly. Unfortunately, it also throws your aim off considerably. Iif you watch someone in that situation closely, you can actually see the gun twitching, even though the shooter is sure they are holding it steady. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s one reason you will never see a true pro get excited in those situations, and he knows how to slow his heart and breathing to get an accurate shot. Before I shoot, I unconsciously breathe deep, exhale a slow half breath, hold it and fire. I rarely miss. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another thing most amateurs fail to do, is aim a handgun! They may point it (in the general direction), but they don’t actually sight aim the weapon! No wonder they rarely hit the target! Sheesh. And… many don’t even use correct posture (standing, kneeling, prone), or hold the weapon properly either. And all of that takes time and practice… a heck of a lot! In my SF unit (and most others), we were on the ranges every day (or night) for over two years and at least three times a week when on active duty (except on missions of course), practicing various scenarios with various weapons. When you face an armed aggressor, there is no time to *think*. You think, you’re dead!

You are right also Bryan about the correct munitions selection. And in your situation, I would also choose a *soft* round. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, the military is different. Our standard issue was either FMJ, frag, or incendiary (depending on the mission profile). All of which are designed to cause maximum damage.

OT: So, the Great Computer Project has been completed successfully! ๐Ÿ˜€ It is an awesome beast, and I have to say the lad outdid himself and is so happy he was walking on the ceiling for hours! ๐Ÿ˜† I am very proud, and so are his parents (and his friends are envious as hell, as it should be!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

I’ll post some details at another time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am truly exhausted. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bed time for this one. G’night all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh! Hey Jim… ๐Ÿ™‚ No worries m8! ๐Ÿ˜† I know there are two ABC’s, I’m multicultural I am! ๐Ÿ˜€

11 Bryan { 12.30.12 at 11:06 pm }

Yeah, Kryten, it is hard to convince people to actually acquire the target before pulling the trigger. when you look at people blazing away with an auto-loader you just know they spraying bullets and hoping to get lucky. If you slow down and use both hands, you really can hit your intended target and nothing else almost all of the time, but too many people don’t internalize the training and make it a habit.

I mastered a technique with my little Colt revolver [2-inch barrel] that involved facing the target and using both hands to center the weapon. That would consistently produce a hit in the center of the opponent’s body at 25 feet. It is an emergency technique when you needed a quick shot and there was no cover available. Even though I could do it, it was not my preferred response – finding cover and taking an aimed, single-action shot.

It was Suvorov who wrote that ‘you should train hard to fight easy’, and by all reports his training was difficult for the his troops, but they never lost a battle. He didn’t believe in close order drill and explained that he had never been attacked on a parade ground.

OT: As they used to say on “The A-Team” – I love it when a plan comes together.

Good on the lad, he earned his machine. The big advantage is that he knows exactly what is in the box, not what someone else says is in the box, a problem I’ve had to wrestle with more than once with great frustration. [Nothing like gathering the technical docs only to discover that they have nothing in common with what it actually under the hood which has almost no identifying information printed on it. You really have to be on the alert for ‘or equivalent’ in the docs.]

Face it, if someone else had build it, the price would have gone up at least 10%, and you really wouldn’t know if they had done the job properly.

12 hipparchia { 01.01.13 at 11:26 am }

happy new year, kryten!

i’m originally from texas, where the national sport is shooting things. no guns in our house, no hunting, but: riflery and archery at summer camp, archery in school, and friends whose dads took us out into the desert to shoot the prickly pears off of cactuses. when i moved east to the piney woods of almost-alabama, i was introduced to shotguns and handguns, and plinking away at old tin cans in clay pits.

never been able to bring myself to shoot a living thing [other than cactus]. if i had to survive by hunting, or even fishing, i’d be in trouble, and probably needless to say, i was in the group above that froze [and theoretically got killed by the bad guy every time]. i’m with kinky friedman, another texan who doesn’t quite follow the expected path: ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.qotd.org/search/single.html?qid=38335

13 Kryten42 { 01.02.13 at 7:52 am }

And a happy New Year to you also hipparchia! And everyone else also. ๐Ÿ˜€

Unfortunately h, until the only people who carry weapons use them for hunting or survival in the wild, I see them as a necessary evil. There is no point in making things too easy for the human predators. Believe it or not, I have often wished these past few decades that some of those predators would come after me. But like their animal kin, they seem to know which prey to avoid! (And I have in fact been in places where I know they look for victims, and I usually just get a hard look or double-take, and they keep moving.) *shrug*I think I’ve always had a hardened core within me, the Military just brought it to the fore and tuned it. It was necessary in places like Cambodia, Fiji, Africa and elsewhere, but it has been very difficult to bury again. Still, I am content with the knowledge that my team never killed an innocent, and that we saved the lives of may hundreds if not thousands. And yes, we killed many who in my opinion very much deserved it.

I truly do wish this was a World in which pacifists ruled. Sadly, it isn’t. (That isn’t a comment on you or anyone else here BTW. I wish there where a few billion more people who truly felt the way you do. Until that day, people like Bryan and myself are necessary. Otherwise, the only people left will be the wolves!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmmm. I think I like Friedman! Kinda reminds me somewhat of Frank Zappa. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

“I don’t see how the people who created the problem can fix it. Texas is worth fighting for, and the best way to fight is to get the politicians out of politics.”

Gotta agree with that! ๐Ÿ˜†

OT: Ahem! Well Bryan, the final system couldn’t actually be built until after Boxing day, thanks to *dear ol’ Dad* sticking his oversized oar in! ๐Ÿ˜† He convinced the rest of the family (including a couple wealthy brothers in the UK) to contribute to the project. So, the three of us ended up driving to Melb. to get more parts and spend a lot more money than was originally planned! The lad was caught between almost hysterical awe at this amazing largess, and frustrating annoyance because the project was delayed! (Though, it’s good for him to learn that that’s pretty much the norm for projects anyway!) ๐Ÿ˜† I’m almost afraid to tell you what the final cost was, and what exactly kind of monster was created! Frankenstein was a dwarf! LMAO
Ahem. Put it this way… We almost had trouble finding things to add to spend the *project* donations (which were all thankfully and gratefully received!) The lad even offered me a tidy sum for my time! To which my reply way “How would you like a busted nose and me to stick that money where the sun doesn’t shine m8??!!” Hmmph! I calmed sown as he was obviously taken aback, and explained that my time and knowledge were freely given as it was part of my gift to him and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe he was worthy of either. And then I laughed and hugged him hard and said “And besides my young friend! This will be the most fun I’ve had in years!”, and he smiled (somewhat in relief I noted), and apologized. Of course I said no apology was necessary, and meant it. He is a good lad truly. ๐Ÿ˜€

But now… I REALLY want one!! *sniff*! Life sux! Hmmmph! Oh well… maybe one day! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Still… If’n yous iz cur’yus… I’ll post the absolute *FINAL* (really and for truly it is!) spec! ๐Ÿ˜†

I did have fun, and I have to say the lad was better than some of the supposed *pro’s* I’ve been forced to work with! He listened for a start (something a little rare in my experience)! ๐Ÿ˜€

14 hipparchia { 01.02.13 at 3:42 pm }

i first heard of kinky friedman before he became famous, or maybe when he first became infamous… i remember when the ‘buns and biscuits’ song came out, for instance: http://jennifinlaypromotions.com/kinkyfriedman.htm and ‘they ain’t makin jews like jesus anymore’: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1949555

15 hipparchia { 01.02.13 at 3:42 pm }

[spam filter hates me, or maybe just all my links…]


i’ve read, and re-read, most of his books http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/ebooks.html even though they’re rather dark and depressing and the hero is an unabashed male chauvinist pig. ๐Ÿ™‚

all in all, probably not a person i’d care for in real life, but his heart’s in the right place at least! http://www.utopiarescue.com/ugly.htm

16 Bryan { 01.02.13 at 8:36 pm }

You know you want to publish the specs, so just do it. I can take it as I’m too cheap to really do anything but dream about it.

Yeah, there are a lot of things that I have done for free that I would never do if I was paid for it, because it is a different dynamic. Getting paid for it seems to suck out the fun by turning it into ‘business’. There’s also a feeling that people who will pay for it don’t really understand or appreciate what they are getting and that destroys the aura / vibes / ambiance of the project. It leeches from the success you feel when things are created and work properly. If the user doesn’t understand, they can’t appreciate what you have done.

I do understand that the lad wanted to make the offer, because he did understand what he was getting, which is right and proper.

We shouldn’t be surprised that people think that death and destruction are the way to solve all conflict – that’s how our governments act. Israel thinks that Iran wants nuclear weapons because that was their solution. They can’t conceive of the possibility that other people are different and react differently.

17 Kryten42 { 01.04.13 at 7:01 am }

I took out a lot of people who thought death and destruction was the answer. In the end, I did them a favor! They got what they wanted! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ And I’d do it again too. Sadly, I can’t do the same to all of them! There are far too many. *SIGH*

OT: Yeah, I understand the lad’s offer also. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t angry with him, and he understood that. But he’s still young (and I am pleased that at least his heart is in the right place!) ๐Ÿ˜€

He’s DEFINITELY been hanging around his Dad’s workshop far too much!! Picked up some nasty habits! Like… Not trusting the manufacturing or QA of any supplier, or trusting shipping departments to actually ship what was ordered… and he has his Dad’s (almost clinical) obsession with cleanliness and that parts should actually fit with micrometer precision! What a nerve, and at such a young age too! LMAO (Oh Bryan! You truly should have been with us on the shopping trip! The questions the lad asked the poor and mostly bewildered store sales staff! It would have been worth my paying the airfare if I could have!) We ended up going to a specialist high-end *store* (which is an understatement) for the ultra obsessed enthusiasts, and it’s staffed by obsessed enthusiasts. We spent most of the day there while the lad, his dad and myself grilled them on every point! In the end, they were so impressed with the final system, they offered an extra 5% discount and even offered to help assemble it (almost pleadingly by the owner)! LOL So, the lad made some useful friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

So… Since you are obviously so keen to know… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜† And without further ado:

Qty MANUFACTURER (Part #) Description Price $
— ———————————————————————————————– ———
1 XIGMATEK (CCC-HSA0DS-U04) Elysium Super Tower Case Sliver/Black, Support 2x 420mm Radiators $180.00
1 SEASONIC (SS-1000XP) Active PFC 1000W 80PLUS Platinum, OV UV SC OP OC OT Protection, Modular PSU $295.00
1 INTEL (BX80619I73960X) Core i7 3960X, Sandy Bridge-E 3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA2011, 130W, 6-Core 12-Thread $1,060.00
1 ASUS (RAMPAGEIV-EXTREME) Rampage IV Extreme, LGA 2011 Intel X79 chipset, 8 x DIMM (64GB) DDR3 2400 MHz $505.00
2 G.SKILL (F3-2600C11Q-32GTXD) TridentX 32GB (8GBx4) DDR3-2600 MHz (PC3-20800), 11-13-13-35 2N, 1.65V $770.00
2 MSI Radeon HD7970 Lightning Boost Edition, Unlocked BIOS & Digi Power, GPU Reactor, MIL-STD-810G, 3GB GDDR5 $1,020.00
4 SANDISK (SDSSDX-240G) Extreme 240GB SATA3 SSD, Seq R/W: 550/520 MB/s, rnd R/W: 39K/83K IOPS $696.00
1 LG (BH14NS40) 14X BD-R, 128GB BDXL, M-Disc, Blu-ray/DVD+-R/DVD-RAM/DVD-RW/CD Burner $78.00
1 MSI (DH-24AS U88) CD/DVD Burner, 24x DVD, 48x CD, 16x DVD-ROM, 2MB cache $30.00
1 VANTEC (MRK-425ST-BK) EZ Swap F4 Removable Rack, SATA III, 1x 5.25″ Bay to 4x 2.5″ Hot Swap Bays $45.00
1 NZXT (8C-APER000-W0B) Aperture M, 5.25″ Bay Card Reader & 2x USB3.0 Ports, Black $42.00
1 SILVERSTONE (SST-EC01-P) EC01P Internal PCIe USB3.0 Card, 1x Dual Port Internal USB3.0 Header $25.00
1 NZXT (FN-200RB) Premium High Performance 1,300 RPM, 166.2 CFM @ 37dBA, 200 x 30mm Case Fan $17.00
1 AKASA (AK-FN063) Viper 140mm PWM Fans, 600-1,600 RPM, 3.12 mmH20 Pressure, 110.6 CFM @ 26.5 dBA $15.00
2 AKASA (AK-FN072) Piranha 120mm PWM Fans, 600-1,900 RPM, 3.05 mmH20 Pressure, 79.2 CFM @ 27.2 dBA $32.00
1 YATE LOON (D12SH-12C) High Speed Slim Case Fan, 120mm x 20mm, 2,000 RPM, 69 CFM @ 32dBA $7.00
3 FESER (FS-XVIBE-120-BK-D) Xvibe Silicone Fan Noise Absorber, 120mm, Black $18.00
1 FESER (FS-XVIBE-140-BK) Xvibe Silicone Fan Noise Absorber, 140mm, Black $6.00
1 ACOUSTI (AFG-PSU) Anti-vibration Power Supply Gasket with 8x Screws & 8x Soft Silica Gel Washers $9.00
3 ACOUSTI (APExtS) AcoustiPack EXTRA Sheet PC Soundproofing Kit, 7 x 457 x 431mm 3-Layer Sheets $66.00
3 ACOUSTI (APExtB) AcoustiPack PC Case Noise Reduction Foam Blocks (2x 5.25″, 1x 3.5″) $54.00
1 DEMCIFILTER (DEMCIFILTER120-RD-BK) DEMCiflex 120 Magnetic Fan Dust Filter, Round, Black $9.00
SUB-TOTAL: $4,979.00

Qty MANUFACTURER (Part #) Description Price $
— ———————————————————————————————– ———
2 ALPHACOOL (14179) NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper Radiator, 468mm x 144mm x 60mm, (requires 3 or 6 x 140mm Fans) $230.00
1 ALPHACOOL (15167) Repack Dual 5.25″ Bay Station Reservoir, for Dual Laing D5 Pumps $81.00
2 AQUACOMPUTER (41093) Laing D5 Variable Speed Pump with USB and Aquabus Interface for Aquaero 5 $198.00
1 EK (EK-FB-KIT-RE4-CSQ-AC) Full-Board Acetal+Nickel Waterblock for ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard $117.00
2 EK (EK-FC7970-LTG-AC-NI) Full Cover Acetal+Nickel Waterblock for MSI HD7970 Lightning BE $270.00
1 EK (EK-FCBrdg-2-Par-CSQ) EK-FC Bridge Dual Parallel CSQ – To Connect 2 Video Card Waterblocks $22.00
1 KOOLANCE (CPU-380I) Intel CPU Waterblock, Nickel-Plated Copper, Stainless Steel & POM Acetal, G1/4 thread $75.00
8 KOOLANCE (RAM-33) DDR/DDR2/DDR3/SD Water Block, Stainless Steel & Nickel Plated Copper $320.00
6 KOOLANCE (CNT-MEAU) Sliding 180-Degree “U” Connector, Nickel-Plated Brass, G 1/4 thread (for RAM-33) $72.00
4 MONSOON (MON-FC-1234-6-RD) Free Center Compression Fittings, 1/2″ x 3/4″, Black/Red (6-pack with tool) $160.00
20 MONSOON (MON-LP-RO-45-34-MB) 45ยฐ Rotary Angle Fitting with Port, 1/2″ x 3/4″, G1/4 thread, Black $240.00
20 MONSOON (MON-SPL-RD) Premium G 1/4 Solid Brass Plug with 1x black, 1x red 2.4mm silicone O-rings, Red $60.00
1 SAINT-GOBAIN (TYsilv-12-18) Tygon Alphasan Silver Antimicrobial Tubing, 1/2″ ID x 3/4″ OD, 3m (10ft) $126.00
1 PRIMOCHILL (PC-FPP-BK-1/2) Dual Purpose Fluid Port Plus, Fill/Drain 1/2″, G1/4 thread, Black $29.00
3 ICE DRAGON COOLING (ex-liq-203) Advanced Nanofluid Coolant, Non-Conductive, 32oz (1ltr), white $90.00
1 INDIGO XTREME (IX-AM3-Twin) AMD AM3+ FX CPU, Phase Change Metal Alloy Thermal Interface Material, (2 Pack) $25.00
1 ALPHACOOL (17700) Teflon Tape, 0.1mm x 12mm x 20m $5.00
12 AKASA (AK-FN063) Viper 140mm PWM Fans, 600-1,600 RPM, 3.12 mmH20 Pressure, 110.6 CFM @ 26.5 dBA $180.00
2 AKASA (AK-CBFA03-45) FLEXA FP5 5 PWM Fan Splitter Cable with Molex Power Connector & 1 PWM Header $20.00
2 AKASA (AK-CBFA04-15) PWM fan splitter Cable (2x 4-pin PWM to 1x 4-pin PWM header) $6.00
6 PHOBYA (ex-rad-219) Radiator Fan Shroud & Decoupling Gasket 140mm x 7mm, Black $27.00
6 FESER (FS-XVIBE-140-BK) Xvibe Silicone Fan Noise Absorber, 140mm x 4mm, Black $36.00
2 BITSPOWER (BP-CDRG420ALBKMBK-HC) Aluminum Mesh Radguard 420 (3 x 140mm), Matt Black Honeycomb Mesh $76.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53125AC) Aquaero 5 XT, Autonomous MCP-Controlled Fan, Pump, Sensor Controller, 4 Temp Sensors $195.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53093) Water Cooling Block for Aquaero 5 XT $21.00
3 AQUACOMPUTER (53083) PowerAdjust 2 USB Ultra, 1 Laing DDC Pump cable, 1 Flow Sensor Cable, 4 Fan Connects $180.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53132) High-Flow USB Flow Sensor – Approx 40 l/h to 1,500 l/h $75.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53087) Black Anodized Aluminum Bezel for 3x PowerAdjust 2 USB $26.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53126) Black Anodized Aluminum Bezel for Aquaero 5XT $15.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53027) Connection Cable for Flow Sensor $4.00
1 AQUACOMPUTER (53047) Aquaero Power Connect 24-pin ATX Standby Power/ATX Break on Fault Detect $15.00
4 AQUACOMPUTER (53036) Plug for Relay or Power Output Connector, 2 Contacts $6.00
SUB-TOTAL: $3,002.00

Qty MANUFACTURER (Part #) Description Price $
— ———————————————————————————————– ———
1 ASUS (Xonar Essence One) USB D-A Converter with 8x Symmetrical Upsampling, 120dB SNR, with Headphone Amp $395.00
1 GUNNAR (GN-R6638-C001z) EDGE Onyx Advanced Gaming Eyewear $75.00
1 GUNNAR (GN-CLEANER) i-AMP Lens Cleaner For Digital Eyewear $12.00
1 CM STORM (SGK-6000-GKCR1) Trigger Programmable Keyboard with Cherry Red Mechanical Switches $128.00
1 CM STORM (SGM-6010-KLLW1) Sentinel Advance II, 200-8200 DPI, 125Hz-1Khz rate, Programmable Mouse $65.00
1 CM STORM (SG-8000-KRSL1) Power RX High Precision Mousepad, 45 x 35 cm, Rubber coated cloth + Silicon base $36.00
1 CM STORM (SGH-6000-KK5R1) Sirius 5.1 Surround Headset with Background Noise Cancellation Microphone $109.00
1 LOGITECH (980-000470) Z906 5.1 500W RMS THX Certified Surround Speakers $305.00
1 ASUS (PB278Q) 27in PLS LED Widescreen Monitor, 2560 x 1440 WQHD, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-link DVI $680.00
1 BENQ (XL2420T) 24″ Professional Gaming Monitor, 1920×1080, 120 Hz, 5ms (2ms GtG) $498.00
1 EZ (PS-TST3) Power Supply Tester with Voltage LCD Display, Tests All PC Power Connectors and +/- Voltages $28.00
1 LAMPTRON (LAMP-MT001) Modding Tool Kit 6-piece Stainless Steel; Extract EPS, ATX & PCI-E Connector Pins $28.00
1 MOD/SMART (SKIT2P-BK) Kobra System Professional Mounting & Sleeving Kit with Tools, Black $45.00
1 PCVIPER (UltraKit) Heatsink Lapping kit, 3x 3M wet/dry paper, 3 part UltraCut Compound, Alcohol & Polish Pads $14.00
1 MAX PROFESSIONAL (KE1-312-220) Blow Off Electronics Cleaning Kit, Cleaner, Air Duster, Wipes $31.00
1 MAX PROFESSIONAL (CV-002-138) Contact Cleaner, Fast Drying, No Residue, Non-Conductive $14.00
1 MODRIGHT (KM-03) CableRight PSU Tester / Liquid Cooling Priming Cable with On/Off Switch $7.00
1 MODRIGHT (PAD-200) Super Large Anti-Static Work & Assembly Mat V2 1,200×600 mm, w/ Wrist & Ground Straps $50.00
2 INDIGO XTREME (XC-01) Clean Thermal Surface Cleaner, 30ml, No Residue or Flashpoint, Non-Conductive $18.00
2 SHIN-ETSU (X23-7783D-1.0G) Electrically non-conductive Thermal Compound, 1gram $15.00
1 KWIKCUT (SL100SS) Advance, Stainless Steel Tube Cutter, Orange $22.00
SUB-TOTAL: $2,575.00
TOTAL (Less 5% Discount): $10,028.20

Includes 4 free games: FarCry3, HitMan Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Medal of Honor WarFighter LE (Value: $272)

All the above was included as part of the lad’s gift (the total cash for the project was a little over $11,300). The rest of the money the lad is saving for extra’s and software (I got him a deal on a Win7 Ultra x64 OEM & Win 8 Pro OEM licenses for $290, And Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 – 3 User, 2 Year Updates & Support for $70. ๐Ÿ™‚ He plans to install Win 7, 8, Linux in a multi-boot and play with them and VMware (and other virtual software) to see what works best. In Win, 32 GB RAM will be used as a Ramdisk for TEMP/Swap and to lead saved *images* of software, games etc. I found a great free ramdisk/imaging s/w with no restrictions (unlike most!) Called:

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver

It’s a bit like the FreeBSD mdconfig ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, the lad’s dad decided it was time to upgrade the home network and AVI sharing system, so he decided on some family goodies too! ๐Ÿ˜€

Qty MANUFACTURER (Part #) Description Price $
— ———————————————————————————————– ———
2 AEI (AEI-e1400C) PCI-E Quad Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, MIPS RISC Processor, Cat 5,5e,6 and DataTwist 600e $880.00
1 ZyXEL (GS1500-24P) Managed 10/100/1000Mbps + 1000Mbps 24 Port Web Managed Gigabit Switch $465.00
1 Belden (7851A) DataTwist 600e Cat6e Cable, Bonded Twisted Pairs, 600MHz Performance, 50m $78.00
1 ASUS (RT-AC66U) Cocurrent 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router, 256MB RAM, 4 Gb Ports, 2 USB Ports $272.00
1 BUFFALO (TS-2RZS12T04D) 12TB TeraStation 7120r, RAID 0/1/5/6/10/51/61, Xeon E3-1225 3.1GHz, 4GB DDR3, 4 GbE $4,375.00
TOTAL (Less 5% Discount): $5,766.50

One of the AEI network card’s went into the lad’s system and one into his dad’s workstation, for 4Gb/s Ethernet each to the Switch, and then to the Router/Internet and NAS (which also has 4 GbE ports. I was amazed at the Buffalo NAS they had in the store! I’ve never seen a Quad-core Xeon based NAS with 4GB ECC RAM at anywhere near that price! Especially with 12 TB of HDD’s installed! AND… it comes with 10 licenses of NovaBACKUP Business Essentials v12, and is VMware/Hyper-V/Citrix certified, and has redundant PSU & fans. Amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

I want one of those too! ๐Ÿ˜†

So… it will take you a while to digest all that! ๐Ÿ˜€ Feel free to ask questions! ๐Ÿ˜†

18 Kryten42 { 01.04.13 at 7:10 am }

Oh! I meant to say also,

That ICE DRAGON COOLING Nanofluid coolant was developed by the USAF to cool aircraft electronics, and is very good stuff! It looks like milk, but I wouldn’t want to taste it! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was commercialized by a couple Professors at University of South Carolina.

Nanofluid Technology Background

19 Kryten42 { 01.04.13 at 8:45 am }

Oops! I forgot to change one of the parts from the original AMD design. In the interests of accuracy… ๐Ÿ˜‰

“INDIGO XTREME (IX-AM3-Twin) AMD AM3+ FX CPU, Phase Change Metal Alloy Thermal Interface Material, (2 Pack)”

Should read:

“INDIGO XTREME (2011-X2) Intel LGA 2011 CPU’s, Phase Change Metal Alloy Thermal Interface Material, (2 Pack)”

20 Bryan { 01.04.13 at 11:36 am }

I was going to ask about the purchase of the AMD CPU material when you had shifted to the Intel CPU until I read the third comment.

There is nothing worse than trying to buy something from people who don’t really know what they are selling. The store staff might be cheaper if they are ignorant, but they can’t really sell what the customers needs, and that costs the owner sales. I went through that locally trying to buy my Mother a new television and then trying to buy myself a a table-top radio – the clerks didn’t know their inventory and I had to waste my time reading boxes or consulting the ‘Net. When I buy parts at the only competent local store that carries the stuff I’m looking for, I go directly to their service department because the techs know more about their stock than the sales people.

Typical project – it expanded to absorb the entire budget ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can’t imagine that Mum/Wife was thrilled by having the ‘lads’ head to a major ‘toy store’. My Dad occasionally remembered to pick up some flowers on his return from one of these expeditions. Your mate and the Lad might want to consider a peace offering.

That is definitely a very nice price on the NAS, but you have to have the access available to be useful for the ‘Net. It would be great for intranet use around here, but if you aren’t in a major city in the US, it would be severely throttled by the local ‘broadband choices’. The US is so far behind almost every other developed country it is pathetic.

The next problem may be that the system makes the games too fast to actually play, which would be a ‘terrible’ problem best resolved by the Lad writing his own games.

21 Badtux { 01.04.13 at 12:44 pm }

The next problem may be that the system makes the games too fast to actually play, which would be a โ€˜terribleโ€™ problem best resolved by the Lad writing his own games.

Not a problem, all that the Lad has to do is wait two years and a) games will have been created that run slowly on his system, and b) his system will have the performance of a $2K gaming laptop and be considered laughably slow and obsolete by “real” gamers :twisted:.

It’s crazy how fast technology is moving at the moment.

22 Kryten42 { 01.05.13 at 6:38 am }

OK. So, we ran some benchmarks… and I am mot sure I believe the results! Even though we ran them 5 times and averaged them out, and the individual results were close and within acceptable error margins.

When my m8 built the house, he had it extremely well insulated including the windows with krypton gas filled gold-laminated high-security standard safety glass! (The krypton gas is only useful when it get’s really cold in winter, as it does where he lives – often below 0C, and the gold foil helps in the hotter summer days and stops most UV). He installed a high-efficiency HVAC system with zones for the bedrooms and other living areas, and the workshop/office. So, in the Lad’s room, he could (if he so wished) get the temp down to below 0C when the ambient is 30C (his Dad says the system has a +42C/-38C differential – Why the heck he decided he needed that I’ll never know! As I said, he’s somewhat of an obsessive Engineer! Probably why he worked on a lot of Military contracts for Gould in the UK!) ๐Ÿ˜†

We were therefore able to *accurately* set the room temp’s to 25C, 20C, 15C & 10C for tests. The original plan for the cooling fluid was a mix of pure distilled/De-ionized water and glycol:

1 MAYHEMS (609224351631) XT-1 Ethylene Glycol Coolant Additive, Non-Metabolising, -50C to 100C Range, 150ml
1 MAYHEMS (609224351303) Ultra Pure H2O, Electrical Conductivity < 0.05ฮผS or approx 0.05 PPM, 5lt

The guy's at the store said that that was indeed a great choice, normally. And proceeded to tell us about this new amazing stuff they had called a nanofluid, to which my m8 and I narrowed our eyes in suspicion, 'cause we had only heard about it in the Military and we'd always been told it was a secret (it was used in the FB-111 for eg). So, they get a bottle of this Ice Dragon stuff and we see it's been commercialized. We are told this stuff will work from -20C to 150C. Glycol has a better lower range and I doubt we have to worry about going over 100C, unless our sun goes Nova, in which case we won't have time to worry about anything! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

OK. The reason for that summation is… at 10C ambient, the coolant temp varied between -12C to -10C over 5 tests! At 20C, it was between -2C to 1C. According to the accurate flow meter (which we checked against Dad's very accurate calibrated $3k flow tester, and found it accurate to <2%) the flow rate was 1,436 l/hr or about 24 l/min! One radiator is mounted that the top of the case, the other at the bottom. With the 6 140mm fans in push/pull, there is so much air being forced out the bottom, the case almost took off! And it's a heavy solid steel monster filled with heavy gear. It's dimensions are: W9.06" * H24.33" * D26.10". ๐Ÿ˜† So Dad machined some 15cm standoff's out of some stainless steel billets he has (he has a half mill $ CNC milling machine and a CNC lathe, amongst other nice tools! In fact, we had to stop the Lad from wanting to toss all the heatsinks and plates in to mill them to almost perfect tolerances! He also has one of those small 3D Laser *printers* for making 3D prototypes.) ๐Ÿ˜†

A couple guys from the store came up for the great unveiling and testing today (The boss, George and his Svc Mgr). They were truly amazed! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Lad & I spent a day last week lapping everything using that PCViper kit (which I must say was brilliant) to a high mirror finish, and then used Dad's machine (designed to check tolerances of pistons and such with almost nanometer precision) to check them! ๐Ÿ˜† When we began wiring everything up, I was unhappy with some of the wiring and also thought that the gauge wire for the 12V lines was a bit small. So, I showed the Lad how to do the simple math, and we came up with:

AWG #6 for 12V lines (PSU has max 83A @ 12V)
AWG #14 for 3.3 & 5V (PSU has max 25A @ 3.3 & 5V)
AWG #24 for -12V & 5Vsb (PSU has max 3A for 5Vsb)

I checked all these against Dad's Wire Gauge tables, and they were correct. So, we rewired everything, pulling all the wires out of their connectors with the Lamptron tools, which worked very well (and Dad has reel's of almost every gauge there is in 99.9% pure oxygen-free copper). Dad has a nifty gizmo he created with consists of an old drill press (burned out motor), an electric frying pan (with a much more accurate thermostat and power control) and a special bracket mounted on the press. The pan holds molten solder (of various types, including a high conductivity solder we used). The bracket holds a dozen wires securely, and strips exactly 6mm of insulation off very cleanly, then we pull the handle down so the 6mm of bare copper is dipped into the solder at the correct temp to tin the wires perfectly! And this way, the Lad was able to make sure all the wires were the proper length, and then used the Mod/Smart Kobra kit to sleeve everything and used heat-shrink to terminate them, It all looked very neat when finished! We checked the conductivity which was so high, and the resistance which was so low, they were within the margin of error of the meter! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, one other thing that amused me. The Lad decided to literally pull everything apart that could be pulled apart and inspect them using his Dad's high-mag inspection station! We found a few bad and suspect solder joints, which I fixed up. Everything that had thermal pads we removed and cleaned (& lapped where we could) ad used the Shin-Etsu TIM which is much more efficient. ๐Ÿ™‚

An amazing thing happened. George gave a gift to my m8 and I, and had a great deal for the Lad. The boy had said that he planned to get a good RAID card and some more SSD's and wished he could afford the Samsung 840 Pro's instead of the cheaper SanDisk's. So George made him a very generous offer to sell the parts at his buy price and to take back the Sandisk SSD's for a 100% refund! Essentially:

1 ARECA (ARC-1882ix-12-4G) PCI-e 2.0 x8, SATA3/SAS2 12-internal/4-ext, 6Gb/s RAID Card, 4GB ECC DDR3 Cache $762.00
8 SAMSUNG (MZ-7PD256BW) 840 Pro 256GB SATA3 SSD, Sequential R/W: 540/520 MB/s, Random R/W: 100K/90K IOPS $1,638.00
1 VANTEC (MRK-425ST-BK) EZ Swap F4 Removable Rack, SATA III, 1x 5.25" Bay to 4x 2.5" Hot Swap Bays $0.00
SUB-TOTAL: $2,400.00
REFUND: -$685.00

Which, by a curious coincidence, happened to be almost how much the Lad had left of his Xmas money, which proved to me that George is no fool and was paying attention! Something very much worth knowing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

In return, they wanted the Lad to allow them to have photo's of the build steps and final system, and all the benchmark results with proof. And to tell everyone what a great bunch of blokes they all are! ๐Ÿ˜† Not a problem we said! ๐Ÿ˜€

For the gift's, he gave us each one of the Samsung 840 Pro SSD's (so the Lad only had to buy 7, which normally retail over $270, and gave the Lad another 2.5" rack for free). So, I am a very happy chappy, for a change! And so are the Lad and his Dad ๐Ÿ˜€

So, as far as actual performance of the system:

The CPU was clocked at 5.15GHz @ 1.56V @ 59.4C stable (up from 3.3GHz), the RAM is at 3.2GHz (up from 2.4GHz), and the GPU's are 1670MHz (up from 1070MHz) & GDDR5 RAM up to 7GHz (up from 6GHz). Since everything that can be offloaded from the CPU has been, it's even faster than the numbers indicate. ๐Ÿ™‚ The internal *dumb* Ethernet is disabled (offloaded to the AEI-e1400C quad card with it's own processor), Audio has been offloaded (to the ASUS Xonar Essence One), all the graphics/Vid processing is handled by the dual 7970's, and now all the HDD functions are handled by the ARC-1882ix-12-4G RAID card. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think it would be possible to get the CPU to 5.5GHz or more, the max TDC is 70C. One of the tests we ran was the new game FarCry3. At all stock settings at very high res, he got frame-rates averaging 52 fps. When overclocked, it averaged 103 fps! A good jump. ๐Ÿ˜€ And man…. the damned thing is fast!! Win 7 loads from power on to desktop in 7 sec! I installed about 20 app's including Dad's AutoCAD and AutoDesk engineering suite, ArchiCAD, Adobe CS6 Master Suite, Corel Designer Technical Suite X5, Cyberlink CyberLink PowerDirector Ultra & Power DVD, Rhinoceros 3D v4, 3D Studio MAX 2013, Office 2007, LibreOffice, and others and several games. I was able to run everything and they all started within a couple seconds! That was with a 32GB RAMdisk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome!

George also hinted as some business deal for us in the near future. I noted his eagle eyes light up when my m8 gave him the tour of the *Workshop*! Hmmmm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So… who knows! I may finally have some *good* luck for a change. But, I'll see. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

As for the Wife, she's something of a geek also! Who else could live with an obsessive engineer for 25 years? ๐Ÿ˜† She got some very nice gifts don't worry, and she is also the one who wanted the Home AV system & Network setup properly! She and their daughter have very good Notebooks and have wanted a decent WiFi & and AV streaming system for ages. ๐Ÿ˜€

So, it seems that there can be happy ending's for everyone! Though… I may be a little ahead of myself. *shrug* Whatever! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

Don't worry Badtux! The Lad has plans to continuously upgrade to prevent that from happening! Heck, he's already had one upgrade, and it's only been a week! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‰

23 Kryten42 { 01.05.13 at 6:47 am }

Oh! NovaBACKUP did a very nice deal to upgrade the 10 licenses from v12 to the new v14.1 for US$99! It’s apparently a special deal for Buffalo customers who buy one of those NAS. Nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I was very surprised to see that the included 6 HHD’s are Hitachi Ultrastar’s! And another 6 can be added as there are 6 empty bay’s. Nice! ๐Ÿ˜€

Badtux, do you know anything about those AEI-e1400C Ethernet cards, or the Areca ARC-1882ix RAID card? ๐Ÿ™‚

Some links if anyone is interested:

Buffalo TeraStation 7120r


Xigmatek ELYSIUM Case

24 Badtux { 01.06.13 at 1:51 pm }

It looks like the network card you are looking at is based on the Broadcom BCM5715 chipset. Broadcom chipsets generally do not work well with Linux due to Broadcom releasing insufficient details to Linux driver writers. We use 4-port Intel ET2 server cards, Intel has excellent drivers for all three of the platforms that we use these cards on — ESXi, Windows Server, and Linux. They’re a bit expensive, at around $400 apiece, but they’ve proven to be rock solid in production environments.

Regarding that RAID card, I have no idea what chipset that has. We use cards based on LSI chipsets because they have rock-solid support for all three of our server platforms. Our Windows and ESXi servers go out with a private label RAID card provided by our upstream hardware provider (but which is functionally identical to the LSI-label RAID card we were previously using, i.e., same driver and utilities work fine with it, I believe the equivalent LSI card is the 9280), our Linux servers go out with LSI9211 or LSI9212 SATA HBA’s depending on whether it is a 1U or 2U box (the 1U box only has room for four drives thus gets the 9212 for its internal drives) and we use software RAID on the Linux boxes. None of these are cheap, but (shrug). Our customers get understandably upset if their video surveillance data goes missing when they need it… not to mention that we eat our own dogfood, so we’d get upset if our own corporate data went missing too :).

25 Kryten42 { 01.07.13 at 10:58 am }

Thanks Badtux. ๐Ÿ™‚

I generally prefer LSI RAID (or HBA’s etc) cards. But have found them to be very problematic on non-server boards, and LSI’s usual response is “It hasn’t been certified to be used on {whatever non-server board you are trying to use it on}.” And that is all the help you will get from them. *shrug*Areca on the other hand, have certified their boards for use on many current UEFI BIOS based boards. We tried an LSI MegaRAID SAS 9280-16i4e that George brought with him and verified that it wouldn’t boot even though the BIOS recognized it. I think LSI are loosing the plot. Areca seem to be gaining ground rapidly, and broad MoBo support, relatively lower price for equivalent performance/features and better support will only help them overtake LSI eventually. Adaptec are no longer in the running (ever since PMC took them over, their QA, performance, features & support have fallen).

Looking at the spec’s of the controller on the Areca card, it looks suspiciously like the one on the LSI 9265 (Dual-Core PowerPC RAID-on-Chip 800MHz) but with a lot more features and 4GB DDR3 support. Anyway, whatever it is, it works wonderfully well and performance is better than we hoped. And that’s all that matters. Oh, I did shoot Areca a question regarding their Linux support and using it on CentOS 6.2 and they replied in around 18 hours. Basically, “No problem.” ๐Ÿ™‚

The same goes for that Network card. One of the reasons it was recommended was because of it’s good support for Linux, and very good performance and pricing. CentOS has had no problems with it so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that the Lad has 8 Samsung 840 Pro’s, I’ll be heading over next weekend to make sure they are correctly setup and do some benchmarks. Should prove interesting! ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks again. Always appreciated m8. ๐Ÿ™‚

26 Kryten42 { 01.07.13 at 11:38 am }

Hmmm. I should add that the reason for my asking you was simply because I was hoping you had known or even used them. ๐Ÿ™‚ Real World experience beets what’s written in the spec’s, and what the manufacturers will tell you, any day! ; ) ๐Ÿ˜†

A couple other things about the Areca card worth mentioning are that they use a ROC for every 4 ports (so the card above has 4 Dual-Core ROC’s), and they support every version of Windows down to XP, not just Server versions. ๐Ÿ™‚ I noticed looking at Newegg that Areca seem to be trying to compete directly with products from LSI. For example, the LSI MegaRAID 9280-24i4e & the Areca ARC-1882ix-24-4G. They are the same price (within a few $) but the Areca has 4GB ECC Cache, whilst the LSI has 512MB, the Areca has broader RAID options (0, 00, 1, 1E, 10, 100, 3, 5, 6, 30, 50, 51, 60, 61, Single Disk or JBOD), they also have better OS support, and have an on-board Ethernet port (for out-of-band management via ArcHttp proxy, Telnet, SNMP, SMTP, and NTP to synchronize the controller clock). Heck, it even comes with a built-in API library and connectors to attach either button control or touch-screen LCD with your own drivers.

LOL I sound like a sales rep! I’m not, really! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ I have just been reading the (197 page) manual the past couple days. It is quite well done I must say. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, way past bedtime now. So G’night all! ๐Ÿ™‚

27 Badtux { 01.07.13 at 1:33 pm }

A major issue from a corporate standpoint is product lifecycle. We’ve typically had very poor luck with Taiwanese manufacturers in that respect, wait a year and their entire product line has changed and you can no longer get direct replacements. Meanwhile we can still get LSI cards for four-year-old servers if one goes bad. Given the fact that a four year old server will not have drivers for a brand new RAID card and we really don’t want to be in the business of certifying new kernel revisions for four year old hardware, that’s a major business consideration.

None of that is an issue for the Lad, of course, since he will simply upgrade to a new RAID card if his old one dies.

Regarding Broadcomm vs. Intel chipsets for network cards, I’ve used both on Linux server systems. The Broadcomm drivers have had multiple issues. The Intel drivers have been rock solid, as you’d expect since Linus Torvalds uses Intel cards for his own personal computer and Intel pays part of his salary. The Intel cards are also ESXi-certified, which again is a major business consideration.

In short, our criteria are simply different from the Lad’s. We’re trying to create rock solid server hardware that can be rolled into a customer premise and sit there for five years without modification or upgrade, and the Lad is going for pure speed :twisted:. Which doesn’t make it worse, just different from our particular requirements.

28 Bryan { 01.07.13 at 8:01 pm }

Having no direct experience with the current raid cards, I went out looking for reviews of the Areca card and they are all on site that target over-clockers. Every reviewer seems to love the cards as they did the predecessor ARC-1880 card. It might be a niche product, but the Lad’s box is in that niche.

I remember being on the leading edge several years ago, and it was an expensive, and jagged straight razor.

I would also like to extend by gratitude for there being no mention of LED light shows in the description of the machine. I will admit that I thought as I read the details, that some transparent tubing with green fluid that was bubbled by a small aquarium pump might not be out of place. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

29 Badtux { 01.07.13 at 9:22 pm }

I decided to check some of those same reviews. It appears that Areca uses LSI chipsets but tweaks various defaults and parameters for the purpose of increasing performance. Different requirements from mine, where stability is paramount and performance is limited by spindle data rates on RAID6 stripe drives (since we’re storing massive data to spinning media) rather than by RAID card limitations. Just goes to show how different the server market and the gamer market are — every attribute that is being touted for the Areca card by gamers is irrelevant to the server market, which is about stability first, performance second.

30 Kryten42 { 01.08.13 at 9:02 am }

I think you are right about Areca targeting the high-end performance market, as well as the server market. I use LSI for server systems where fault-tolerance is the priority, as I did for the Animation and SFX system I designed 2 years ago (as an aside, they haven’t had any down time so far, but I suspect that has a lot to do with luck given the number of HDD’s they had, Enterprise versions with 5yr warranties not withstanding!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

There were a couple reasons for choosing that AIE network card, cost being one. iSCSI support was another, and pure PCI-E design (no PCI-X to PCI Express protocol conversion like most other PCI-E cards). It also supports PoE, which was a criteria for the Lad’s Dad as he plans to implement PoE in the house (now that it seems to have finally matured somewhat, he says. Like me, he’s not keen on WiFi! I suppose our *old-skool* IT & Engineering, and our Military backgrounds have a lot to do with that!) ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m in the process of setting up a secure VPN to their network so I can monitor and tweak the systems without having to travel 40+ min’s to get there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bryan, the first thing the Lad did when we rewired the system was pull out every LED that wasn’t necessary for the system (power & error LED’s and so on). He chose black and red as his primary color scheme, but with that special Tygon tubing and other parts being nickel or silver, it’s black, red & silver. But it does look good I have to say. ๐Ÿ˜€ His dad was pleased we chose *standard* sized tubing and connectors (1/2″ ID, 3/4″ OD, G1/4 thread) as he has lot’s of bits that fit such as gaskets & o-rings used high-performance racing, which he said a LOT better than the *crap* supplied with the parts (even though they are high-quality by PC water cooling standards)! He actually bench pressure tested the whole cooling system for 36 hours at well above they systems rated pressure spec! And announced that he felt it might be fit for his son to use! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh well, gives him something to do I suppose. ๐Ÿ˜‰ At least the Lad and I managed to stop him using high-perf racing hoses (rated at something like 50k PSI) and pumps that would put out about 250 l/m at an ear-splitting howl! *sigh* I think the dad’s a bigger geek than the Lad honestly, and a bigger kid too! ๐Ÿ˜†

Mind you… The Lad has already set his sights on the next major upgrade in 5 months when his Birthday roll’s around! ๐Ÿ™„ (as I expected). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hailea HC-500A

According to his new m8, George; he can get him one for around $600. *sigh*

I personally don’t think it would give him that much of an improvement in cooling performance above what he’s achieved already. *shrug* (which I still don’t believe. When I next go to Melb., I’ll ask my Prof. m8 who has a PhD in Nuclear & Particle Physics from Oxford to explain!)

31 Bryan { 01.08.13 at 11:03 pm }

Those thermal readings are certainly noteworthy. The nanofluid has to be responsible, but you would need lab tests on the fluid alone to find out. Water/glycol and radiators are well understood, and they certainly wouldn’t be that efficient, so it has to be the fluid. With the numbers reported, unless he was going for a superconductor effect, I don’t see the utility of putting a chiller into the system. If you get the fluid too cold you could have pump problems, humidity issues, and chilblains from the case outflow. Back in the bad old days of main frames the computer rooms were refrigerated, not air conditioned, it was damn uncomfortable to work as an operator.

32 Badtux { 01.09.13 at 1:10 am }

You decidedly do *not* want to have temperatures lower than the condensation point of the surrounding air. That’s a good way to destroy the system.

Regarding PoE (Power over Ethernet), that’s how we drive our video cameras, the ones we used to jail the World’s Dumbest Thief (breaking in to a video surveillance company is sort of like robbing the donut shop across from the police station, we have roughly 100 cameras pointing every possible direction because we have basically one of each of every IP camera on the market for testing purposes :twisted:). But the server network card doesn’t need PoE, the network switch needs PoE. BTW, we don’t do WiFi video cameras either, there’s no point, cameras need power and it’s easier to run a network cable somewhere than to run a power cable somewhere. The exception is a specific camera that’s designed to sit on top of the government-mandated lighted fire exit signs that are in every commercial building in the camera, which is designed to lamprey power from the exit sign. We have one of those sitting on top of each of our government-mandated exit signs just to say we tested them and they work. But there’s always an exception to any rule :).

Ah yes, VPN’s. Definitely a boon when it comes to travel time. There is a certain government agency we deal with that won’t let us even VPN to the security camera storage network via a WLAN card, a network which is completely disconnected from any other network, where the 90 day wonder butterbars who staff the installation (we call’em that because none of them stay in that position for more than 90 days, not because they’re OCS grads, but they *are* butterbars, a.k.a. morons ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ) are always messing up things by doing stupid stuff like e.g. pulling out every drive in the RAID system to note its serial number *while the system is in production* then whining because their volumes go offline, yet they will allow a foreign-born service person who by no means qualifies for any kind of security clearance to actually come *on site* to fix things — with a full toolkit capable of compromising their entire installation! Heh. Never underestimate the intelligence of butterbars, I guess :).

33 Kryten42 { 01.10.13 at 9:07 am }

Oh… I already gave the Lad a lecture on condensation a while ago. ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s already figured out a way…

Armaflex AF-1 Anti-Condensation Tubing

Told you he’s a bright lad! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, my thermodynamics is somewhat rusty (been about 20 years since I’ve had any real use for it), but I think I figured it out (the temp figures). ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ve mentioned before that I tend to have a high intuition (my INTJ personality type) when it comes to science/engineering (unfortunately it seem to be almost zero for anything else!) So, when the Lad and I went through our components selection process, as well as going through all the technical data and tester/user reviews, I had a *gut feel* for certain items. One was the diameter and type of tubing (1/2″ ID, 3/4″ OD, low friction), the Monsoon 45deg rotary compression fittings (which I am very impressed with BTW, so is my m8! Very high quality.) And those radiators and pumps. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was concerned about the RAM cooling because I thought it would unnecessarily add a high water flow restriction (and rightly so it seems) with little return in performance. There are four five RAM cooling products, and originally the Lad was looking at using the EK blocks. I didn’t like them, so we looked at the Alphacool blocks, and they were somewhat better, but they seemed to be designed specifically for Corsair modules and I was concerned they may not properly fit the G.Skill modules, and they had no locking mechanism. The XSPC & MIPS solutions looked the same to me, and I didn’t like them either. The last were the Koolance RAM-33 blocks. Turns out, I made the best choice of the three. ๐Ÿ™‚ George (at The Kool Room shop) said that they just got the Koolance ones in and liked them for the reasons I stated. ๐Ÿ™‚ They had a latch to attach them to the RAM socket, they were independent modules (the others have a rectangular top *slab* that the side plated that fit over the RAM modules hang down from, but they are fixed width, and not all RAM sockets are perfectly spaced)! Koolance also had a sliding 180deg “U” connector to join the modules which allows for variation in spacing without putting excess stress the expensive RAM modules! But again, I worried that 180deg tight bends would restrict flow. But I am happy to say, these are very well designed. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a little restriction of course, but nowhere near as bad I I thought there might be. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s some pic’s of the RAM-33 modules and connectors to see what I mean (click on the images to zoom):

Koolance U-connector 180ยฐ variable G1/4 to G1/4

The last part was the radiators. They were the hardest to choose. There are so many out there, all professing to be the greatest thing since the Ford model T!

There are two primary ways to cool a fluid. Run the fluid through something much colder than it is (chilling or refrigeration), or by compression/expansion. It seems I underestimated the compression/expansion capability of this system (well, intellectually, not intuitively it seems). ๐Ÿ˜‰

We have two high pressure pumps forcing a fluid with high thermodynamic properties through 1/2″ tubing and connectors, into two Rad’s with very small and long channels and with a massive volume of cold air racing over the channels, and then out to the 1/2 tubing again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a good cutaway pic of the RAD to see what I mean:

Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 420mm Cutaway

ANd ๐Ÿ˜† The Lad has given up in disgust at using the Hailea HC-500A! I sent him the tech PDF which states it’s designed to chill water down to 4C! He’s already exceeded that! ๐Ÿ˜† Phew! That’s a relief. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hear you Badtux! ๐Ÿ˜€ Yeah, I like PoE now. It’s matured quite fast really. ๐Ÿ™‚ That ZyXEL GS1500-24P Managed Swich supports PoE also (hence the ‘P’ at the end of the part #).

I’ve used VPN a lot over the years. A lot of people say they are too hard to get working. *shrug* I’ve not had a problem, since I know what I’m doing, and use the right gear that I know works. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmmm. I like those Intel ET2 Ethernet cards. And surprisingly cheap (for Intel!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll consider those next time I need a card. Thanks for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Butterbars”!! LMAO I like that! Me, I usually just call them morons (and have been known to do so to their faces!) I’ll remember that, could be useful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks guy’s! I hope you are enjoying this saga of the ‘Education of the Lad Who is too Damned Smart for Anyone’s Good!”(tm) ๐Ÿ˜†

(But, he is a good Lad, and well worth my time. It is good to feel… useful for a change). His father, whom I have known for over 20 years, on the other hand, I could cheerfully strangle some days! *sigh* ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

34 Badtux { 01.11.13 at 11:17 am }

We don’t actually do VPN for support, for isolated networks not connected to the Internet (i.e. most of them, video surveillance storage networks are supposed to be isolated, duh) we use something called “TeamViewer” to our “tricorder” (a Windows netbook configured with a 3G card and a couple of icons on the desktop to configure the IP address and start up the software) which is a remote control software that’s easy to use. If the customer can take his own laptop and install TeamViewer themselves and hook its Ethernet to the storage port and use its own WiFi or 3G to talk to the TeamViewer server we much prefer that because we have a limited number of “tricorders”, but some of our customers are too stupid to do that. We then use ‘putty’ to ssh into the storage server.

“Butterbars” are a common term for a newly commissioned 2nd Lt. in the U.S. military, the reference is to the single gold sticks that adorn his sleeves as his badge of rank. NCO’s generally have significantly more military experience and knowledge but the 2nd Lt. is technically in charge despite having no experience and no real-life knowledge. Needless to say, this does not lead to a high opinion of 2nd Lt.’s on the part of the men he’s supposedly leading :). Air Force installations tend to have an especially high concentration of butterbars due to the Air Force tending to make anybody who actually steps foot into an aircraft into an officer. Said butterbars have to do something between the time they graduate OCS and the time a position actually opens up where they can practice their specialty. Thus the 90-day wonders with which we’re afflicted at this particular installation, where a rotating cast of idiots is in charge of their video surveillance farm :). I’d enlighten you with a further list of the stupidities inflicted upon us, but then I’d need a drink, and it’s a bit too early in the day for that ;).

That ZyXEL PoE switch looks pretty good. I especially like the fact that it claims to have a full 56Gbps backplane. One thing to keep in mind when talking about switches is backplane bandwidth, especially for video surveillance. Most low-end switches are designed for workstation loads where single workstations sporadically max out a single port, not for a constant high load like with video cameras. One of the reasons we were using the private-labeled SMC PoE switches that we were using was because it had a 48Gbps backplane, that is, it could drive all 24 ports at full speed all the time without dropping packets, yes, we actually have tested that capability. I ran into an issue with a cheap Netgear switch on our own internal iSCSI network, I had two iSCSI servers maxing out their gigabit ports on both upstream and downstream, plus two ESXi servers maxing out their gigabit ports on both upstream and downstream, i.e. 8 Gbps total load, and the switch choked and started massively dropping packets, which in turn caused Linux to choke and fall over due to bugs in the Linux networking stack that caused resource exhaustion once the number of iSCSI disconnects and reconnects piled up. I replaced the cheap switch with a real switch from our stack of test switches, a Dell switch that is a private label SMC switch, and all has been well ever since. Unfortunately we don’t appear to be able to get the SMC switches anymore, so we’ve switched over to HP switches for the moment. So it goes.

35 Kryten42 { 01.12.13 at 4:27 am }

Yeah, I use TeamViewer (just updated actually to v8.0.16642). I use a wonderful portable App manager that I wished had been around a decade or two ago! It’s called LiberKey.

It’s completely free and can be used as a Win desktop app, or a USB/CD portable app manager. It has a library of over 290 freeware app’s to choose from and install, and keeps all my installations in sync. It’s so easy to use. ๐Ÿ™‚ I only have one icon on my desktop instead of a couple dozen! ๐Ÿ˜† Whenever I need a new tool for something, I will generally find it in the LiberKey Catalog, and it just downloads and installs without any need for me to do anything. *shrug* One of the few pieces of software I can say I enjoy using!

Ahhhh! Now that you mention the Butterbar’s reference, I have heard that before! Duh! I completely forgot. We generally refer to any new and inexperienced Officer as ‘Rupert’. When I served, I remember a conversation with my Dargon (nicname for a Warrant Officer or Senior NCO, since I learned quickly that they know everything that is going on and is a better source or true intel then the “Chain Of Command”) when I heard a rumor we were about to get a new Captain. He simply said “Rupert” and I said “Ahh, sh*t!” And he winked and nodded. Aussies loooove slang! ๐Ÿ˜€ We have a word for everything! ๐Ÿ˜† We were issued a FRED (Field Ration Eating Device) which is a combination can opener, bottle opener & spoon. It was a typically useless piece of gear! So, we all decided that FRED was an acronym for “F*cking Retarded Eating Device”. Anything that the Army gave us that actually worked and was really good, we called “Gucci”. ๐Ÿ˜† Though we do call a Lieutenant “Subbie” (started in the Navy for Sub-Lieutenant). Officer’s in Training (Staff Cadet’s) are usually called “Space Cadet” or “Off Cut” (from the official abbreviation OFFCDT, or OCDT). Oh, and “CRaP” refers to the 24-hour Combat Ration Pack (CRP). ๐Ÿ˜€

That switch is surprisingly good for the price. Was very easy to setup. One of the things I looked for in all the network devices, was Link Aggregation, which they all have. So my m8’s home LAN is now essentially a 4 Gb LAN. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s really a 28 port router, though 4 ports are designed to be connected to other backbone devices via SFP or mini-GBIC transceivers (either GbE copper or Long distance (up to 80km dependent on transceiver) FO. It has a decent packet buffer, and it’s port forwarding rate is good also. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the early 90’s, my company was a specialist reseller for 3COM & Allied Telesis, and the original Aus. distributor for D-Link and Accton. We were also Distributor’s for the excellent FTP Software & Visionware products (at least, until SCO took over Visionware and totally screwed the products up!) We also had a special partnership arrangement with HP, Digital, several other vendors.

I have had problems with various Netgear products in recent years.

I am currently rethinking my VPN solution. I have been offered a great deal on an online software VPN solution for a 60% discount, which makes a 6 Month dedicated IP VPN $27! I’ll have to dig into that more and see if it’s really viable. One feature I like is that I can select one of several countries to be my *host*(Netherlands or Canada are good because they have few restrictions, USA would be useful only because I can then access US sites that I currently can’t without a US proxy). ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I spent that day at the Lad’s setting up the network and the NAS & his insane internal 8 SSD RAID 0 on the Areca card. We tried it on the internal SATA RAID 0 first, and the drives didn’t get anywhere near their max as they hit their head early on the internal SATA limit. The Areca card made a big, and visible difference! And it’s another thing offloaded from the CPU (which when the drives were on the onboard SATA, was swinging between 2-4% utilization. It dropped to 0 when the Areca card was used). We stressed the network as much as we could, dumping 3.8 TB of data from the old Negear NAS to the new NAS, whilst transferring files back & forth between the two PC (maxing their 4 Gb links), The two PC’s and the two Notebooks connected to the Router & streaming HD video (and I must say that I was impressed with the router! It maxed their ADSL2+ broadband link at about 20.4 Mbps (he said the highest connection speed they have ever had. I told him his old router was crap! I’d setup QoS on the router, and everyone got a good share. It worked well.) and didn’t miss a beat.) And everything worked quite well, especially the ZyXEL switch I am happy to report. ๐Ÿ™‚ So… The Lad’s PC now boots in about 4 sec’s, and R/W is almost instantaneous. We tweaked the performance, and the CPU is now 5.53GHz @ 65.7C (recommended MAX TDP on that CPU is 70C), RAM is 3.26 (I don’t think it’s safe to push it too far), The bus had been pushed an extra 40%, which increased the performance of the GFX, Network & RAID cards (I actually didn’t think the Net & RAID cards would handle it, but the RAID has active cooling (unlike LSI cards) and there is a 20cm fan about 4 CM above the cards pushing 167CFM of air onto them (and the Lad is keeping his room at 16C, which he says is *comfortable*). *shrug* The 2 GFX cards are running core @ 1870MHz and we left the GDDR5 RAM @ 7.2GHz (there’s no point increasing that). Those MSI Lightening cards were chosen for several reasons, but the main was that it has a feature they call GPU Reactor

“- An add-on device on the back of R7970 Lightning (Behind GPU) for overclocking stability
– Provide 88% higher power capacity and eliminate power noise (ripple).”

Just insane! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

36 Badtux { 01.13.13 at 4:29 am }

Yah, bonding is one of the things I’ve been wanting to do to my infrastructure for a while. At the time I set up my ESXi boxes I had that crappy Netgear switch because I had used it to set up a temporary iSCSI network for the new iSCSI boxes to migrate the data off the legacy iSCSI boxes (5 megabytes per second, the legacy boxes were our first boxes released in 2003 with MIPS processors, yay) which of course didn’t do bonding. When I retired the old iSCSI boxes and moved the new iSCSI network to the SMC switch that had previously been used by the old iSCSI boxes, it was as part of an unscheduled service outage during the work day so I didn’t have time to do the bonding on the ESXi boxes and the SMC switch. But my SMC switches definitely do perform link aggregation, I’ve tested it on our cluster product and hit 4Gbps just fine.

Regarding overclocking and hardware RAID, yeah, Windows software RAID sucks rocks. Poor performance and chews up your CPU. But I currently have ZFS running on my backup server and have to say that its concept of replication built into the filesystem works WAY better for reliability than any hardware RAID ever could. Google “RAID5 write hole” if you wonder what I’m talking about. Turns out that having some actual knowledge of what you’re writing allows doing things that simply can’t be done by a block-layer RAID system, at least insofar as reliability is concerned. Performance-wise it sort of sucks but that’s not what I’m looking for on my Engineering infrastructure, reliability is, because down time and data loss are two concepts that I won’t accept. Sadly Oracle has decided to *not* license ZFS on terms that Linus will accept for inclusion with the Linux kernel. GRRR! Larry Ellison is Satan! Just look at the beard, whydoncha, that’s a clue!

37 Badtux { 01.13.13 at 1:08 pm }

Oh, and back on the subject of Broadcomm vs. Intel NIC’s, I was in the manufacturing lab Friday helping with a prototype of a new Sandy Bridge Xeon based Windows server. Our upstream hardware provider had shipped us a new box to address some of the issues we’d had with the previous box they’d shipped us. Unfortunately they included a Broadcomm NIC chip on the motherboard in the new box rather than an Intel-based one. We image Windows systems via PXE and a Windows Deployment Server and it simply wouldn’t PXE-boot. Checking various Broadcomm and Microsoft web sites, it appears that this is a known issue with that specific Broadcomm BIOS, but there is no update from Broadcomm to fix it yet. We have never — ever — had any such problem with Intel NIC’s. The box is going back to the upstream provider with an ECO to replace the Broadcomm NIC with an Intel NIC, because it’s utterly useless to us as-is since we certainly aren’t going to have manufacturing technicians attaching external DVD drives and manually imaging systems on the factory floor — that’d be insane. Our image server is capable of pumping out data at 4Gb/sec and imaging 20+ systems at a time in parallel, no way no how are we going to pay for the labor to do all that manually!

38 Kryten42 { 01.17.13 at 7:31 am }

Sorry for the delay. ๐Ÿ™‚ Had a very hectic week…

A few people in Corp IT land I know say that are using aggregation to upgrade their 1Gb/s LAN’s to 4Gb/s until the 10Gb products mature and stabilize some more. Where they need high performance, they use high-speed FO for the most part. The cost/port for a 4Gb aggregate LAN makes it worth investigating. One of them said they are not upgrading their desktops & notebooks as often as they were and have delayed purchases by a year (unless necessary). Server updates are also being delayed as much as possible, but not usually as long as for desktops/notebooks. Apparently, when they told their major supplier Dell, they offered a big discount and almost begged them not to defer, but there was no budget, so no deal. And I just read an article that says that Dell’s shipment have dropped almost 30%! So, if you want to grab a great deal at Dell… Now may be the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

Windows 8 not saving the PC industry as shipments decline

What a surprise… NOT!! ๐Ÿ˜†

Hardly surprising that people (whose income is declining, and expenses are increasing) can’t afford to waste money on new Windoze boxes, but are using much cheaper tablets instead. It seems, the last two Netbook manufacturers, ASUS & Acer, won’t be making any more and will concentrate on Tablets & Pad’s.

Sayonara, netbooks: Asus (and the rest) won’t make any more in 2013

Different requirements and priorities require different solutions. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m no fanboi for any product or company when it comes to projects. I’ll use whatever suits the criteria (including budget of course). It was interesting getting an eMail from the SysAdm at the VFX company I designed their high-end dev WS for. ๐Ÿ™‚ They usually don’t last a year, and they generally plan on an ROI of less than 6 Months! So 2 years is a bit of a problem for them. (the system actually paid it’s cost in less than 3 months, I am pleased to say). ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜† I told him I’d take the poor old thing and design a new one for them! Won’t happen (for several reasons), and he knows I’m joking… kinda! ๐Ÿ˜€ They had another job for me, but I had to decline. I’m due for surgery in a Month, and have ongoing health issues, so I can’t be relied upon. The money would be really nice right now, but I won’t take any job that I can’t guarantee (with reasonable certainty) that I can complete.

Hell m8… I’ve known for 30 years that Ellison was Satan’s left hand, and Gates is the right hand! Duh! Why do you think they have always hated each other’s gut’s for? They both want the Top (err… Bottom?) Job real bad! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

They actually have a lot in common (and with Jobs also (RIP)). They are all dropouts (though I have to admit, Gates actually was a bright lad, he scored 1590 (out of a max of 1600) in his SAT’s. He was accepted into Harvard in ’73, but he spent all his time in the Computer Lab, and when MITS released the Altair 8800 in ’75, he & his friend Paul Allen started Micro-Soft. A year later, the dropped the hyphen… And the rest is history. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

As for Ellison… I learned about him when I was in the USA and went to his old *alma-Mata* the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (I was there to see Dr. Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Research). Even though Ellison dropped out at the end of the 2nd year, they treat him there as if he’s their #1 best ever student! ๐Ÿ˜† Anyway, he moved to CA and studied at University of Chicago for a term & dropped out after an intriguing job offer. He worked for Ampex where he worked on a database project for the CIA, codenamed โ€œOracle.โ€ After the job was finished in 1977 he founded Oracle. (which probably explains a lot, at least to those *who know things they shouldn’t know*! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

One of the reasons Ellison always hated Gates because he saw Gates as a *poor-boy* who became #1 *only because of his connections to IBM* (Gates Parents, who were anything but poor, but were not *old money*).

Once Oracle took over MySQL, I stopped using it completely, and refuse to use anything that is tightly tied to it. I’ve generally preferred PostgreSQL & SQLite anyway. In Enterprise environments, I’ve usually preferred Sybase to Oracle, not least because it integrated far easier into MS SQL (as it should since MS SQL is based on the original Windoze/DOS version of Sybase, and Sybase decided it no longer wanted to support Desktop environments, apart from developer tools). However, Gated did his usual of trying to screw Sybase out of royalties, so Sybase developed a Win version once again and began to compete on the desktop. ๐Ÿ˜† The crooked dweeb might be good at passing exam’s, but sometimes he’s not too bright! ๐Ÿ˜€


39 Kryten42 { 01.17.13 at 7:37 am }


Here, a piece of history! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

Sir Dweeb, Gates His Arrogance, Ellison

(I have many more!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

40 Bryan { 01.17.13 at 10:56 pm }

As Badtux can attest, starting a business in a garage in California is not a sign of poverty – garages and the land they sit on are damn expensive if you are anywhere near the coast.

Intelligence and common sense are independent variables, and are totally unrelated to being a decent human being.

Win 8 is a major PITA on a desktop machine. It is entirely too ‘busy’ and distracting for me to use. I know I am among the ever dwindling group of people who are primarily text oriented, but those are the people who make the graphics possible.

Businesses are primarily concerned with the same things they were concerned with forever, and those things are numbers and letters. No one is really targeting their needs with their new products, so businesses stay with what they have.

41 Kryten42 { 01.18.13 at 11:27 am }

LOL Yeah! ๐Ÿ˜€

I have nothing against working in a garage… I did some of my best R&D in my old garage many years ago! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

Common sense is getting rarer every year. I figure Mom Nature has decided to mutate it out as the easiest way to get rid of a failed species! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Also, self interest & self preservation are in rapid decline also. It’s the only explanation why Corp’s (like Dell) allow Congress & the Senate to get away with all this crap that is killing their businesses. *shrug*

Reminds me of something I have been meaning to post for some time now. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been using a great little free HTML editor for well over a decade called Arachnophilia (available as a Win exe or Java jar). Written by a very interesting (and somewhat eclectic) guy by the name of Dr Paul Lutus. He’s into almost everything. Designed components for the Shuttle, designed the Mathematical Model of our solar system for the Viking Mars Lander, written about Mathematics, Physics, Psychology… and lot’s more! He’s been awarded the Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. If you guy’s don’t know about the program or the man, you really should check them both out! ๐Ÿ˜€

(You too hipparchia! I see you peeking!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

Arachnoid Home

(BTW, he’s not really into Arachnoid’s (any more), he’s into Alaskan Bears these days!)

Paul Lutus Bio

Arachnophilia HTML Editor Home

42 Kryten42 { 01.18.13 at 11:50 am }

Actually, it isn’t fair to call Arachnophilia a *HTML Editor* (though that is it’s primary function). It supports Java & C++, and can be used to create or edit just about any other language file from Ada to XML. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s probably more akin to Notepad++.

43 hipparchia { 01.18.13 at 6:19 pm }

(You too hipparchia! I see you peeking!)


44 Bryan { 01.18.13 at 11:38 pm }

Actually it is perfectly understandable if you assume that the CEOs are reacting to protect their personal interests and couldn’t give less of a damn about the long-term survival of the corporations that hired them.

I’ll give it a go and see if it will replace WordStar ๐Ÿ˜‰

45 Badtux { 01.19.13 at 2:53 am }

Regarding text editors, I’ve been using Emacs since 1982 so I think I’ll stick with Emacs. It runs on all my platforms so there ๐Ÿ˜› .

PostGreSQL is a great database, for sure, but a bit too “fat” for many projects and doesn’t cluster as well as MySQL does. The Amazon cloud also supports MySQL instances in the cloud, including setting up the replication across availability zones for you. One thing psql does have that MySQL doesn’t have is an actual query optimizer. I spent several days poring through the list of slow queries (obtained via a MySQL command line option to dump them to a file) to figure out why the application was running so friggin’ slow, and then my idiot web application designer didn’t even understand why we had to have multi-column indexes, “it already has individual indexes on those fields, can’t it just use the indexes it already has?” at which point I had to inform him that he was sadly deluded about the nature of MySQL — i.e., MySQL is a thin SQL query layer over a btree file manager, not an actual real database with query optimizer and all that. We got the database sped up tho, via a combination of changing the schema slightly (which the application framework fought us about, but we whipped it into submission) and adding the necessary multi-column indexes to make the slow queries run fast, not to mention changing a few of the slow queries to something else entirely because MySQL would read every single row in the database for them regardless of indexes (at least that’s what ‘explain’ told us). Yay. Another win for understanding what’s actually happening at the bits and bytes level rather than expecting the application framework to handle that for you.

Regarding 10Gbit Ethernet, we’re doing a major cleanup and reorg at work, and one of the things we discovered while opening boxes to see what is in them is a box full of 10Gbit Ethernet cards and transceivers, and another box of fiber optic cables for them. Also discovered three switches capable of 10Gbit downlinks, and one full 10Gbit switch ($6K worth of switch, in a box under somebody’s desk!). Sounds like I’m going to have some fun next week :).

Talking about which, I bounced my engineering IT infrastructure today to rearrange the machine room a bit (mostly getting the antique legacy machines out of there to be auctioned off to Weird Stuff or Halted). I was quite pleased to find out that the printed directions above the monitor on the main rack, which have about 6 steps to them, actually worked. (In case you’re wondering, the instructions read something like: 1) Turn on iSCSI storage array #2 (the replica). 2) turn on iSCSI storage array #1(the master). 3) Wait until both are up, run the storage manager against each to verify they’re up and providing iSCSI services. 4) Turn on ESXi server #1. 5) Wait 15 minutes. 6) Turn on ESXi server #2, the backups server, and the build/deployment server ).

Bonus points if you can tell me why my replica has to come up before the master, and why the 15 minute wait after turning on ESXi server #1 :).

Note that before I virtualized everything on ESXi (except the things that need physical access to hardware), the engineering IT infrastructure bringup instructions for the two racks full of equipment that previously provided engineering IT (vs. 4u of storage and 4u of pizza boxes today) were a *BOOK*, not a 5×7 notecard attached to the rack. Not joking. I love virtualization ๐Ÿ™‚

46 Badtux { 01.21.13 at 1:10 am }

BTW, Kryten, I blame you for today’s project. Work was throwing out 48-port Huawei layer 3 switches that have been in inventory forever since they can’t sell them due to the Cisco lawsuit (turns out Huawei simply stole Cisco’s design, not even bothering to change the copyright notice on the mainboard!). I snagged one and ran by Central Computer to grab one of those four-port Intel cards. A bit of plugging away on the network configuration of Fedora 17 to configure a bonding device with LACP to add to my bridge (needed for kvm virtualization), and yep, it respects LACP :).

The coolest thing of all that I found out was that it also supports POE if I click a config button. So if I want to do IP phones or POE video cameras, not a problem!

For those who wonder, “what can you do with a 48 port switch”, oh sure, I’m only using 11 ports on the thing right now, but hey, that’s before I put a Cat5 jack into every wall of every room and wire up enough video cameras to make your typical 7-11 blush with envy :). WTF, a guy has to have a dream, right?/

47 hipparchia { 01.21.13 at 11:56 am }

Itโ€™s probably more akin to Notepad++.

i’m not giving up my notepad until they pry it from my cold, dead hands. that said, i can foresee some actual programming work in my future, so i might have to add to my box of tools… while still keeping my beloved notepad handy of course.

48 Bryan { 01.22.13 at 12:10 am }

Gee, Badtux, it sounds like you are getting ready to go into the Evangelical business by creating a video environment to go with your audio set up. You could avoid the local cable access channel and go directly to web-casting your services. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t get too attached, Hipparchia, there was a time when I thought vi was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but then I started out on IBM mainframes. The big thing is to have continuity of command structure.

49 Kryten42 { 01.25.13 at 11:32 am }

Hi all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry, been pretty crook the past week. Feeling somewhat better now. I’ll update this better Sunday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nothing wrong with the old vi Bryan. ๐Ÿ˜€ I used it for many years, and then changed to vim, much better! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Though on CentOS, I tend to use nano. *shrug*

I only said it was *akin* to NoteTab++ hipparchia! Geez… Don’t have a cow! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

I use NoteTab++ BTW, and have for years (on Windoze). ๐Ÿ˜‰ I started with SciTE, then discovered Scintilla was better, and then discovered the colorful Chameleon! I couldn’t resist the little fellow (or the editor once I discovered how flexible it was, and the huge community support for plugins). ๐Ÿ™‚ Though sadly, it’s HTML & CSS support is still fairly basic. So I use Arachnophilia (and other tools) when I have a largish website to code.

That’s OK Badtux. Everyone blames me for everything. *shrug* Welcome to the club. Please transfer $250 to my Cayman Bank for the Members Pack and details of the Annual extortion fee. You may not be disappointed, and I may (or may not) care! LMAO

OK. I’m crawling back to bed! Have fun everyone! ๐Ÿ˜‰ TTYL.

Oh! PS: I have some news linx you may like. I’ll post them Sun. ๐Ÿ™‚

50 Bryan { 01.25.13 at 9:45 pm }

Get better, m8, and come back when you are ready.

It is amazing how attached people get to their ‘tools’, and I’m as guilty as anyone.

51 Badtux { 01.26.13 at 1:03 am }

Yah, I’ve been using Emacs since before ‘vi’ was invented, and never saw any need to learn those new-fangled text editors :twisted:. Heh.

– Badtux the Old Timer.

52 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 9:20 am }

Before ‘vi’ I was punching and shuffling cards to ‘edit’ on the big iron, or punching a new paper tape on the the ASR-33 to feed the mini, so anything was an improvement.

53 hipparchia { 01.26.13 at 10:39 am }

i miss chalkboards, the black ones, not the new-fangled green ones.


54 Badtux { 01.26.13 at 10:58 am }

Well, before Emacs I was using something suspiciously similar to TECO on a timesharing mainframe (non-IBM, it was a mainframe that my university bought for $5M in 1975 dollars i.e. real money, that the DoD helped design which was why it was horrifically expensive and ridiculously secure, though over the years I found some interesting ways to get around that security either via social engineering or via attack strategies that the DoD had never considered such as trojans and use of accounts with overlapping permissions). But now that I look at the history of ‘vi’, it appears that ‘ex’ got a visual mode several years before I thought it did and actually predates the variant of Emacs that I learned in, hmm, 1982? But the PDP/11 Unix that ‘vi’ was originally implemented on was not IMP ARPANET-capable unlike the mainframe that was hooked up to IMP ARPANET, so I did not learn it until we got a Vax with BSD 4.x when the Great Switchover to IPv4 happened, that would have been in ’84 I guess. I guess I was confused by Bill Joy’s comment at the top of the ‘vi’ source code where he put his initials followed by a 1983 date. That is the one and only comment that Bill Joy put in the source code for ‘vi’ (I was doing work for the computing center so of course had access to view said source code, as well as sufficient access to install Emacs on the system ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), the rest of the code is totally uncommented, as is most of the code that Bill Joy wrote.

His commentary on that — “my code is self-commenting”. Uhm, no. It’s amazing that someone so… idiosyncratic… managed to build a major computer company, though of course he had help from some real business types like Vinod and friends to do the actual work of managing the company. That era, late 70s/early 80s, had some real… interesting… people come out of it in the computer industry. RMS is of course another such interesting person, and it was his Emacs that I installed on the Vax when I grew frustrated with the limitations of ‘vi’. In particular, I was frustrated by the inability to look at two parts of the source code at the same time when refactoring programs by moving a piece of common code to a new function, something which I consider to be a fundamental piece of functionality in a programming text editor ever since I discovered it in Emacs, and which, alas, Emacs appears to be the only programming text editor to implement it in the modern world. Even modern “development environments” don’t implement the ability to look at two places in the same source code file at the same time, despite the fact that it was doable with 1978 technology, nevermind 2013 technology, though the “one class per file” paradigm of languages such as Java at least makes it less onerous. I say “alas” because the Emacs command set sucks major rocks, control-escape-gobbledy-gook indeed…

55 Bryan { 01.26.13 at 11:01 pm }

There’s a paint for that, Hipparchia. I know someone who used it on a wall in his kids’ room so they could draw with colored chalk, instead of markers on everything in the house.

We used real AT&T Unix on the PDP11 I ran at college, instead of Ultrix [DEC’s version] to avoid the problem of custom features. Using the standards when you are teaching is usually the best way to go, and AT&T basically gave it away for free to colleges, but DEC didn’t.

Now that you mention it, it is really annoying the way people keeping building or improving on the flawed model that is perceived to be dominate, rather than making serious improvements. They are really limiting their audience when they create a faster and/or more colorful program that doesn’t include any useful new features and continues most of the most annoying things about the old model.

I use to accomplish that feat with WordStar and Borland’s Sidekick TSR, but doing it in one program would have certainly been useful.