Hardware

Justifying a video card upgrade in my workstation/gaming machine

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 460 WINDFORCE OC 4G

Sometimes it's hard to justify buying a piece of hardware when you know you're really only going to use it's advanced features occasionally. For a little while I've had my eye on the (at least for me) new-ish GIGABYTE Radeon RX 460 WINDFORCE OC 4G video card. The Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H in my main workstation has worked really well with my A8-5600K processor and I really haven't had many complaints (other than when I first installed/upgraded to Windows 10 there was some issues with video tearing that went away with driver updates)... that was until this evening.

New KODI server build

SPEC-01 case that holds our KODI server

Our current living room KODI server is getting a bit old. We currently have 8TB of storage between 2 x 3TB and a 2TB hard drive. Media is spread across the drives and is starting to get a bit disorganized. Part of the disorganization is because of the age of some of the data. Back when I first started ripping media for what was then called XBMC I used the command line interface program transcode to do a lot of work.

Hakko FX-888D soldering station

Santa was good and brought me this Hakko FX-888D soldering station

Electronics-related skills seem more important now than ever, especially with the number of maker spaces opening up. When I was in high school I always wanted to take an electronics course, but we had none in the "Advanced" stream at our school. Oddly enough we had an advanced typing course. At the time there were three streams in high school, Basic, General, and Advanced. My impression (which was mistaken) was that in order to go to University you had to only take Advanced courses. So I never ended up learning any soldering or basic electronics skills.

Hard Drive Wiping In Windows

CCleaner's drive erase function

If you've got a hard drive you need to wipe in a USB enclosure or as a second drive in your Windows system here's a simple way to wipe the data off the drive without ever leaving Windows.

Identifying hard drives in Ubuntu Linux

Hard Drives

This article was prompted by a Twitter question I sent @philbaker1 about some SSDs he was testing. Phil was testing an mSATA and a SATA drive and one drive seemed to read more MB/sec than the other, so I asked which, to which Phil replied:

I'm not sure.:) Only diff between the two is the impossibly long serial numbers, which don't give a clue.

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