Archive for October, 2010

Server down. Culprit: dust.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

My server went down yesterday! 😮

It was when I came to it to program a bit more on my Arduclema guinea pig that I realized it was off. I quickly opened the case (a 1.5-second affair on this dual-processsor PowerMac G4 MDD) to see if something was horribly wrong, and I saw the problem immediately: dust had clogged the air intake.

This PowerMac has been modified by me in the past to keep it’s fan noise down; every fan was replaced, mainly the two Nidecs on the power supply, and the CPUs heatink got a couple of specially placed fans and duct. Many air paths were blocked to force simple, efficient intake and exhaust. So when dust settled in, it quickly wreacked havok on the inside temperatures.

I gave it a good cleanup, and here it is, up and running. Again. But one of the power supply fans has given up the ghost and needs replacing, as does a cheap blower that was on one of the PCI bays (exhausting the Nvidia GeForce Titanium).

This PowerMac needs some love…

Notes and ideas: capturing the æther

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I’m in search of a note-taking software. Here are my notes 🙂 on what I’d like the software to do (aka features):

* Keep text-based notes, with a flexible editor (embbed/link images, video, PDFs, spreadsheets, etc).

* Video note-taking (aka Flink’s Help Files 🙂 ), with automatic speech-to-text processing (creates a text document associated to the video with the extracted speech, so that is it easier to search for stuff I talk about in the videos).

* A powerfull search engine, capable of going down to PDFs, text on images, spoken content on videos, spreadsheets, etc.

* An open and easy to store data model; access, backup and recovery of the database should be trivial. Software only lasts so long, data should last forever.

* Having access (at least in read-only form) to my notes everywhere with a simple browser.

* Having the possibility to “upload” a new note in a trivial way (via email or a simple web page).

* Having the possibility to mark notes as public (to share with the World) or private (not everything I do is interesting to everyone, trust me).

In the past, I’ve setup and used a wiki on my server (Flink’s realm). It was a good experience, I stopped using it because of lack of time and server re-arrengement, but still is one of my possibilities. The other one is using a note-taking software (like Evernote or Notebook), but I can’t find anything that seems to support video (even without the speech-recognition-for-searching part).

If I can’t be satisfied, writing my own is a possibility (not just now, I’ve got a lot on my hands right now). Any suggestions?