Yet Another New PC (3)

A few days ago, I pretty much finished setting up my new computer. I still don’t have a SATA cable with a right-angled plug, so I can’t close the case yet, but that’s just cosmetics. There are also still a few kinks with access rights and different users, I’m having trouble printing from my non-administrator accounts, and the mouse button settings aren’t exactly as I would like them, for example, but I just didn’t care enough to fix that. I have already made a Ghost backup, though, so reinstalling everything will be much easier in the future. I’ll probably make another backup soon when I’ve fixed those minor problems, and then I’ll also put the Ghost images on an external hard drive or perhaps even on DVDs. That would be 14 DVDs, but even though my two external hard drives seem pretty rugged and DVDs actually get unreadable after a few years, I like the idea of having something that I can’t accidentally delete.

The new machine now runs the DrJava unit testing suite in 5 minutes and 22 seconds. Corky always wants to know how fast the unit tests run, so that is basically our JavaPLT group-internal benchmark. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how fast it ran on the Athlon 64 3500+.

I’ll also still have to put a 160 GB PATA hard drive from the gutted machine (the old “scalar”) computer into my trusted old Pentium 3 (“vector”). I’ll have to remove one of my CD/DVD drives, but then I’ll have a 160 GB, a 120 GB, and an 80 GB hard drive in that machine, for a total of 360 GB. I don’t exactly know what I’ll use all of that storage for… or the 730 GB in “scalar”. I’m delighted I’ve broken the 1 TB barrier, though. To make backups more convenient, I got two external USB 2.0 hard drives that don’t require a power supply, a 120 GB Passport Portable and an 80 GB GigaBank Premier. And I still have a by now puny 20 GB PATA (my first hard drive was 20 MB) hard drive sitting around, so I’m at 1.31 TB now, and 732 MB are still free…

By the way, now that I have mentioned the names of two of my computers, perhaps I should mention that there’s a pattern in the way I name my machines. My primary machine is always named “scalar”, because that is my “development nickname”. I picked it when I first read about the Pentium and its superscalar architecture. “Superscalar” sounded cool, but it was too long and too… super, so I truncated it to “scalar”. All other machines then have something to do with mathematics:

  1. scalar: primary desktop
  2. vector: second desktop; web and media server, IRC and IM client
  3. tensor: third desktop; usually an old machine that’s not powered up (right now, tensor doesn’t exist, I just have two broken and gutted old machines — the Athlon 64 and a Pentium 3 700)
  4. manifold: MacBook notebook
  5. gradient: Windows tablet PC

The two desktops that I may use at the office don’t really follow my pattern:

  1. quantum: Windows desktop at the office (compromise between Dr. Wong’s physics scheme and my mathematics scheme)
  2. finland: Linux desktop at the office (complete departure from my scheme, using the JavaPLT group’s geography scheme

I once had a list of even more machine names, but I lost it. I don’t think I’ll move beyond the number of machines I have live right now any time soon, though. A lot of people would have expected the name “matrix” after “scalar” and “vector”, but the “Matrix” trilogy of crappy movies made it impossible for me to choose that name.


About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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