computer nerdery

my dad the nerd..
my dad the nerd.. avatar

by on Jan.31, 2012, under computer nerdery, ramblings

i often wonder how i ever got into drafting, which eventually led me to engineering and currently 3D modelling and model management. dad, being a tradie, i never thought i got it from him. i just figured it was my choice in high school to study computer drafting. but prior to that, i got into technical drawing on the board. pencils erasers and cranky teachers. so computer drafting was a logical step from manual drafting.

dad the tradie, as mentioned in my post about water cooling my pc i think at least, is a bit of a closet nerd. while i was visiting dad recently, i realised that it was indeed he who led me down the path i have taken with my career. you see, if you take a step further back to the days of the amstrad cpc, 3″ floppy disks, 4mhz cpus and 128kb of ram displayed in 16 glorious colours, dad used to write programs for the computer for me to play with.

most of the programs were games or programs i asked a question and it gave me a funny answer, one of the programs though i had to control a ‘turtle’ which was a little triangle shaped thing by typing “@100<45” which would draw a line 100 pixels long at an angle of 45 degrees – which is exactly what you’d type into autocad, but rather than pixels, it would be an actual measurement. i drew boxes and circles and triangles and all sorts of stuff.

i always thought the programs dad wrote were pretty cool, and i thought dad was awesome for being able to make programs on our little computer. nothing has changed though. he’s still awesome 🙂


this is the sort of stuff i draw now. that is all the plumbing, gas and fire for a 6 storey office and performance arts building in 3D.


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being a nerd just sometimes isn’t cool..
being a nerd just sometimes isn’t cool.. avatar

by on Jun.28, 2011, under computer nerdery, ramblings

so i got an ericsson x10 recently, picked it up for $250 on ebay brand new. was apparently a warranty replacement for the seller and they changed to an iphone during the process.. suckers.. the x10 has been friggin fantastic. its the phone i wanted when i contracted my other phone, but i was too impatient to wait. a mistake i won’t make again. even though the phone is damn near perfect for what i want, there is a lot of custom software out there for the x10 and being the somewhat nerd that i am, i just had to try it out.

first up, i tried cyanogenomod 6 based around android 2.2, which just didn’t agree with the phone. as it was the stock software (android 2.1) was quite snappy, nice, smooth and responsive. occasionally if trying to do too much at once it would slow down a little but nothing i couldn’t deal with, even the battery life was reasonable, with fairly heavy use would last 10hrs or so even with shonky mobile coverage chewing up battery. the phone was unusable, and the battery lasted about 3hrs on standby. that just doesn’t cut it.

quite annoyed i started to look around and decided to try the android 2.1 based ewjet rom. its great, it really is. its undervolted to get more battery life and just generally awesome. but it restarts when using cpu intensive software. fine, i know all about overclocking a pc, same concept on a phone, not enough voltage. luckily a tweak was provided to give a slightly higher voltage to increase stability. it was worse! i’ve had to turn down the maximum cpu speed to 999mhz to stop randomly restarting when idle, but it still dies when using backup software or anything else that uses a bit of juice. further turning down the cpu to 739-ish mhz, i was able to backup my data once more.

now i’m sitting here again, going through the whole process from scratch. flashing the standard software, going through the whole process again in the hopes to gain better stability. if not, then i guess its a trip back to xda developers to ask a bunch of noob questions and tell them what i did each time in the hopes to come up with a solution. i just can’t live with improving the device and then partially gimping it for stability. gah!

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six.. avatar

by on Dec.13, 2010, under computer nerdery, ramblings

a few posts back, where i installed my water cooling setup into my pc, i mentioned i was considering getting an amd 1090t. its a 6 core 3.2ghz chip.

i was seriously contemplating moving to intel, but i only bought this current configuration 18 months ago, a lot of money spent to throw away so soon. there are new chips coming out from both intel and amd in the new year, so i figure i’ll wait and see how they progress and maybe in another 18 months i’ll upgrade to one or the other.

i had some serious doubts about the capabilities of the 1090t, seeing a lot of reviews and benchmarks putting it as worse than my old 955BE chip (3.2ghz quad core). not so however.

for starters i had issues with my ram, i had bought 8gb of ram to do revit work at home, revit loves ram. revit loves raw clock speed as well (which is why i should have gone intel), but the revision of the 955 chip i got (c2 stepping) had memory controller issues and i couldn’t run more than my 4gb of ram stable. i had to overvolt the memory controller just to get the 4gb running. also recently the pc started randomly blue screening. no good. so i bit the bullet, the 1090t is now down to AU$260, against my better judgment i went out and bought one.

all i can say is i should have done it sooner. stock speed, clock for clock, the 1090t outperforms the 955. same speed, but just packs more punch. the 1090t has a turbo function that overclocks 3 of the 6 cores to 3.6ghz when required, so maybe where the extra punch came from.

i also finally installed my full 8gb of ram, no dramas. gotta be happy with that. seriously amd should have recalled all the c2 chips for their utter shitness.

currently running at 4ghz overclocked, cpu core is running only a few degrees above ambient, the temp sensor located under the cpu however is about 10 degrees warmer, so i’ll need to keep that in check.. still cooler than the quad core as well.

all in all a great purchase. should have done it sooner.

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purdy water..
purdy water.. avatar

by on Dec.02, 2010, under computer nerdery, ramblings

so on the weekend i installed a water cooling into my pc. i have an antec 900 case which i bought when they very first came out for its excellent air cooling setup.. so what better than to cram water into the case.

i took the pc around to dad & matt’s as i didn’t have the tools to cut the case up. i needed to cut some holes in the motherboard mounting panel for cable management (which kind of failed) and also for the water. so after dad helped me with the holes for the cables, he asked me what the hell i was bothering for..  so i pulled out the radiator and showed him. he was a little confused but surprisingly interested in what i was up to.. i thought he’d shake his head at me and walk away. but no, instead, dad helped me with the whole install. it took a little longer than expected (about 5hrs from the initial tear down to having the cooling loop operational for leak tests), but it was an awesome afternoon with my old man.

after all the holes were cut, i sprayed the chassis with 3M satin black, looks much nicer than the plain grey that it was before.

the power supply is now mounted upside down to get a bit more length out of the cables, the majority of the cables are hidden behind the motherboard tray, the reason why i think its a slight failure is there are still quite a few cables that can be seen, but i had to keep reminding myself that it was previously a rats nest of cables jammed in all over the place. the antec 900 is terrible for cable management standard.

i re-installed everything and carefully thought out the arrangement of the new pipework. i had actually planned to install the water kit at home, fully expecting dad to think i had gone crazy sticking water in a computer, but because he was so interested as i did it all there. maybe dad is a nerd at heart and thats where i get it from? i had stayed for dinner but when i was getting ready to head home, he goes ‘oh, so when you going to fire it up with the cpu connected?’ oh, straight away i said, i was keen to see the improvement over my old zalman air cooler. ‘excellent, let me know how it goes under load as soon as you find out’ haha.. awesome i thought. maybe my dad will start a pc water cooling business 😛

in the end, the results were

zalman cnps9000 – idle 42 degrees, 100% load (prime95) 64 degrees
swiftech apogee xt (fans on low – 5v) – idle 38 degrees, 100% load 42 degrees

quite the improvement and that was without curing times allowed for the thermal paste. i should however not have bought a water kit as i’m now looking at thicker radiators and better fans for the radiators, motherboard chipset and graphics card waterblocks.

also for simplicity (and price) i opted for the swiftech h20-220 ultra packaged kit. i had priced up all the components seperately, which were in fact the same parts and it was going to cost me Au$540 where as buying the kit from pccasegear in melbourne cost AU$335 plus postage. it also meant as a newbie to water cooling i wouldn’t forget anything for the install.

here is a quick photo of the install, nothing exciting, just a basic water cooling setup:

i think the next step however is to replace my c2 stepping amd 955 BE with a 1090t. i want as much processing power as i can squeeze out of this system to use with revit. revit loves raw clock speed. 1090t with water should be easy to hit 4.2ghz 🙂

oh also, i nearly forgot. i got my pc home, set it all up, fired it up, i had a water leak from the reservoir. fitting wasn’t installed tightly enough. must have been bumped on the drive back from dad’s place.

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