Friday, September 22, 2006

It's back - almost

So last Friday I received my replacement motherboard from Beta Computers for my PowerMac 9600. I open the box and what do I find, a PowerMac 9500 (Five!) motherboard not the Mach V I ordered, and unfortunately they are not interchangeable between cases. A phone call and email later and they admitted shipping the wrong part. So I ship that back and today (Friday) I did receive the correct board. An hour of work to swap it out, a press of the power button, it started, chimed, the video came up (it didn't do this before), it sat for a few minutes checking memory, and booted! The first thing I did was run an intensive memory check, which promptly bombed, so now I'm doing the pull some DIMMs, run the check, pull more if it fails, get a good check, move the good modules to the high and low banks to allow testing of the old high and low banks, add them back one pair at a time until it fails, throw the last added set out, repeat until all spare DIMMs are exhausted, process.

but - it's alive! Yes!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Still not working

Well, fully disassembling the 9600, cleaning it out, and reassembling it did nothing. (I really didn't expect it to.) I now have a replacement motherboard on its way to me from Beta Computers and I'm going to hope that is the problem because replacment G3/500 CPU cards are not reasonably priced.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And the luck just continues . . .

Well my luck seems consistent recently. On Monday I finished up everything I needed and wanted to get done. So I sit down at my play computer (a PowerMac 9600) press the keyboard power button and nothing happens. I poke around and find the Belkin UPS has shut itself off and wont turn on. So I plugged the computer into a surge suppressor, pressed the power button and those nice startup chimes sounded, then nothing else happened. The hard drives spin up and calibrate but are not accessed, pressing Ctl-Cmd-Pwr causes a reboot, the screen briefly receives a video signal on boot/reboot but nothing is displayed. After 2 days the computer is still dead. I've tried the things I know (new PRAM battery, PMU reset, pull battery for an hour, reseating the CPU card, and pulling memory) all with no change. I'll pull the motherboard tonight and clean it and go from there. Since I'’m job hunting right now, I don'’t have time for this and I could use a little interactive relaxation (Descent or Tomb Raider custom levels in OS 9) to release the stress on.

At least my cleaned G5 has had no issues from its recent encounter with soda.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Driving in Southern California

I live in San Diego California and love it, except the traffic. I spent the day with a friend in Colton about 100 miles north on I-15. I left just before 8 and got home a little before nine thirty. Now most of you are thinking, 100 miles in 90 minutes - what traffic? [begin rant] Well in this case the "traffic" was mostly caused by the - how should I say this - occasional clueless dolt driving in the fast lane while pacing someone in the slower lane. Please folks, get a hint! If you are in the fast lane and it is open in front of you and there are cars behind you, it is time to pull one lane over. A good chunk of the drive I did (about half) is posted for 70 MPH, however almost all of it is a constantly undulating up and down affair with very little flat. This means that if you are driving a small SUV stuffed to the gills and with stuff on the roof rack you probably shouldn't be driving in the fast lane because you are holding up traffic going up hill and are going too fast downhill to control and brake your vehicle in an emergency. Another safety tip, if you are driving an SUV and towing a trailer that is weaving from side to side, it probably is a good time to put two hands on the steering wheel instead of using one on the top of it. (That was a scary site and one I was glad to put behind me.) Another little tip, an H2 may feel like a safe vehicle, but when you try and throw it around like a sports car (attempt to weave through traffic) it simply becomes an accident waiting to happen. Oh, and for the 10 minutes I watched that performance, I didn't change lanes and the H2 "overtook" me 4 or 5 times before finally exiting the freeway. However the scariest thing I saw coming back was where the highway is 3 lanes wide. I was following a couple of cars in the fast lane when we suddenly slowed down. After a few minutes this became a solid mass of cars doing about 65 in a 70 zone. I could see cars up ahead jostling around (changing lanes, accelerating, breaking) but nobody seeming to get ahead. You could just watch the tension build in people as we drove along by the way they were driving. As the pack slowly filtered out and I moved up I found, yes an SUV in the fast lane sitting pacing a car slightly in front of it in the #2 lane and cars having to under take them both (pass on the right). When I finally snuck by them, in front was nothing but relatively empty freeway, while behind them was at least 50 cars trying do the same. [end rant]

Thanks for letting me let off some steam.