Hardware wishlist

So first off, some good news for my health: today I talked with the doctor (medic, not surgeon) that followed me while I was in the hospital (and mostly when I was out of the ICU, although he was around at that time too), and his opinion is that I won’t need surgery, which is quite good news for me 🙂

I’ll talk with the nutritionist this Thursday to know what I can eat right now, hopefully it will be something more than the basic diet they gave me before being dismissed as that is really strict, especially when combined with the restriction that the warfarin poses on the food I can eat.

Of course, till I complete my warfarin treatment I cannot start doing more physical activity, nor I can return to my primary hobby, bricolage (a minor injury in normal conditions might be very bad with the warfarin I’m taking), so I’m limited to play with the DS (which means Pokémon, which, since I did beat the league is now going downhill, even though the WiFi Connection helps to keep it interesting for a while at least), to read or to watch DVDs, the latter two being expensive hobbies, as to avoid it getting boring I have to buy new books and new DVDs all the time 😉

It’s for this that I’m taking extra jobs when I can right now, even if I don’t like them. The web stuff I’m doing now for instance is a boring job and not even that well paid, but it’s not bad anyway. I could probably skip over it if I didn’t need to pay for my vices with DVDs and so. Especially since I’d like to make better use of my time after what I passed this summer (it’s surprising how much changes from your point of view when you risk twice to die in the matter of two weeks).

Anyway, this post is mostly intended for my reference, but for what I said before, I’d certainly welcome if someone wants to help 🙂 Suggestions for (maybe cheaper) alternatives are also welcome.

So, what do I really need here? Computer-wise we have:

  • The needed hardware to resurrect Klothos (this is especially important if my operatives can’t get Roy back!): a decent network card and a SATA controller supported by Sun Ultra5 systems, I had good luck with Intel E1000 PCI as network card and Promise TX4 SATA controller (SATA 1, no need for 2).
  • A decent soundcard, the VIA82xx is driving me crazy as I hear artifacts from time to time, and I know they don’t come from the software playing. I considered in the past the Echo Mia MIDI which isn’t even so expensive outside Italy, but by destiny I didn’t order it (by destiny because the credit card transaction failed for timeout of the originating bank).
  • An USB 2.0 card for Farragut together with a card reader that fits a 3.5” bay of the chassis. Right now I’m doing the important Farragut backups by copying them on Enterprise where the home is in software raid1, but this isn’t exactly perfect, especially since Enterprise was down for almost two months this summer, and during that time, Farragut was without daily backups. The cheaper solution I can find is to back them up on a Compact Flash card, the nice thing is that by using tar directly on the device I should be able to erase just some sectors every day, allowing the backup to be safe enough.
  • A ViPower VP-82589B-800 case. I have already an external ViPower enclosure, and while I thought it was defective because Samsung and Maxtor disks started to fail on it, I found out that it works perfectly well with Hitachi disks (one taken out of a LaCie Porsche external drive), that particular disk I tried it with after three hours of intense use wasn’t remotely as hot as the one I used to use for half an hour. Of course USB 2.0 is quite slow for a daily usage, but this model supports FireWire both 400 and 800, so should make it more feasible. And being compatible with ViPower mobile racks, I can easily buy another rack here at a handful of euros, then put a new IDE disk on it to have a new external disk. As I can’t find this around here, I was going to order it through their site, but it probably just allows shipment to USA, and I wouldn’t know how much would I pay of custom duties anyway.
  • A gigabit 8-ports switch, as sometimes is the switch I have here to limit the transfer rate between the computers on the wired network segment; when Klothos will be back, the only box still with 100Mbit ethernet would be Prakesh (I moved the previous E1000 on Farragut when the Realtek card burned down and I didn’t have any other replacement), and I happen to move data between those boxes pretty often especially when doing backups.

And outside the computer world, well, my sister tempted me by bringing me a Nintendo magazine when I was in the ICU, so I would certainly like having a Wii at this point 🙂 But this will probably need to wait for quite a while, considering it’s an entertainment thing, and the fact I never was much of a console kind of guy, and I just can’t afford one right now, as I have the above-mentioned more important expenses to make.

So really, don’t take this as a request, as I don’t really want to make one, nothing of all this is highly important, and I just need to have some extra money saved to start on this. Plus I don’t really intend to ask anything, and if you ask me about it, I won’t accept, especially because I don’t have the time to commit to Gentoo and Free Software to the same level as before, right now I feel my health and my life are more important.