Summer reading pile

My pile of reading for the summer.

Summer reading
Stacks of Radiology and Radiographics

One of the radiologists leaving the department set out his collection of journals (Radiology and Radiographics) for anyone to grab, presumably because he didn’t want to move them (I wouldn’t want to either).

I decided to grab them because I figured they’d be interesting to flip through, and it’s always good for diagnostic medical physicists to know what’s going on with the clinical side of things.

Even though I can look at all the articles in these journals online, I find sitting down with a journal and flipping through it so much more satisfying.

It’s unlikely I’ll keep all of them. I’ll spend some of my evenings going through two or three issues at a time and keep the ones with interesting articles for later reference.

Southeast Linxufest 2017

Had another fantastic time at Southeast Linuxfest 2017 last weekend. There was a pretty decent sized crowd (not sure about numbers yet) with a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new ones too.

As usual I was taking a lot of pictures and being the unofficial official SELF photography guy. I was able to get in to some pretty good talks.

New this year was the Networking boot camp that was really good. Sat in a couple of those sessions. I also went to some of the Zero to DBA sessions to find out about some of the new features coming in MySQL 8.

One interesting talk given by an engineer at Western Digital was called Rethinking RAID. He did some interesting benchmarking on how long it takes to rebuild a RAID using the big terabyte disks now available. A RAID10 using  10TB disks might sound pretty cool, but if one of the disks craps out, it’s going to take a loooooooong time to rebuild the RAID.

Back again this year was the craft beer share, and thanks to last minute sponsor Logtrust, the Saturday party was open to everyone. Craft beers all around! There was also a BYOC LAN party during the Saturday party this  year too.

Saturday's musical entertainment
Saturday’s musical entertainment
LAN partiers
LAN partiers

The  amateur radio licensing test session at SELF saw 28 people sign up to take the test. Don’t recall the numbers, but half left with either a new amateur radio license or an upgrade.

The LockFALE guys were back again this year with their table full of locks. This year I spent some time hanging out there and had them show me how to pick a lock. It’s surprisingly easy to do with a little time and patience.

LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks

Once again, another great time was had at Southeast Linuxfest. One of the things I love about SELF is that I always come away with something new to learn and explore, and this year was no exception.

Southeast Linuxfest 2018 will be #10, so it should be a pretty good one. I hear there are some big things in store for it. Hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since I first got involved with SELF. Can’t wait for next year.

Percona was a big sponsor
Percona was a big sponsor

You’ll find my collection of photos from SELF 2017 over in this photo album.

Fun with Canadian money

Discovered this cool trick with Canadian money via imgur.

Take a laser and shine it through the center of the maple leaf on one of the polymer Canadian bills. You’ll see a projection of the bill’s denomination.

Fun with Canadian money
Fun with Canadian money

No more Radio Shacks

The last Radio Shack in the Charleston area is closing (well technically there is one more, but it’s a franchise store and I have no idea if it’s going to keep the Radio Shack name).

I happened to be in the area and stopped by to check and saw the signs. Not sure when their final day is, but judging from how picked over their inventory was, I’d guess it’s pretty soon.

All their component bin inventory was hanging up on the shelves, and was listed for $1/package. Not quite as good a deal as the $0.15/package I got when the Radio Shack near me closed out. Most of the other inventory was listed at 70-90% off.

There wasn’t much left in the store, but I did find a few things that I thought was a good deal at $1/package. Picked up the rest of the SMA edge connectors and DPDT mini toggle switches. Also picked up a heat sink and a few BNC barrel and T adapters for 90% off. The batteries were marked down a fair bit and at 2 for 1 also, so I picked up a few N cells to use in my HP 28S.

Final Radio Shack haul
Final Radio Shack haul

SSD upgrade

A couple of months ago, I gave my computer its first significant upgrade since I buffed the RAM to 24 GB.

I’d been wanting to add a SSD drive to the system for a while now, and finally bought a 250 GB Samsung EVO 850 to function as the boot drive.

Installation was pretty easy. The hard part was fishing out a spare power cable and finding a spot to secure the drive. The case is technically out of free drive bays, but SSDs are pretty thin, and I was able to find enough space between the CD drives and one of the hard drives to secure the SSD to.

Once the drive was installed, the computer got a fresh Fedora 25 install with the SSD as the boot drive. As expected, once all the packages were downloaded, installation went quickly. Really quickly. For a fresh install I’m used to leaving my computer alone for an hour or so while it’s installing packages. With the SSD, everything was installed and I was rebooting in under 30 minutes.

Boot times for my computer are around 1/3 or so (haven’t really timed it) of what it used to be booting off the spinning disk. A couple months in, I haven’t noticed any significant change in performance and there’s still plenty of room left on the SSD.

The original boot partition has been changed to a /var mount point and now the computer is on Fedora 26 Alpha.

Now I want to get SSDs to put into my laptops.