Time for some computer hardware changes

This computer of mine has passed the 6 year mark and it’s time for another round of upgrades and replacements.

When I put in the new power supply, I didn’t exactly do a great job of routing cables. I want to get in there and try to tidy some of that cable mess up.

I noticed a few days ago that CPU temperatures were running a good bit higher than usual, around 50°C at idle and as high as 90°C under load (according to gkrellm). It’s got one of those closed loop liquid CPU coolers which as far as I can see hasn’t leaked. The fans and radiator get a good cleaning out at least a couple times a year, and the air being exhausted is definitely warm. I’ll start with taking the cooler off, cleaning it and the CPU off and applying some new thermal paste. Hopefully that will help things. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to replace the cooler.

The MX1100 mouse that came with my old Logitech Wave keyboard finally seems to have bit the dust now. Fortunately I was able to scrounge up a spare mouse from the junk box to use while I search for a replacement. The MX1100 will be tough to replace though. I  really liked the feel and weight of it.

I’ve been seriously considering replacing (or maybe adding…I think I might have a free SATA port or two left) an SSD drive. It would be a good opportunity to re-do the disk layout on the computer and rearrange things. I’ve been wanting to start off with a fresh new home directory to get rid of some of the dead weight that’s accumulated in there over the past dozen or so Fedora releases.

The computer maintenance work will have to wait until we move into the new house. Everything will be disconnected anyway, and it will be a good time to give the computer a thorough cleaning before getting it all set up again.

Fedora + Corsair K70 quirks

This will be an ongoing post of some of the quirks I run into using this new keyboard with Fedora.

  1. Turning the backlight LEDs off seems to behave like pressing F5. If I turn the LEDs off when a browser window is active, the browser ends up doing a refresh.
  2. Trying to assign keyboard shortcuts in Gnome Settings/Keyboard, I can’t seem to get it to do any key combinations with the Super/Windows key. Not sure if I’m just missing something or what.
  3. Interestingly enough, KDE recognizes the Super/Windows key as Meta.

New keyboard

I’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of mechanical keyboards and replaced my long time workhorse Logitech Wave keyboard with a Corsair K70 (non-RGB) keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches.

It’s a pretty nice keyboard to type on, and I’m finding the keys need much less force to actuate than the keys on the old Wave keyboard do.

Each of the keys is individually lit with a red LED, which just happens to match one of the red LED fans in the computer case. There are 4 brightness levels for the LEDs from Off to full brightness.

The palm rest included could be a little bigger for my taste, but does the job. Grippy rubber feet on the bottom combined with the weight of the keyboard keep it from moving around much on the desk.

The cord is pretty beefy and has a fabric covering on it. At the computer end it splits into two USB connectors for the keyboard and a pass-through for the USB port on the keyboard.

The keyboard can be set to have all the keys light up or to a custom pattern that’s pretty easy to do right at the keyboard.

One of the issues I had with the Logitech Wave keyboard was that a lot of the special function keys were just invisible to Fedora. While this keyboard doesn’t have a lot of special keys, the ones it does have for media control seemed to work right out of the box without me having to configure anything.

Quite pleased with the keyboard so far.