Heading to Southeast Linuxfest 2016!

Now that we have a closing date on the house that’s a little earlier than originally anticipated, I can make plans to go to Southeast Linuxfest 2016.

My attendance streak got broken last year since I couldn’t make it (just too many things going on), so it will be good to get back this year. It’s always a great place to learn about what’s going on, learn something new, and of course get together with friends.

Unlike previous years where I drove up the day before, this year I’ll be leaving bright and early on Friday so that I can get to Charlotte around 0900ish. If anybody from the Charleston or Columbia area wants to carpool with me, drop me a line.

Looking forward to another Southeast Linuxfest!

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.

We have a house closing date!

The house is looking more and more complete on the inside, and now it looks like we’ll be closing on the house the second week of May, a little sooner than originally expected.

There’s still a lot of details left (plumbing, touch up painting, etc) as well as landscaping, but as of today it looks like most of the major things are in.

Up in the attic, there’s an additional layer of blown insulation covering the fibreglass batt insulation. Looks pretty good. Seems like the layer of blown insulation should be thicker, but that’s just based on what I’ve seen from the old house where I think almost all the insulation was blown. I’m sure whatever is there is probably enough.

Attic insulation
Attic insulation

There’s no insulation over the garage part, which isn’t unexpected. Most of the garage will end up being workspace, so I think if it ends up being too uncomfortable to work in, it would be easy enough for me to add a layer or two of batt insulation to the space above the garage.

Over the garage
Over the garage

The rest of the house is looking pretty good. All the rooms have carpet in them, and the wood floors look pretty good. The wood floors are glued to the slab, so if I ever decide to replace them, it’s going to be a pretty big job.

Carpet in the master bedroom
Carpet in the master bedroom
Wood flooring
Some of the wood flooring visible next to the kitchen island

The appliance garage we opted for got installed in the corner. It takes up some counter space, but will give us a place to tuck things away when they’re not being used. One of the outlets in the kitchen even has two USB charging ports!

USB charging outlets
USB charging outlets
Appliance garage
Appliance garage

Now that we have a closing date, this will kick off a lot of things on the TODO list. The next few months are going to be pretty busy.

Podcast list

I’ve outfitted the phone with a podcast player (Podcast Addict) and loaded it up with a bunch of podcasts. They’re mostly amateur radio related, but not all of them.

Amateur Radio podcasts

Other podcasts

A few of the podcasts are 15-30 minutes long, while most of them are around the 50-60 minute duration. Some of them only update with new episodes once a month while others are weekly. With my current commute, I’m able to get through about 1 or podcast episodes each day in the car, and if I decide to listen at my desk, another episode or two. This means I’m never out of episodes to listen to.

The podcast mix will probably change, and I’ll probably find some more to add to the list later. I’d like to find some other science/physics type podcasts to add. This is a pretty good start though, and I’m enjoying listening to them during the daily commute.

Of course all this podcast listening has cut down the amount of NPR listening I do on the radio, but given the current state of affairs of the country, that’s probably saving me some aggravation.

Countertops in the house

Last week the new house got the kitchen counters installed, and the shower in the master bath got tiled. Some parts of the house also got the vinyl flooring put in.

Yesterday the tile backsplash got put on the wall, and it looks like some outlets were installed too.

Tile backsplash in the kitchen
Tile backsplash in the kitchen

More progress!