Something Random

sedrosken

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Probably the first time in my life I've not put off something like this -- scheduled my COVID booster for later today. I'm only about a week late! My first two doses were Pfizer and there's data showing that mixing types can help improve effectiveness, and at worst it won't hurt, so I went with Moderna for this one. Don't think I'll be getting the J&J one, though.

Last night on the way home my check engine light came on and my car went into limp mode. Codes are P0607 and P0138 -- meaning I need to replace (I think) my O2 sensor on the passenger side after the catalytic converter. P0607 is just the engine computer complaining about being in limp mode. Y'know, because of the O2 sensor. Thankfully it's still perfectly drivable -- it idles a bit high and the traction control is forced off, but other than that I haven't even noticed anything wrong -- I'm going to fix it of course, but I can't right this minute, I have too much going on.
 

LunarMist

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It's not a good idea for several reasons. Are you planning on junking that vehicle also?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My datacenter was sold to a new party last month. The way that I found this out is that the new owner did not pay their bill to Cogent, which disconnected hundreds of servers, including mine, and forced just shy of three days worth of outage before an agreement to re-peer was put in place.

Of course, this happened while the new operations people were trying to switch over their redundant link to one operated by Lumen, but the new people let the old backup link go down before the new one was up and tested, which officially makes all of this the biggest comedy of errors I've seen in about 15 years. The only reason *I* get the tea on all of it is that I know the on-site operators well enough to have their personal cell numbers.

The good news is that I finally got to test full failover plans I've had in place for ages. The bad news is that I have 8U worth of servers powered on in my apartment, which does not really have air conditioning, on the hottest and most humid days of the year so far. I have 120lbs of ice in a plastic tub and an industrial-grade fan blowing that cool air at my data rack right now.

With any luck, I'll be able to sync and restore databases back at the hosting center this evening but I've had a miserable couple days.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My roommate just let me know that she's been hired to work for a concert promotion group centered around a major venue in Chicago. I should to be able to get a media pass to take pictures of music acts people have actually heard of, instead of the guys who play my local 500-seat theater.

The one local concert I genuinely would've like to see, for concert-photo purposes, was a guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen. My contact at the theater had covid while he was in town, so I couldn't get a pass for that show. The local theater winds up having a lot of bands fronted by former Disney TV stars and right wing comedians who can't get booked in Chicago proper, but every once in a while a miracle happens and a legitimately famous performer will play out here.
 

LunarMist

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My datacenter was sold to a new party last month. The way that I found this out is that the new owner did not pay their bill to Cogent, which disconnected hundreds of servers, including mine, and forced just shy of three days worth of outage before an agreement to re-peer was put in place.

Of course, this happened while the new operations people were trying to switch over their redundant link to one operated by Lumen, but the new people let the old backup link go down before the new one was up and tested, which officially makes all of this the biggest comedy of errors I've seen in about 15 years. The only reason *I* get the tea on all of it is that I know the on-site operators well enough to have their personal cell numbers.

The good news is that I finally got to test full failover plans I've had in place for ages. The bad news is that I have 8U worth of servers powered on in my apartment, which does not really have air conditioning, on the hottest and most humid days of the year so far. I have 120lbs of ice in a plastic tub and an industrial-grade fan blowing that cool air at my data rack right now.

With any luck, I'll be able to sync and restore databases back at the hosting center this evening but I've had a miserable couple days.
Just why is that not at another datacenter or your local home office? What happened to the A/C?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I don't have AC. Old apartment, not something I feel I need in general. I'm used to being warm.

I pay for decent internet at my place (1000 down, 100 up + a 120MBps synchronous connection from a long haul wifi link to municipal fiber). I have a large battery backup and my home has a certain level of physical security because it's my home, and of course I have physical access to hardware here. Those things combine to make a good-enough candidate for a warm site, versus paying $250 - $300/month to rent 13U and a /28 from a second colocation facility.

It just sucks when everyone is actually using it.
 

Handruin

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I'm surprised you couldn't rent a free-standing AC unit that you vent out a window for a few days versus dealing with the ice and humidity.
 

Mercutio

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I'm surprised you couldn't rent a free-standing AC unit that you vent out a window for a few days versus dealing with the ice and humidity.

I had one. My landlord didn't want me venting the condensate out a window. and I don't want to run a hose through my whole living space, so I sold it and just live with it. I'm not even complaining.
 

Mercutio

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Catching up on posts from my crummy weekend...
Well, the 5600G is only, like, 20 bucks extra right now I think. For me, considering I'm running a dGPU anyway, I don't care if it has an iGP or not.

The newer 5600G and 5700Gs are actually looking pretty solid overall as a mid-tier build. AMD recently relented and released BIOS updates to let affordable B350 and 450 boards use 5000-series Ryzen, which makes the high end APU parts a lot more interesting. The Vega APU isn't anything to write home about, but unused budget GPUs made in the last decade are still stupid expensive.
 

LunarMist

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I built a 5700G Micro-ATX last year on the B550M. It works fine without video if you are not playing games or something.
 

sedrosken

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Well, I'm moved. Fought with my modem for about an hour before Cox's "activation" page finally crawled up. Thankfully once it got itself configured, it works fine -- I even get a bit more throughput than I paid for, I was hitting about 297mbps down and 11.8 up and I'm only paying for 250/10. My home network is up and running with the cable hookup in the office -- thank god it had one, I was not looking forward to the prospect of running a long CAT5E cable along the wall from the living room into the office to where my rack is.

Overall it's... small. The kitchen is better classified as a kitchenette, I have almost no storage space -- ONE usable drawer, no pantry, and a scant few cupboards. I don't have much counter space, just enough to set up a dish drying rack. I'm going to have to use my table as a prep surface. The living room is weirdly laid out but surprisingly spacious given the square footage, as are the bedrooms, one of which I'm using as an office as I've said numerous times.

It's all carpeted so I'm going to need to get a chair mat for the office and a vacuum cleaner as soon as I can. Otherwise, I might grab a modern TV to have something to zonk out to on the couch since my CRT isn't really best suited to content consumption these days, but I'm doing ok on essentials. Thankfully my rent next month is prorated for the amount of time I lost this month, so I have extra breathing room there.

Catching up on posts from my crummy weekend...


The newer 5600G and 5700Gs are actually looking pretty solid overall as a mid-tier build. AMD recently relented and released BIOS updates to let affordable B350 and 450 boards use 5000-series Ryzen, which makes the high end APU parts a lot more interesting. The Vega APU isn't anything to write home about, but unused budget GPUs made in the last decade are still stupid expensive.

The 5500 I got for 139.99 is an absolute bargain at that price. The 5600G was 180 and all it added was an iGP, which I don't need since I've got a 1070 anyway. I may find myself wishing I'd grabbed the 5600X instead since it was 200, but I really don't think an extra 60 bucks is worth it for just double the L3 cache -- I've got mine running in PBO anyway, ratcheting the limit up to 4.4GHz turbo, and it actually manages to hit it. It's plenty of CPU for what I'm doing now. Even the 1600AF it replaced was only insufficient for a couple of tasks.
 

jtr1962

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I had one. My landlord didn't want me venting the condensate out a window. and I don't want to run a hose through my whole living space, so I sold it and just live with it. I'm not even complaining.
Meanwhile my heat tolerance has always been close to zero ever since I was a kid. So far I've managed to get this far into June without turning on the A/C, but only because it's been a relatively cool June, with most days in the 70s. The few days in the mid 80s, plus one day in the mid 90s, were brutal. Friday will be another scorcher but then it's back to high 70s until late next week. Once it's consistently low 80s or better the A/Cs are going on. What mostly saved me this June was the fact temps dropped into the 60s at night. I could put on a fan by the window sucking in outside air to cool the house down overnight. It starts the next day off cooler, so it doesn't get as uncomfortable during the day.

I'm going to probably buy this end of season. It uses about 400 watts less than the current A/C in the living but as a bonus it throttles down the compressor to maintain temperature. Between both things it will probably cut my cooling bill for that room in half.
 

Handruin

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Have you seen this style of window AC unit? A buddy of mine sent this link to me and we both thought the idea was brilliant for a window AC. They even make a heat pump version for all year use. I don't know if it's any good in comparison to the one you linked.


Soleus Air Exclusive 8,000 BTU Energy Star First Ever Over The Window Sill Air Conditioner
 

sedrosken

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I saw something similarly U shaped on Amazon, only the other way around and about half the price. I'd be interested in that model for the office if it wasn't an eye-watering 600 dollars. Ouch.

Honestly my central air doesn't seem to be doing that bad, it does seem to be staying on pretty much 24/7 though, just trying to keep it at 72. I had it set to 68 while I was moving but it was consistently 76-78 because the door was open for so long.
 

jtr1962

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Have you seen this style of window AC unit? A buddy of mine sent this link to me and we both thought the idea was brilliant for a window AC. They even make a heat pump version for all year use. I don't know if it's any good in comparison to the one you linked.


Soleus Air Exclusive 8,000 BTU Energy Star First Ever Over The Window Sill Air Conditioner
Yeah, I saw that one, as well as the Midea U version. For me it's moot since I mounted all of our air conditioners through the wall. I like the idea of a unit that heats and cools but I'd still want one with inverter technology. The fridge I bought in late 2017 has that. It makes lots of sense to throttle down the compressor instead of cycling it one and off.
 

LunarMist

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I thought most all US homes less than ~60 years old have the internal A/C, expect maybe Alaska. I've seen a lot of wall A/Cs in hotels, presumably as a cost saving measure. They are often too noisy for home use.
FWIW, there was no A/C in most homes when I was stationed in Europe many years ago, but it was cold in the winter and they liked to sweat the summers without it. I start to overheat by 23°C so I like it around 21.0-21.5°C, depoedning on %RH.
 

jtr1962

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I thought most all US homes less than ~60 years old have the internal A/C, expect maybe Alaska. I've seen a lot of wall A/Cs in hotels, presumably as a cost saving measure. They are often too noisy for home use.
I'd say more likely most homes built in the last 40 years or so. That's when central air really started to take off.
FWIW, there was no A/C in most homes when I was stationed in Europe many years ago, but it was cold in the winter and they liked to sweat the summers without it. I start to overheat by 23°C so I like it around 21.0-21.5°C, depoedning on %RH.
I'm pretty much the same. If I'm not moving around I can barely tolerate high 70s to about 80°F. If I'm active, 65 to 70 tops. I don't like doing yard work outside unless it's in the low 60s or lower.
 
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Handruin

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I am also looking at a AC unit that is capable of stages like the one you're interested in. I have a contractor coming out next week to give me some ideas as I would like to consider replacing my natural gas heater with a high efficiency heat pump and AC, something like the Trane xv20i.
 

LunarMist

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I'd say more likely most homes built in the last 40 years or so. That's when central air really started to take off.

I'm pretty much the same. If I'm not moving around I can barely tolerate high 70s to about 80°F. If I'm active, 65 to 70 tops. I don't like doing yard work outside unless it's in the low 60s or lower.
Maybe you have more data or it was different in the South-West. I have seen several homes from the 50s originally with the Swamp Coolers and houses from the 1960s all had A/C. The condenser units had horizontal fans that were very loud. Many of them lasted into the 70s and were replaced when electricity was more expensive and people starting caring more about efficiency.

I haven't done yard work since having some ortho works and other issues in the 00s. Technically I was on the 50# before that, not that I needed to do more than 25# after Europe.
 

jtr1962

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I am also looking at a AC unit that is capable of stages like the one you're interested in. I have a contractor coming out next week to give me some ideas as I would like to consider replacing my natural gas heater with a high efficiency heat pump and AC, something like the Trane xv20i.
That's among my to do items in the next few years, along with solar power. I'm looking for some way to keep most of my existing hot water system intact. In theory it shouldn't be hard. The pipe for the hot water heating loop which gets heated by the oil furnace would instead be heated by a geothermal heat pump. I can keep all the existing piping, registers, and water pumps.

Where it gets interesting is if I want to use that same system for cooling, since in theory a heat pump can cool the water instead of heating it. The big problems are the fact the registers are designed for convective heating, plus condensation. So here's what I'm thinking. When it's in cooling mode there will be fans to force air over the registers. This will give a lot more BTUs of cooling for any given water temperature. By definition the water temperature has to remain above 32°F, so how fast air moves over the registers will give a hard limit on the cooling power. It should be sufficient. Condensation? I'm thinking of a collection tray under the registers, and running a small (1/2"?) copper tube through the brick wall so the condensate drains outside. In winter I can put rubber plugs in the tubes to keep the cold out.

Any thoughts? If someone can design a practical system like this they will have a HUGE market. A lot of homes in the northeast especially have these types of hot water heating systems. Keeping most of the system intact is a great idea for a bunch of reasons.
 

sedrosken

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I have a bookcase now! and it's in my office with most (if not all) my assorted knickknacks and books and of course storage media that I've accumulated over the last few years, now.

One problem: it's full, and if I get any more junk I'm going to have to get another one. I have room, I guess.

It's the first time in well over a year I've been able to have most of my stuff out of storage bins. What's left in them is bedding and some unseasonable clothes.

I spent well over two hours last night doing dishes because I had to wash every single one and piece of cookware I own, as almost all of them are new and/or passed on to me.
 

Handruin

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That's among my to do items in the next few years, along with solar power. I'm looking for some way to keep most of my existing hot water system intact. In theory it shouldn't be hard. The pipe for the hot water heating loop which gets heated by the oil furnace would instead be heated by a geothermal heat pump. I can keep all the existing piping, registers, and water pumps.

Where it gets interesting is if I want to use that same system for cooling, since in theory a heat pump can cool the water instead of heating it. The big problems are the fact the registers are designed for convective heating, plus condensation. So here's what I'm thinking. When it's in cooling mode there will be fans to force air over the registers. This will give a lot more BTUs of cooling for any given water temperature. By definition the water temperature has to remain above 32°F, so how fast air moves over the registers will give a hard limit on the cooling power. It should be sufficient. Condensation? I'm thinking of a collection tray under the registers, and running a small (1/2"?) copper tube through the brick wall so the condensate drains outside. In winter I can put rubber plugs in the tubes to keep the cold out.

Any thoughts? If someone can design a practical system like this they will have a HUGE market. A lot of homes in the northeast especially have these types of hot water heating systems. Keeping most of the system intact is a great idea for a bunch of reasons.

I wonder if there's a better way to divert the cooling part of this to a water-to-air exchanger so that condensation and circulation is managed more appropriately. I get that you want to leverage your existing radiators but it sounds like a tough challenge to be able to circulate the radiated air automatically when the thermostat calls for cooling as well as managing the condensate from each radiator. Cutting/drilling several holes in your brick wall makes me cringe a bit versus finding another way to remove it all.
 

jtr1962

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I wonder if there's a better way to divert the cooling part of this to a water-to-air exchanger so that condensation and circulation is managed more appropriately. I get that you want to leverage your existing radiators but it sounds like a tough challenge to be able to circulate the radiated air automatically when the thermostat calls for cooling as well as managing the condensate from each radiator. Cutting/drilling several holes in your brick wall makes me cringe a bit versus finding another way to remove it all.
A separate cooling loop might make more sense, and yes, I wouldn't be thrilled with the idea of drilling holes in the brick wall. I might be nice if someone already designed a system similar to what I had in mind, and worked out any kinks.
 

Handruin

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You could always install a traditional condensation drain and piping if you have a basement or lower area below the registers. Since I know you're handy with electronics, it might be simple work for you to setup some kind of a relay that clicks on all the fans at the radiators when a thermostat calls for cooling.
 

jtr1962

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You could always install a traditional condensation drain and piping if you have a basement or lower area below the registers. Since I know you're handy with electronics, it might be simple work for you to setup some kind of a relay that clicks on all the fans at the radiators when a thermostat calls for cooling.
Even easier than that for the fans. I simply put a temperature sensor on the radiators. When the temperature of any radiator drops below, say, 50°F the fan kicks on. When it goes above that the fan goes off. I keep the house well above 60°F in the winter, so the fans will never come on during heating season, even when there's no hot water circulating through the system. When the cooling comes on, the fans will go on once the radiators get cold enough to provide decent cooling effect. Best part of the whole idea is I don't need to wire anything to the thermostat. I can have DC fans and a circuit board in each register, powered by a wall wart.

Good idea to have some sort of traditional drainage system. It can all ultimately drain in the same pipe my washing machine drains in.
 

Mercutio

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I did some amount of BLM protesting in 2020 and I've gone to other rallies and events since. I was at one event that turned somewhat violent. Chicago has notoriously brutal police though, so I took PPE gear and left my phone and camera (my good camera stays behind anyway; I have an old Panasonic Lumix and some Akaso action cams for activism, mostly for keeping track of who cops are pushing around) behind, thinking it might get ugly yesterday.

I have a "protest buddy", a 73 year old African American woman who lived through everything the 60s could throw at her. If she messages me, I go too. She was angry about George Floyd and the last election but she was looking very, very tired yesterday.

The protest was the most sullen and perfunctory event I've seen. A lot of people were clearly angry, but there weren't many heads held high. We chanted and yelled and there were a lot of pro-life people jeering at us, but we basically walked ~6 blocks from Federal Plaza to Grant Park and dispersed peacefully. Tomorrow is the Pride Parade in Boystown. I usually take a few friends up there anyway, because it's a good time, but this year I think it might turn in to more of a rally.

Many of my young friends are same-sex attracted people, and the opinion from Clarence Thomas in particular is absolutely chilling. A fundamental right was stolen yesterday, and we can look forward to losing Obergefell (same sex marriage) and Griswald (the right to CONTRACEPTION) if the makeup of the court is not altered in a very severe way. I actually think the current court would end Full Faith and Credit if it means being able to destroy progressive social norms.
 

sedrosken

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Yeah, since the verdict I've felt no small amount of dread. Being straight, white and male I'm not significantly affected directly, but most of my friends don't fit that mold, and a lot of my family doesn't either. As George Carlin said best, though, they're not rights if someone can just take them away. Merc, if I lived closer I'd consider joining you, but I'm some 1000ish miles away from the Chicago area.
 

jtr1962

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Sure, this ruling doesn't affect me, but it's just the start at gradually chipping away at our rights. Sooner or later I'll lose rights which do affect me. There's also the pending West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency case. The planet is something I care about deeply. This ruling could gut any attempts at mitigating climate change.

Thomas should be impeached based on his wife's conduct on January 6. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett should be removed for lying under oath during their confirmation hearings. All three are Federalist Society hacks who never had any business on the Supreme Court.

The GOP is using the courts to pass an agenda which would never fly at the voting booth.
 

Handruin

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I am angered and frustrated for all the women and families these Republicans are affecting with their shitty agenda. It's disgusting to me that they feel they should have any say over the rights and autonomy of a woman's body and self to reverse decades of progress for their conservatism. I don't give a damn about their religious scapegoat or what their bible says. They can personally choose to follow it for themselves, but keep their ideologies out of the rest of the women who should be allowed the choose for themselves.
 
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