NEC Express5800/53Xg review

More reviews! I’ve always wanted to write these because there doesn’t seem to be many information on those. Most likely because they’re branded PC. Not only that, they’re branded workstation PC. Expensive new but dirt cheap second hand. Being workstation, I also expect them to last quite a long time.

Anyway, after the uselessness of Z210 SFF for desktop, I got its CMT version and used it for a while. That one has relatively similar specs, just larger and fit normal GPU and can supply enough power to it. There’s no problem with it except being large.

Surfing around Yahoo! Auction again, this time I found this NEC Express5800/53Xg. At 14100 yen total with shipping, it came with E3-1225, 4Gio of RAM, and two 250Go WD Blue hard drives.

Unlike the HP counterpart, this one is noisy. So bad that I ended up replacing the front 8cm fan with my spare Gelid fan. It helped a bit. Then I replaced the CPU HSF with the only one that seems to be compatible with it, Thermaltake Engine 27. It helped a lot. I also put some resistors on the tiny back fan. Also helped a lot.

Thankfully the headers are standard and BIOS doesn’t stop when it spots missing fans.

Unfortunately, it resulted in hot CPU. Mainly because the replacement HSF is rated for 70W TDP CPU while the installed CPU is 80W. Whoops. At least it works. Most of the time. Just a bit hot. 100°C hot.

And it’s still kind of noisy.

It doesn’t support Ivy Bridge CPU either so I can’t use E3-1230v2 which has 69W TDP.

On the bright side, it uses riser so it accepts full sized GPU. And the motherboard can also supply full 75W to it.

In the end, it’s usable for desktop. Kind of.

The other problem is it only has 2 RAM slots, maxing out at 16Gio. I thought it’s enough. Except it isn’t. Task manager is currently showing I’m using 14.6Gio which isn’t quite comforting. Electron apps are to blame but in the end I just need more RAM because I ultimately use those apps.

(WthasApp using 300Mio? Really? And Slack 500Mio? What the hell is this?)

It also has two gigabit ethernet which I have no use of.

Another small complain is it’s got slim DVD which isn’t as nice as normal drive. Mainly the attaching the disc part.

Internally there are only three SATA ports. And the hard drive cage, while completely standard, is a pain to install/remove drives with because it needs full removal of optical drive and the cage itself.

My unit didn’t come with rubber feet so I used this thing. Works pretty well.

Conclusion

  • usable for desktop (it’s my current desktop)
    • except it’s noisy and/or hot
  • should be fine for server as well if 16Gio is enough

The noise pretty bad and the heat is worrying so I’m considering replacing it with something else. Of course there’s Ryzen. But it’s expensive and is way more than what I need. It also won’t run Windows 7 unless Microsoft backs their stance. I may consider it next year but for now I don’t think it’ll happen. Maybe it’ll happen sooner than I thought.

Alternatively there’s another workstation candidate: Fujitsu Celsius J510. It also seems to support full sized GPU. Assuming it’s not too long, that is. Turned out the PCIe slot is at the bottom which means it only supports single slot GPU. Nope.

Left handed mouse

I’ve been using mouse left handed for a long while after (kind of) breaking my right hand thanks to playing a bit too much rhythm game and too lazy to visit doctor (and that it doesn’t hurt that much).

I initially switched the button using Windows’ built-in mouse button setting but learned that it breaks in various ways ranging from application not honoring the setting to just plain annoyance to having to set the thing at all.

Later I found this hardware-stored profile for certain mice and I’ve been happily using mouse left handed ever since.

There are quite a few things I noticed from switching side.

One main thing I first noticed is how much keyboard shortcuts are located on left side. From the most basic copy/paste, browser tab open/close, closing app, switching app, switching tab, escape key, and some keyboards don’t even have windows key on right side. Those are cause a slight annoyance when using mouse left handed because that means I need to switch position more often than needed. Either that or I just right click and do copy/paste stuff and set my mouse’s 5 additional buttons to do those tasks. I like my mouse.

The other thing is keyboard and mouse positioning is actually more balanced when using keyboard with numpad. The main keys on keyboard are pretty much located on the middle with numpad on right side and mouse on left side. Very convenient.

Oh and I have profile for both sides on my mouse so it’s just clicks away to switch its handedness.

I haven’t used right handed mouse for so long I find it weird now. And my accuracy have dropped as well. Combined with my left hand not being that accurate yet, I probably have overall even less accuracy on my mouse control now.

PHP 7!

Panzer vor! (☞゚∀゚)☞

Panzer vor! (☞゚∀゚)☞

# (build machine since the server itself doesn't have enough memory to build PHP)
root@openbsd:/var# /opt/php7/bin/php --version
PHP 7.0.0 (cli) (built: Dec  4 2015 21:50:31) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2015 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2015 Zend Technologies
root@openbsd:/var# uname -a
OpenBSD openbsd.myconan.net 5.8 GENERIC#1170 amd64

Oh look, this blog is now running on PHP 7 (under OpenBSD). Apart of OpenBSD-specific mysql socket path, everything seems to be working fine out of box. It seems to be slightly faster as well? Or maybe not, I guess WordPress is just so slow and no amount of speed ups can fix it.

Hopefully OpenBSD 5.9 will have it by default. Still no ports in sight though.

Configure parameters:

./configure --prefix=/opt/php7 --enable-fpm --with-openssl --with-pcre-regex --with-zlib --enable-bcmath --enable-calendar --with-curl --enable-exif --enable-ftp --with-gd --with-gettext --with-gmp --with-mhash --enable-intl --enable-mbstring --with-mysqli --enable-sockets --enable-sysvmsg --enable-sysvsem --enable-sysvshm --enable-wddx --enable-mysqlnd --with-webp-dir=/usr/local --with-jpeg-dir=/usr/local --with-freetype-dir=/usr/X11R6 --with-png-dir=/usr/local

Compiling xpdf (pdfimages) for Windows

…on a FreeBSD system. I recently needed a modified version of it for a good reason. Only tried for its pdfimages. Probably works for other components as well.

  1. Install these packages:
    • mingw32-bin-msvcrt
    • mingw32-binutils
    • mingw32-gcc
  2. Download, extract, go to xpdf source.
  3. ./configure --host=mingw32 --target=i686-mingw32msvc --build=i686-linux
  4. make pdfimages
  5. ???
  6. Profit!

Whoops, almost forgot one last step. Produced binary from steps above will require additional libraries to start. To make it run with just the binary, rerun the last compile command (from output of make) with additional arguments: -static-libgcc and -static-libstdc++.

[ Reference for configure script arguments | Reference for static build ]

Few weeks with Firefox

  • crashes every 1-2 days
  • slow
  • fail on loading large images which for some reason don’t happen on others’ Firefox. I think my Firefox is cursed or something
  • modal authentication in 2014
  • oh and it crashes again when I’m writing this post. Thankfully I’m doing this in Chrome

ss+(2014-09-30+at+03.19.48)

Building Latest Transmission in CentOS 6

By default, CentOS 6 (and other RHEL clones) only provides transmission 2.13. There’s alternative repository from transmission official site but it isn’t really all that “latest” either (and I don’t fancy adding random repositories).

First, compile libevent2:

  • install gcc and make
  • download and extract the source
  • ./configure --prefix=/opt/libevent2 && make && make install

And then compile transmission (hopefully you don’t need the gtk interface):

  • install gcc-c++
  • configure with PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/libevent2/lib/pkgconfig ./configure --prefix=/opt/transmission --disable-nls --enable-daemon
  • finally, make && make install
  • if there’re missing dependencies, just install them (they’re all in repository apart of libevent2)

Don’t forget to add path to transmission in bash default profile (in /etc/profile.d/custom.sh):

PATH="/opt/transmission/bin:${PATH}"

And done! Enjoy the latest transmission.

WordPress 3.2 has been released

So my crontab informed about new branch creation on BitBucket. And so I upgraded this blog.

[Here be the changelog](http://wordpress.org/news/2011/07/gershwin/). The significant change is obviously the new dashboard – which confirms my guess that users of [wordpress.com](http://wordpress.com) get updates of WordPress faster. As in, they get enhancements of `current` (`trunk`) branch before it moved to `stable` branch. Too bad the new `wp-stats` hasn’t made it to non-wp.com users – it looked pretty cool and use 100% less Flash.

Hopefully 3.2 means faster and lighter operation. I can’t believe I set `fastcgi_(read|send)_timeout` to 10 minutes to cope with some slow operations of WordPress (and SMF). Oh, also this blog runs using *multisite* and the main site is on [genshiken-itb.org](http://genshiken-itb.org) – which sadly is Indonesian – which means this blog is slower than ever because most things need to pass `index.php` first. Well, it’s not like this site will be slashdotted anytime soon anyway.

On other note, this site is accessible using IPv6. It’s still tunneled (through trusty [Tunnel Broker](http://tunnelbroker.net) though since Amazon EC2 doesn’t have native IPv6. The `ping` time to tunnel point is less than 2ms which is fastest I’ve ever seen so the speed should be still good enough even tunneled.

Server moved again

If you can see this post, you’ve come to the new server.

So, um, I bought a cheaper VPS package but this time for one year. Running loldebian since I’m having problem running FreeBSD in a KVM (calcru timer running backward or something in that effect). Things seems to be a bit slow as there are less usable memory – down from 256 MiB to 128 MiB. I guess I need to figure out how to install php-fpm painlessly to keep memory usage low.