I’m Back

Just over 4 years away from the blogging world and plenty has occurred outside of this little corner of the internet. Just a few major things of note, this website is on a new host courtesy of a local friend and other one that might have been noticed on the home page I am no longer in Sonoma County. This was a side effect of several personal events that happened in 2020 during the COVID pandemic that racked the globe. I have majorly upgraded both my workspace and collection to the point of busting at the seams. I am in desperate need of a large workspace at this point.

In terms of main workstations; I have long since upgraded from my Sandy Bridge i5 2500k and 1080Ti setup that carried me through the last half of the 2010s. Despite its continued reliability; it was getting long in the tooth, and I was giving an opportunity to upgrade for essentially free as long as I kept the source quiet. The new board was a GIGABYTE Z170MX with 32GB of DDR4 and a flashy new (to me, at least), Skylake i7 6700k. I very quickly tore down SerenityMfm v1; scavenging the drives, GPU, and power supply from it, and everything went in a very stout HAF 932 case. Everything went together rather quickly, and even Windows barely balked at the upgrade. I did get an opportunity to upgrade to a 3080 about a year after that upgrade and that’s where it currently sits. The Sandy Bridge board went into an ATX rackmount case for later use as I’m absolutely terrible about tossing out boards that still work, and work well for that matter. Sometime late last year I managed to source a ASUS ROG Strix B450-F for absolutely cheap, and found someone locally selling a 5900x. I have yet to install this on my main rig as I cannot afford the downtime while in school. (Despite what Current Machines says)

In terms of retro computing; oh boy buckle up– because so much has happened in 4 years. Last time I posted my collection was incredibly small, and had a few Silicon Graphics workstations and several Apple machines. Since then, this collection has ballooned into an amalgamation of a general year range of 1987 and 2005, with the only things not collected yet being minicomputers from the late 70s and early 80s, and incredibly rare or expensive systems. I have even owned a SGI Crimson in that time- a machine I thought I would never be able to call my own. It has since been handed off to a museum so they could give more care to it that I ever could (despite them killing it a few months after they set it in the museum, allegedly). I have also managed to secure multiple Amigas- a long time coming from the single 500 I owned in 2019. I am also now the owner of 3 network racks, something I said years ago I’d never do. Whats worse is that I’m in the market for a fourth. I have upgraded my repair skills from simple troubleshooting and software installations to being somewhat skilled in soldering and hardware repair and advanced troubleshooting. I have yet to have any clients beyond my friends and family; but that might change in the coming years as I am getting much better at trusting my skill level. I have also become a regular exhibitor at Vintage Computer Festival West, having displayed in 2021, 2022, 2023 and soon to be 2024. This collection is somewhat fluid, with plenty coming and going over the years as my interest in certain machines ebb and flow. The major common denominator between most has been a special interest in rackmount equipment and sbc based machines as of late. (Early 2024)

Profession-wise? Yeah I’m no longer a School Bus driver, after 10 years of transportation related jobs. I am now back in college to obtain a double major in Cybersecurity and Electronics. The eventual end goal would be a Masters in Computer Science- but that’s many years down the line.

Now back to this blog. I do plan to start documenting my projects so all of you can see the repairs and upgrades- both the good repairs and the cursed ones (as I’m a firm believer of “if it works, I’ll use it”). I will not give any kind of an update schedule at this time due to my proven lack of ability to stick to a schedule-they’ll come as I work through projects.