IBM PSU not standard

System board connections of IBM Intellistation M Pro Type 6233 and 6850

Following advice from Graeme and Grant, I bought and tried out an ordinary ATX PSU to solve my PSU problem but unfortunately it hasn't worked out. It fits in reasonably well, with three of the screws able to go in, and only a small gap, but it's not got what I need.

The IBM system has two additional "AUX" power connectors, with eight and ten pins each. But standard ATX PSUs only have a single AUX connector, with only four pins.

Fortunately Adelong Computers have a 7 day return policy, so I can take the PSU back in on Monday. I'll take the IBM PSU in with me and see what they can suggest.

Is this some standard PSU?

24P6820

So the power supply on my MythTV server died last weekend with a bang. I'm hoping it didn't take all the other hardware with it, but first I need to get a replacement PSU in there. One nice thing about IBM hardware is the extensive documentation which tells me the power supply is Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) 24R2555 or 24P6820. All well and good, except the places selling these things online either don't ship to Australia or insist on maximum-cost couriers like UPS or Fedex, so a US$20 part ends up costing well over US$100. An eBay seller in the UK changed his mind and cancelled the sale after discovering postage was going to be £60 rather than the £25.90 he'd quoted me.

So can anyone, perhaps someone who knows their way around the bowels of IBM documentation better than me, tell me if this power supply follows some kind of standard I can source somewhere other than official Big Blue? It doesn't follow the same form factor

Pro-censorship Morans

You really couldn't make this up. The pro-censorship brains trust has descended on article about a death threat received by an anti-censorship campaigner.

SALLY of TOOWOOMBA Posted at 12:54pm today

PORNAGRAPHY IS A SIN AGAINST GOD AND JESUS AND WE NEED THIS FILTER TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM THE INTERNET. THE INTERNET IS CORRUPTING OUR CHILDREN WITH ALL THE PORNAGRAPHIES AND THE WEBSIGHTS. ONLY THRUOGH GOD CAN WE BE SAVED. IF YOU LOOK AT PORNAGRAPHIES YOU WILL NOT BE ACCEPTID INTO GODS KINGDOM. THE FILTER NEEDS TO STOP ALL BAD WEBSIGHTS, AND IT SHOULD STOP COMPUTER GAMES TOO. GO READ A BOOK INSTEAD, MORANS. OR READ THE ONLY TRUE BOOK, THE BIBLE.

Fixing a laptop cooler

Laptop cooler similar to the one I bought

Our laptop had some problems with heat in the recent spate of Summer temperatures. I pulled it apart and gave it a vacuum. Sure enough, lots of dust and a fair few dead cockroaches. To prevent a recurrence, I bought one of those "laptop cooler" products which prop the laptop up and blow air up and over it.

Problem is, the one I bought had little blue "bling" LEDs and really loud fans. The LEDs make me feel like one of those pindicks from the suburbs with a Honda Civic that goes Uuntz Uuntz Uuntz, with a spoiler and an exhaust pipe that leaves you in no doubt where my own anatomy is deficient. The fans were just annoying. Any time I was using the laptop late at night, it annoyed me: bright lights that really wasn't needed, and a bit of a low roar from the fans.

Kneel before my 31337 soldering skillz

So I snipped off the wires leading to the LEDs, which solved that problem. And I put a little variable resistor into the path of the fans, so I can control the speed. I used a 50K logarithmic pot, and now think I should have used a lower value or a linear. Still, works fine.

So now no bling lights, and the fans are dialed down to not make much noise but still move plenty of air. All for the price of a variable resistor, which was about $2.50.

Bling free

Beer's Estate Marrickville

Beer's Estate Marrickville sale 12th December 1891

I managed to find a poster for the original sale of the land our house sits on from 1891 in the National Library of Australia's catalogue. $35 later and I'm the happy owner of a CD with a ridiculously high resolution scan of it.

Some interesting details in the picture. There's a road at the NW end of the street, which must have gone through Henson Park. The street numbering has clearly been reformed at some point, as it appears they numbered in the old style, with the numbers going around in a horseshoe rather than odd on one side, even on the other. And there seems to have been a tram line along Victoria Road. That would've been handy! Thanks Heffron and Cahill!

Explaining to an 8-year old

I've been babysitting my niece today and we got to watching a Goodies DVD I have. After getting through three episodes on one disc, she insisted on watching the South Africa episode. Now The Goodies are good entertainment in the same way as The Simpsons. There's enough dick and fart jokes, and physical humour, for the kids. And there's enough clever, intelligent humour for the adults.

The South Africa episode is a little different though. First I had to explain what Apartheid was all about, and why the rest of the world was boycotting and making fun of the white South Africans. But then how do you explain the cultural significance of blackface to an 8-year old growing up in a (somewhat) more tolerant era? (Hell, there was a biscuit called "Golliwog" sold by Arnott's in Australia in my childhood.)

So that was an amusing insight!