Super high fidelity audio cables

No, because engineers don’t like snake oil.

So we’ll see just how good can 12 € 3m RCA cable be.

They wrote it is double shielded, but at this price, where 3m of copper cable often times is more than 12 €; let alone the connectors and the work; my hopes aren’t too high.

But hopefully good enough to replace my current absolutely non-shielded flimsy cables.

Sure they look good, but will that be enough?

s-l1600-3

Also, if that is gold, which I somehow doubt. Why have they coated the outer parts as well? Or is there tiny difference in color? It seems that the outer part is brighter, and the inner part looks more like real gold.

Thomann sells basic 3m cables for 2,90 € so I guess it is possible to build cables with shields for 12 €.

What changed?

Not much, because the white noise is still present. So the noise is probably coming form within the computer.

The home and type of rented Hetzner server

Here you can see what type of servers they seem to be using; ordinary cases and from what I can tell from within the Linux, the hardware is ordinary as well; mine has ASUS P8B WS motherboard which is workstation grade motherboard.

You can see they are using shielded cabling. But they do not seem to have hot isle design which is clearly visible from the temperatures of the hard drives; 46°C. Comparison is to my own servers which are rack mounted type and have much greater air flow, and mine are about 10°C cooler. But the temperature of hard drives isn’t too big of a factor when it comes to their durability and life span, so it should not be a problem.

I cannot read voltages from Linux so that’s a bit bummer. I have no way of knowing what the power supply condition is. If it is the original with 38 000 hours on it, and if it not of premium quality, those caps will dry fast and the regulation may suffer, and the whole server may die.

hetzner-datacenter

I also wonder what those in-series devices are:

hetzner-datacenter2

Most likely some sort of remote management and the wires going inside must be hooked to reset button.

The network speed, by the way, from Finland to their south-east Germany data center was about 216Mbps which isn’t bad at all.

hetzner-datacenter4

On right there is Nagios monitoring software and on the left you can see what looks like RRDtool graphs for traffic.

Movie: The Martian: thougths

Childish and full of errors.

If you want to see better movie, please see Apollo 13. Or if you want to see things about Mars, watch real NASA material.

Because you know in reality putting on a space suit does not take 7 seconds but three hours, which is quite frankly longer than the movie. So that’s all I am going to say about this.

Improvement to backup plan

So I intended to use Amazon Glacier but since I now have a need for external drive, I found out that when I buy Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable 500 GB it comes with 200 GB of free storage space in OneDrive, for two years.

And two years of 200GB in AWS Glacier would cost $56, and the drive costs 65€, but also of course comes with 500GB of normal hard drive space, so it’s quite a nice solution.

I would of course not store 200GB in Glacier, but if I did, the price I would pay for that over two years, would almost mitigate the price of that 500GB drive. So essentially by buying 500GB of disk space, and using OneDrive, I get it for free. Almost.

I don’t know if it has Linux support, but nothing prevents me from running virtualized Windows 7 and sharing the local backup location over NFS and then making the client on Windows sync that folder. Or something like that.

I don’t know how good OneDrive is, but if (since) it is marketed for Business use, it ought to be quite nice.

Personal energy consumption charts

Found out that my power company can give me fine grained details about my energy consumption:

snap1226

And since I pay by the Nordpool spot-price I could theoretically do something to minimize my bills:

snap1227

For the 12 first days of December it seems I have paid approximately 8,80c/kWh.

That constant consumption is almost all nothing but servers. Spikes are probably fridge and freezer and some cooking. And they give all this data in CSV so it would be possible to do some automation. Storing the electricity still isn’t viable because such a system would never pay itself back. Fun it would be to build something like that, that’s for sure.

Ps. the deepest dip on that chart is December 6th, or Finland’s independence day. So either it is purely coincidential or that day had such a dramatic affect on spot-price for that short period of time.

And since electricity is cheapest during weekends then that’s best time to do all heavy processing, and backups are best done at night as they now are. But there is not much to be done since that constant high consumption isn’t getting any lower because those are old servers and they cannot be put to any sort of sleep modes.

Safety upgrade for home data center

Simply because if it goes up in flames or if the active cooling somehow malfunctions, and because it is a good practise to have fire extinguisher at around any type of serious setup and it gives a good impression.

There is hot aisle in my setup and it is constructed from sound proofing material found in office buildings, so that, too, ought to be fire resistant and give some additional protection against catastrophic PSU failure, which has the potential to spark because those are high current devices and there is a lot of capacitance in form of electrolytic capacitors and if, for example, one of those was to short, it would make not only an explosion but a visible one.

So I strongly encourage anyone with any sort of system to get one. And it is a good practise to have one at home, regardless of what you have or don’t have.

serveimage (86)

Next step would be to purchase carbon dioxide in a canister and hook it to smoke detecting system, to operate a valve when fire or gasses would be detected.

That would be an interesting project but you might also end up killing yourself if you have too much carbon dioxide and something was to go wrong. So it would possibly require secondary or even tertiary monitoring system to make sure that never happened.

But that being said, get one of these.

And these are not expensive devices by any means. Little 2kg was 19.90 € and it should last (best by) for at least couple of years.

More about the DOOGEE smartphones

Update and thoughts on quality

I initially commented what a great deal their phones seem to be, and now I went back to look for more.

Found this video of DOOGEE production line:

First thing you notice is that some components are hand-soldered. I do not know if this is still common practise for large producers such as Samsung, but I doubt it. So this has potential to introduce some errors. But then you see they, at least some of them, wear masks to protect themselves from the fumes, and the fans suck the fumes away, so it surely is professional. Cheaper production line would not have suction. They would blow the fumes away and dilute them into air and then clean the air out of the building instead. All these cost money and when you have these it is an indication of better product.

Also testing is done. And they weat antistatic bracelets. And the workbenches seem to have antistatic mats. But we cannot know if those are grounded but they ought to be because if that many people were rubbing that matt it would have tens of thousands of volts presumably.

Also the fact that they have Youtube channel and their video is of high quality tells you something. They also have good lighting in factory. All in all nice enough looking factory.

And if you look at their Youtube channel they have HUGE amount of videos. Sure it can be scam marketing but I smell serious effort in those. To me all this looks like they have a reputation.

About DOOGEE as a company

They seem to be part of something called KVD which is Hong Kong company. So they do not come from the China per se, but from Hong Kong which is still different even though it was given back to China only not too long ago, and still has those differences compared to more communist China.

If you look at this promotional video, it is easily at the level of its Western counterparts:

DOOGEE X5

1949deal.com has a hands-on simple review of the device:

And another one more detailed:

I cannot find anything to complain about that device judging from these videos, especially when compared to what I paid for my super old HTC 6 years ago. For the price of that, I could now buy easily 5 of these. So I see very little reason to buy into big brand “Western” products, which still come from China, only they may have been originally designed in Europe or United States.

So no thank you for $600 iPhone to boost Apple stock from $800 to $900 per share, but thank you for DOOGEE for no non-sense smartphone. And if someone complains about performance because they want to get higher numbers in performance tests, then, please, go ahead and spend all the money in the world for the latest and greatest gadget toys with which to get more awes from your like-minded friends.

But for 60€ delivered this device is the best you can get. Only if the MediaTek MT6580 SoC datasheet was available somewhere I could take look at what this device is truly made of. But I will inquire that from MediaTek and if they get back to me I will take another look.

Booting UBCD with PXE

Did not want to burn CD to do CPU burn-in for the new setup so decided to use existing PXE to boot UBCD from there, and it worked out just fine.

  1. Copy the ubcd directory from the iso to your tftpd root directory (where the menu.c32 etc are)
  2. Benefit
default menu.c32
prompt 1
timeout 50

menu title ########## PXE Boot Menu ##########

label Ultimate Boot CD
   menu label Ultimate Boot CD
   kernel menu.c32
   append ubcd/menus/syslinux/main.cfg

snap962

snap963

I would also like to have some sort of rescue cd available from PXE so that I wouldn’t have to concern myself with seeking for the CD when something goes wrong.

And perhaps even latest Fedora or CentOS installations so that if something needs to be done ASAP then that can be done.

System Rescue CD PXE boot

Seems to be working fine:

snap964

tftp was bit slow but with http the 300MB image downloads in no time. And I must say, looking at this graphical display, this would have been useful in so many cases.

I do not have desktop machines laying around, so to be able to boot into one from anyone at will is a huge benefit. Of course if the server goes down then it goes down and nothing will help. So perhaps in an ideal world there would also be small “off-the-grid” Raspberry Pi serving this system.

snap966

 

Affordable smartphone

sku_400793_5

Has everything you need and the price delivered under 60 €. Hopefully backed by Chinese government and development funds because 60 € price is tough call to pull off without compromising quality.

But DOOGEE X5 looks really good not only visually but if you check the specifications:

Form Color White
RAM 1GB
ROM 8GB
Brand Doogee
Model X5
Quantity 1 Piece
Material Plastic
Shade Of Color White
Type Brand New
Power Adapter EU Plug
Housing Case Material Plastic
Network Type 2G,3G
Band Details 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz; 3G: WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz
Data Transfer GPRS,HSDPA,EDGE
Network Conversation One-Party Conversation Only
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b,g,n
SIM Card Type Standard
SIM Card Quantity 2
Network Standby Dual Network Standby
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Version V4.0
Operating System Android 5.1
CPU Processor MTK6580
CPU Core Quantity Quad-Core
Language Afrikaans / Indonesian / Malay / Czech / Danish / Germany(German) / Germany (Austria) / English(United Kingdom) / English(United States) / Spanish(Espana) / Spanish(Estados Unidos) / Filipino / French / Croatian / Zulu / Italian / Swahili / Latviesu / Lithuanian / Hungarian / Dutch / Norsk bokmal / Polish / Portuguese(Brasil) / Portuguese(Portugal) / Romanian / Rumantsch / Slovak / Slovenscina / Finnish / Swedish / Vietnamese / Turkish / Russian / Greek / Hebrew / Arabic / Hindi / Thai / Korean / Simplified Chinese / Traditional Chinese
Available Memory 4.7GB
Memory Card Yes
Max. Expansion Supported 32GB
Size Range 5.0-5.4 Inches
Touch Screen IPS
Screen Resolution 1280*720
Screen Size ( inches) 5.0
Camera Pixel Others,5.0MP (SW 8.0MP)
Front Camera Pixels 2.0MP / SW 5.0 MP
Flash Yes
Auto Focus Yes
Touch Focus Yes
Talk Time 680 minutes
Standby Time 72 Hour
Battery Capacity 2400 mAh
Battery Type Replacement
features Wi-Fi,GPS,FM,Bluetooth,OTG
Sensor G-sensor,Proximity,Gesture,Others,Light sensor
Waterproof Level IPX0 (Not Protected)
I/O Interface Micro USB,3.5mm,SIM Slot,Others,TF card slot
Radio Tuner FM
Packing List 1 x Phone
1 x Battery (2400mAh)
1 x Data cable (70cm)
1 x English user manual