Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Archive for the 'Computer hardware' Category

New server up and running

September 14th, 2008

As I mentioned earlier this summer, I built a new server to power several pieces of my network at home as well as my website and email services.  After much testing and careful planning, I can now happily say that the website is running on this new server.  The site is now much more responsive thanks to larger memory and other resource allocations than it had previously.  Luckily, this transition happened with very few issues, so most would not have noticed the change until this announcement.  Read on for more details about the server.

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New server coming soon

July 10th, 2008

For those interested, I am building a new server that will end up hosting and many other services within the next couple months.  I have already put together a decently powerful computer that is running CentOS 5 and allows for multiple virtual machines to run simultaneously.  These virtual machines will replace the following existing hardware and server instances: my webcam server, my home web server, my home router/firewall server, and my virtualized web/email server currently hosted by RimuHosting.  More info to come on this little project!  I hope to share more details on my final hardware and software configuration.

MacBook Air first thoughts

February 23rd, 2008

So, a week and a half ago I received a lovely, little package in the mail.  It was a MacBook Air, Apple's newest, thinnest, and lightest notebook computer.  I can say, without a doubt, that this is the best laptop I have ever seen, used, or owned.  It is not the right laptop for everyone, but it fits my needs perfectly.  I have little need for extra USB ports or an optical drive while I'm away from my desk.  The combination of its beautiful, widescreen, LED-backlit display, its full-size keyboard, and its surprisingly light weight make this computer a pleasure to use and carry around.  Despite its thinness, the MacBook Air runs Mac OS X very well.  I am using the 1.8GHz processor + 80GB HDD configuration.  To be honest, most of my comparisons are against my old 1GHz 12-inch PowerBook G4, but for someone like me, who has a powerful quad-core Xeon Mac Pro as a desktop, the MacBook Air still does an excellent job of holding its own.  The computer runs Aperture quite well (I just installed Aperture 2 a couple days ago), which certainly says something given the requirements of that application.  This new laptop allows me to be more productive away from my desk without being too much of a burden to lug around.  Additionally, it is Apple's most environmentally friendly computer to date.  For that, it is worth my money.

Off from NASA, back to computer hacking…literally!

August 12th, 2007

Well, I just finished cutting a hole in a computer case with a hack saw. I can't say I'm the most experienced at using such tools, especially since I broke 2 or 3 blades in the process. But now the rear case fan has plenty of open space to move warm air out of the case of my MythTV system. Now you know what former NASA employees do on the weekends ;). Yes, that's right, I have finished my co-op at NASA Langley for the summer. Fortunately, the response to the work I did was so positive that I should be able to continue providing at least an advisory role to some areas of the Center. I had a great time working for NASA and hope that is not the last time our paths cross.