New Workstation Build For Winter
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Author:  Fred [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

NUC and SSD in hand and SSD is in the NUC.

I can't get over how small the SSD is for what it achieves. Amazing technology, really.

The NUC feels solidly built and well designed. Little things like retained screws in the bottom cover and a quality feel for the power button ice the cake.

Amazon tells me RAM on Friday, so I guess I know what my weekend holds for me :-D

Tweet, tweet: ... 6770567168 ... 9207590914 ... 2722100224

Made a bit of progress on some technology that's relevant to this build up last night. More to come :-)

Author:  Fred [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Name suggested by Jeff: Phoenix

Names suggested by me: Genesis and meta

More welcome. Need something by this weekend, by the looks!


Maybe it's time to try Mint? Or Lint or whatever the LXDE variant is.

Author:  ToxicGumbo [ Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

With the substantial presidential talk here in the US and the transport/support vehicle names that go with the role (Air Force One, Marine One, etc.), I also offer the following for a dev/support computer name:

  • Fearless1
  • FearlessOne
  • FearlessWon?

Author:  Fred [ Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Hmmm, I kinda like it, but it's long, and yank-inspired, and doesn't work well as alllowercase.

Yesterday's discussion, clipped a bit:

Evening IRC wrote:
08:28 < Matthijs309> fredcooke has all new shiny parts for his Turing machine
08:50 < Matthijs309> you should call your new computer Thunderbird
08:50 < Matthijs309> because of all the goodies
08:51 < Matthijs309> with Fred starring as Brains
10:14 <@fredcooke> that belongs in the thread, don't be shy
10:15 <@fredcooke> what were the name of the different thunderbirds?
10:16 <@fredcooke> maybe it should be called Penelope or the butler?
10:16 <@fredcooke> what was his name?
10:17 <@fredcooke> Aloysius Parker Penelope's butler and chauffeur
10:17 <@fredcooke> parker
10:17 <@fredcooke> hmmm
10:18 <@fredcooke> if I end up writing my own hook based CI server mechanism... i'll call it that
10:18 <@fredcooke>
10:20 <@fredcooke> ... derson.jpg
10:21 <@fredcooke> Awesome, Lady Penelope's voice over is just as I imagine she should be! :-D
10:23 <@fredcooke>
10:24 <@fredcooke>
10:27 <@fredcooke> shadow, sentinel and more
10:27 <@fredcooke> i'm a big fan, in case you didn't guess
10:27 <@fredcooke> you might be onto a winner here
10:27 <@fredcooke> short earns points
10:28 <@fredcooke> sleek/aggressive/powerful/sophisticated/fast earns points
10:28 <@fredcooke> as for all parts, with luck, tomorrow, the last parts arrive
10:28 <@fredcooke> tonight some key parts were being created
10:29 <@fredcooke> then i got sleepy
10:29 <@fredcooke> good progress, though
10:36 < Matthijs309> Thunderbird 1 is the fastest
10:37 < Matthijs309> that would apply

And yesterday the courier called me and the RAM got delivered, so I installed it and took a few photos: ... 2613911552 ... 4899448832 ... 1262620674 ... 3859920896




Which was great, but then I tried to power it up and things didn't go as well:

Solid light, lots of fan, nothing on the screen.

Pulled RAM. Three flashes (mem error) on repeat. Good, this implies that it's happy with the RAM when it's in there.

Put RAM back, pulled disk, no difference.

Tried mini display port active adaptor, no dice. Tried apple DVI to HDMI adaptor, non dice. Took it to neighbour's place and connected HDMI to average/small/old TV, no dice. Skulked home to sulk.

Read online about bios updates and RAM etc. Learned about beeps that you need headphones plugged in to hear. Checked manufacture date and release dates of bios and fix lists, decided to upgrade it. Did it with the recovering method the first time, not clear if anything happened, said 2-5 minutes, gave it 7 minutes, and powered it down. Powering it up I got a single beep and then the same. Powering it up again, no beep, same.

Decided to retry the bios update with the press and hold and release mechanism, beep beep beep, release, and the LED flashed orange once and then returned to white/blue, instructions said 1-3 minutes, turned itself off in that range. Promising. Still no monitor activity on apple HDMI adaptor.

Researched a bit, HDMI 2.0 on this machine, and the monitor is the cheapest I could find in Spain/Germany 5 years ago. I suspect incompatibility of screen and output. I have no equipment to prove it, though. So today I might go pay some shops a visit, bundle of gear in hand, and see if I can get some life out of it. I only need a screen to get the OS onto it in the first place... then it can live headless as a workhorse.

Pretty disappointing evening, but some hope that I don't have a $2k paperweight :-D

Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

hornet (F18), the step up from falcon (F16)
nuc < too unimaginative
eagle < Irony with Kicad
sky < skylake CPU
dios < gods in Spanish



rat a tat tat, mako!

A very fast shark, very aggressive, beautiful to see in action or just cruising. I've killed and eaten a few :-) This one I'll try to keep alive, as soon as I get more suitable RAM, that is.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

First post from mako, firefox in the background while the installer runs :-)

Tweet, tweet: ... 5155648512 ... 3450253314 ... 6616687616




No lag in anything I'm doing, period. :-)

So to do this install I had to borrow a stick of 2133 RAM from another machine, cough. I need to send the other stuff back to Amazon, or sell it locally, and get some more that will work with this thing. Until then, it's just in waiting with a blank OS. Waiting for automation, and waiting for RAM. But it's alive, in spirit, at least.

Installer finished before I finished drafting the post! :-D peow peow.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Running fine, time to install SSH server and remove monitor and keyboard/mouse from it. I have until Sunday night to do what I need to - then the RAM has to come back out and go into the laptop I pinched it from.


Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Some references:

RAM that doesn't work yet:

Sales brochure: ... DR4_EN.pdf
Support site, general hyperx memory: ... del=memory
Product page:
Amazon product: ... op?ie=UTF8

NUC stuff:

Over clocking guide: ... istant.pdf
Locating XMP setting in bios: (I failed to find it despite trying manual in two places, but I didn't try changing the timings)
Thread about this exact RAM-NUC combo:
Thread about errors at 2400 speed in NUC:
Supported RAM list: ... 20648.html

It may be possible to make it work by configuring the bios correctly, however in my current state, that might be a bit beyond me. Might have another try tomorrow arvo if I feel like it. Today I feel like the overclock/tuning guide and the datasheet+FAQ entries are a bit heavyweight for me.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Thinking about monitors more after taking a look at some today and I'm wondering a few things:

1) 4k at 27 or 28 inches seems too fine of a dot pitch and too small to maximise value per pixel or visibility of small pixel count things
2) Currently using 1080p 15" laptop, and I kinda like the smaller *everything* but taken further it'd become a pain
3) So if I went 4k, I'd want a huge monitor, but the only really big one seems to be the philips with really bad burn in issues
4) Next up are WQHD monitors 3440x1440 which seems like a good place to be provided it's 30 something inches diagonal
5) But none of those 34 odd inch monitors get good reviews from the fussy due to back light bleed
6) And then there is also QHD monitors like the Dell U2717D at 2560x1440 in the high 20s inches, 27 or 28
7) Or I could just get 2 or 3 1080p/HD monitors side by side, like every office worker known to man these days

Something to think about into early next year and after the RAM situation is fully resolved.

Right now I'd be saying "definitely option 6" if the prices were more sane. Option 7 could be a winner, but I'm unsure about 3 on Linux, and 2 is annoying as the centre is not screen, it's frame/border/edge/gap/wall. If 3, perhaps vertically mounted, too? And if I go that route, I can buy them one at a time, as I can afford it.

Last job I had two decent monitors, and just kept one in front, and one off to the side, which worked OK for me.

A couple that look promising:

Dell U2717D 27" Ultrasharp InfinityEdge IPS @ 869nzd ... PS-LED-Mon
Dell UP2716D 27" Ultrasharp IPS @ 1099nzd ... or---The-n

Author:  Fred [ Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Workstation Build For Winter

Wishing it a good night's rest: ... 9959031808


Annnnnddddd: Success at the end of page two! :-D

Had a read of the tuning guide and ram spec sheet and a poke around in the bios and took a stab at setting it up for the Kingston 2400MHz CL14 RAM, and it booted up! Once. Then had memory corruption, and then wouldn't boot a second time.

So back in went the 8 gig 2133MHz stick... running at 2400MHz with the settings from the fancy stick... and allowed me to tweak those settings a bit more, so I raised the two minimums by 10% each and retried, rock solid! Thrashed all 32 gig of RAM with memtester and got it nice and warm, no errors!

Changed the fan settings too. Default "balanced" mode appeared to be 27% min fan duty, 2%/*C, 67C ramp start. So I made it 20% min fan duty, 80C ramp start, and 4%/*C so as to hit 100% DC on the fan by 100C which is max temperature. As you can see, 33 * 2 is 66, 66 + 27 is only 93% duty at 100C. I might increase the rate to 5%/*C to ensure it reaches full fan prior to cooking and turning off, however it adequately handled the abuse I threw at it earlier. My bigger worry was how hot the RAM sticks were getting with the cover off and no airflow over them. Once I put the cover back on the fan spun up a bit as it was drawing hot air from past the SSD and RAM. With no load it's nearly quiet, now. I could further silence it by reducing idle duty to 15 or 10% and increasing the ramp rate more, or lowering the ramp start point.

Screenshots and tweets:






Fan settings: ... 2351836160
Good mem settings: ... 6373440512
32 gig showing up: ... 3602193411
Kernel panic witb bad settings: ... 1141774336
Work laptop RAM stick that saved me: ... 4007279616
Work laptop SSD M2 stick for reference: ... 4734088192

Inlined as appropriate:






And now it's back to headless, but it's one hdmi and one usb away from headed any time I need it. And it can do most of what I want for the medium term without the monitor, anyway.

So now I have to find some work for the thing to do! I guess I'd better find some intensive memory and CPU loads to put on this thing to make it earn its keep ;-) That's how I justified it, this computer has to make me some money! Hopefully with a bit of friendly help from you lot! And a lot of hard work from me! :-)

And now the slow and careful task of migrating from the old Cheetah box to this new one begins. And once I'm migrated, Cheetah can become a mac build server, or something, who knows. Something that doesn't have important data on it, anyway, as the old disk is probably on borrowed time. Half of it has had extensive usage, and the other half is virtually unused. 300 gig spinning death :-)

Dinner time! And a busy week both 9 to 5 and 5 to 9.

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