Dell e310 upgrade

I’m starting to get annoyed with the reliability of the USB chip sets in my external disks (of which I have six), so I am considering upgrading to a home theatre style case for my Dell e310 so I can have room to move the disks to inside the case. There are of course warts — the Dimension e310 appears to have a BTX mother board (


). Additionally, no one seems to make a BTX home theatre PC case, which sucks.

So, I might end up having to replace the entire machine, which isn’t so cool. I’m gonna put all of this on hold until I can apply more thought to it.

On home sound systems

My temporary apartment in Santa Clara came with a $500 US Bose alarm clock, which is of interest firstly because it’s an amazing amount of money to spend on something as trivial as an alarm clock, and secondly because it sounds fantastic. It has an impossibly large amount of bass for something so small.

I initially thought I would buy one, but at $500 US, there is little chance of that happening. I also need some way of spreading the musical joy around the entire house before I go crazy, so I suspect that I might just end up with a bunch of Squeezeboxes or equivalent around the house.

More details when I’ve finished surfing and deciding what I want to implement.

What are we doing with the pets?

We own a dog and a cat. We’ve had the cat, Taffy, for a long time and he’s quite old now. The dog, Spike, on the other hand hasn’t been with us for very long. So, when we move to the US, what are we going to do with the pets? Well, the cat is relatively easy, as he’s too old to cope with a move, and is quite attached to my father. He’ll be staying in our current house, which dad will be renting from me.

The dog, Spike is harder. The kids are now quite attached to him, having been initially scared of him (we got him as a puppy, and the kids didn’t like that puppy phase too much). He’s now a year old or so. On the other hand, he didn’t like the flight from Sydney to Canberra when we acquired him, so a 14 hour flight to the US is too much for him. If we don’t like the US and want to come home really, soon then he would also end up in quarantine, a four hour drive away from us, for a very long time (around three months I believe).

Worse than that, we’re probably going to end up in an apartment in the US, and that would mean that he wouldn’t have a yard to play in…

In the end we ended up deciding that it was better if Spike staying in the US. we contacted the breeder and had a chat, and found a lady in Sydney who has been looking for a Labradoodle for a while. After her visiting us and meeting the dog, and us interviewing her, we decided to just give her Spike. It felt really wrong to even discuss money.

Spike now has a dog’s dream job — he’s a mascot for a Sydney school, and plays with the kids at before and after school care (which are urn by his new owner). he also gets to go for long walks every day, and play on the beach, which something we were somewhat lax about.

That’s what the trip to Sydney that I blogged about earlier was about. Spike was dropped off, and then we went to my father in law’s house for the night. The boys got skateboards in return for being strong about the whole thing. They still ask after Spike a little, but I think that they understand that we’re going on a bit of an adventure and that Spike is best off where he is.

That’s why I was at Freshwater breach for that surfing competition that day as well… That beach is about a five minute walk from Spike’s new home.

I honestly think we’ve done the right thing, but it’s still sad when I think about it.

JJJ’s hack

You can get the Triple J Hack podcast from iTunes or the Triple J website. I’ve just finished listening to the episode about young people with brain injuries. Did you know that there are over 6,000 young people living in old age nursing homes because our various governments can’t work out what to do with them? That’s pathetic.

For more information, checkout the young people trapped in nursing homes site.