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Everything posted by p0is0n

  1. Hey guys, My uncle wants to order a new machine tomorrow, before EOFY, so I said I would try to help out and get a decent deal. I would love to find a suitable machine from dell/hp/lenovo/misc (just the machine, no screen/kb etc.) so that it just works, and I don't have to worry too much about warranty. I haven't been impressed by anything on offer from them, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places, so I am after suggestions on a good deal, for example HP micro servers are 45 pounds on sale in the UK right now, that's about $75-80 for a complete PC, probably not the best idea for a home user but doesn't have to be powerful. I decided to just spec something up, and it seems to be much better value than anything I can find online, they have an OS from their current machine so that's not included. The PC will only be used for internet/office/email/music so nothing demanding. We will probably be ordering tomorrow, so that the invoice has this financial years date on it. Does anyone know if it's still possible to claim depreciation if I order parts from 2-3 different stores, as I don't really want to pay shipping on a case from melb, but it's looking to be only marginally more expensive to get it all from the same store on the same invoice. including shipping. If anyone in the know can explain this, that would be awesome. I have a lot of clients who are accountants, so could possible ask one of them if I can't find confirmation. I've always just claimed my own depreciation, and always buy parts, but don't want to give the wrong advice to family. Cheers. Edit: Can order most of it from one shop in perth, slightly diff board but still will work for this build. This would be my preference to PCCG. I will need to get them to order me the 350w PSU so will ring up tomorrow. Still after suggestions though!
  2. 15/10 EDIT: Feel free to discuss any kind of file server/NAS in this thread, lets not restrict it to simply HP microservers, although in my totally bias opinion they are great, there are plenty of other options in all shapes, sizes and flavours. Firstly, I am not a very good writer, there are going to be typos, spelling errors (which I may pass off as typos), incorrect use of grammar and probably other mistakes. I also tend to repeat myself or go on and on about boring things, If this bothers you, consider stopping now. Secondly, this is part opinion, part experience and part review and possibly part tutorial, an overall impression I suppose. I recently purchased a HP microserver to use as both a HTPC, a NAS & as an excuse to get my hands dirty in the world of Linux. I do have some basic Linux exposure, but I've never used it on a machine I owned and never learned the ins and outs. I have learned these are very popular pieces of kit, many people have them, many of those people have more than one and I know a few atomicans have quite recently acquired one. There are two flavours, the N40L (current model) and it's predecessor, the N36L. Both are very simillar, the N40L differing only in CPU clock speed and possibly a few other tweaks. These boxes are so full of potential, you can use them for many different things such as NAS, HTPC, VMWare Lab or (shock) even as a plain old server for small business/the home. I've been so impressed with it that I have decided to document my experiences with it so far and share them in the hopes of generating discusion and learning something new. I've read about many people using them for either NAS or HTPC but rarely both. My knowledge is pretty limited so if you feel you can suggest a better way of doing something, please do. Before I even bought the N40L I was set on experimenting with ZFS as I've heard a lot of good things, and recently had some exposure to Nexenta at work, and I liked what I saw. As much as I would have liked to run a Solaris based OS like Solaris Express, OpenIndiana or Nexenta, I also intended to use the machine for a HTPC (read: needs to have a GUI) and so decided to use Ubuntu Linux as it is well supported and documented (good for a noob like me) and has a good range of software available. ZFS is not readily available under Linux due to licensing restrictions and needs to be ported over, I was sceptical at first but it seems the technology is quite stable and there are few reported issues. First things first, a picture of the microserver in all its glory as I unboxed it earlier this week. While overall a very attractive, well designed box (it does fit a lot into a small chassis), I feel the top 1/3 could have been better utilised, although some people will feel compelled to install an optical drive here, I would rather cram more disks in. On the back of the door, you will find a small torx tool and as many screws as you will need, which was a nice touch IMO. I won't bore you with pictures of the stock interiors, a quick google will fill you in, I will just get straight to it. I had 3x 2TB WD Green HDDs & 2x 1TB WD Green drives sitting in my desktop PC very close to full, this contains mostly music, tv shows, movies and other downloads. As I realised I was starting to accumulate a lot of data, the thought of losing a HDD became more of a concern. There is no mission critical data stored here, but losing 2TB of TV shows would take a while to recover from. I wanted some redundancy, and I wanted to be able to turn off my power hungry desktop when I was not using it. This is where the N40L begins to look attractive, using around 15W at idle and up to 40W under load I could leave it running 24/7 for torrents/NZB and serving media. The N40L can accomodate 4x 3.5" drives and 1x 5.25" drive by default, although I have seen as many as 9 HDDs stuffed into one of these boxes. It has 1x mini-SAS port (includes SFF8087 to 4x SATA cable), 1x SATA port (for ODD) and 1x eSATA port (on the rear), although by default the ODD SATA port and eSATA port do not run at full speed/AHCI mode. You will need a modded BIOS to unlock this feature, and a few other tweaks. Naturally, this was the first thing I did, as I intended on installing 5x 2TB 3.5" drives in total. I won't go into the specifics (unless anyone is interested) as it is pretty straightforward. After moving all my data off my 3x 2TB drives (took a few days coping to many smaller HDDs, mostly USB) I inserted 4x 2TB into the 4x non hot swap bays inside. I wanted to use the 5.25" bay to install my 5th HDD and so I happened to have a bracket available. It allows some ventillation which is a bonus, and is easy to slide in and out thanks to the design of the N40L. I ran the sata cable down the left side along with the SAS cable to the mainboard. For some reason the PSU only has molex connectors, so its BYO molex -> sata power adapter. The N40L only has VGA out by default, and no audio out at all, so a low profile video card with HDMI would be required, I went with a HD6450 1GB for about $35 as it is low profile, passive cooled and has well documented compatability. Removing the motherboard to install either RAM or a video card is pretty simple, it does involve unplugging everything (about 7 cables, along the front of the board) and unscrewing 2 thumbscrews, then it slides out on a removable tray (a nice touch IMO). I found it easiest to remove the HDDs for this, so I could tuck the cables in there out of the way allowing the mainboard to slide in and out freely. Here is a picture of the board on its removable tray, with RAM & video card inserted. As ZFS is a memory hungry file system, I decided that more than the 2GB of included ECC RAM would be required. By default the HP supports up to 8GB of RAM, but if you find the right sticks, it will support up to 16GB. It is extremely fussy with which sticks are compatible, there are a few unofficial compatability lists online but there also appears to be a few different versions of the mainboard, leading to hit & miss compatability. I went through 3 pairs before I found something 100% compatible with my particular server. Firstly I tried KVR1333D3N9/8G (x2) which are half height Kingston sticks, non registered non ECC, they were $44 each. These only detected 8GB after many reboots. I tried one of these, plus the 2GB stick it came with and 10GB was detected, then I put an 8GB stick back in and 16GB WAS detected ONCE then upon next reboot it went back to 8GB. I tried about 20 reboots to see if there was a pattern and only saw the 16GB show up once, therefore I would not deem these compatible. Next I went for a safer bet, and grabbed a F3-1333C9D-16GAO kit, which are G-Skill Ares sticks, these were $84 for a kit of 2 or $42 each. These detected 16GB right off the bat, but subsequent restarts are again only detecting 8GB, and occationally as 16GB. These are supposed to be widely compatible with the N40L but not in my case. As the GSkill Ares stuff was no good for me for some reason, I decided to take it back to MSY and grab some Patriot G2 RAM which they also carry. They didn't mind me swapping it once I explained it was incompatible with my mobo and that it did work, and that I did know what I was doing. This time I got a PD000248-PGD316G1333ELK kit which is 2x8GB kit of Patriot G2 RAM. It had slightly more clearance than the Gskill ram above due to a lower heatspreader and is also documented as widely compatible. I have met great success with this RAM so far, after several days of use it continuously detects 16GB of RAM installed, as does my OS (Ubuntu Desktop x64). Mission accomplished. Here is a picture of the clearance on the RAM (standard height) although note I an no longer using the orange G.Skill Areas RAM, it was what was in there when I took these pictures. RAM with tall heatspreaders will need to be modified to fit. I feel this demonstrates the overall 'perfect fit' feel of the box. After reconnecting everything and booting up, it was time to install an OS. I opted for Ubuntu 12.04 desktop edition as I needed a GUI for HTPC duties. I won't get into this, it is pretty straight forward. I installed onto a 16GB USB stick for now, I have ordered an eSATA to SATA cable off ebay for about $1.50 and am considering purchasing a small SSD when it arrives as the USB is a bit slow sometimes. Once the OS was installed, it was time to install ZFS. The process is actually very simple, just a few lines in terminal. $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zfs-native/stable $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-zfs Easy. After that, it was time to create my zpool. I am opting for 5x 2TB drives as apparently RAIDZ performs best with a vdev size of 3, 5, 7 or 9. To do so takes just one line. All the info regarding ZFS on Linux can be obtained here. $ sudo zpool create -f -o ashift=12 storage raidz /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde I then installed created a few folders, installed samba, shared them and started dumping files onto it. I am no expert on samba so won't document that here, suffice to say it was easy enough even for a total noob like me and I was up and running in minutes. That is pretty much where I am at for now, I installed VLC to watch things while I look into a better solution that can manage my files etc. I also need to get sickbeard up and running but I've been short on time due to a rent inspection next week. Maybe a job for the weekend if I get enough cleaning done :( Here is what I have at the moment, I've been happy with ease of use and performance. If things catastrophically fail, I am sure I will update this thread. For now, I am enjoying the security of ZFS having copied a chunk of data over so far, still have a fair bit to go though! $ sudo zfs list NAME USED AVAIL REFER MOUNTPOINT storage 2.59T 4.54T 117G /storage storage/downloads 486G 4.54T 486G /storage/downloads storage/movies 861G 4.54T 861G /storage/movies storage/music 189G 4.54T 189G /storage/music storage/tv 996G 4.54T 996G /storage/tv $ sudo zpool status -v pool: storage state: ONLINE scan: none requested config: NAME STATE READ WRITE CKSUM storage ONLINE 0 0 0 raidz1-0 ONLINE 0 0 0 sda ONLINE 0 0 0 sdb ONLINE 0 0 0 sdc ONLINE 0 0 0 sdd ONLINE 0 0 0 sde ONLINE 0 0 0 That is all for now, I may write a part 2 if there is any interest detailing additional configuration such as samba, sickbeard, sabnzbd etc. As always, I welcome any thoughts/opinions/criticisms/suggestions. Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading it, well done if you made it this far. :) p0is0n
  3. Hey guys, My google-fu is failing me today, I've found some software that does this, but the ones I've tested don't seem to do support binary transfers. It should be pretty simple. I don't need anything fancy, just software that can watch a folder for items being scanned by a usb scanner, and upload to an FTP where they will be grabbed by software on the server. Has to work on Windows, and would prefer open source. Anyone have any suggestions or experience with software that does this? Thanks Edit: testing Auto FTPnow.. but open to any suggestions.
  4. p0is0n


    Surprisingly no thread on this already that I could see. Beta seems to be in full swing now, anyone else playing? I teamed up with 3 friends yesterday and we played for a few hours, all got to about level 10 pretty quickly. Still undecided if I think I will buy it, not sure I would play it enough, but it's been fun so far.
  5. p0is0n

    50GB Cloud Storage for FREE on Box.com

    Seems to only work for iOS, tried it on android and didn't get 50GB, 10GB for free still not too bad. edit: will try logging into it on an old ipad and see if i can get the upgrade. edit: ok i don't have ios6 and it's not jail broken so i can't confirm or test this just now.
  6. p0is0n

    GPU selection help needed

    Do you use it for gaming, or just to output to a TV? You can get something like this from MSY for about $85 Sapphire 7750 2GB Has vga, dvi and hdmi out. http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/p...=1682&lid=1
  7. p0is0n

    Razor chitchat

    well someone has to say it.
  8. p0is0n

    Hearthstone: heroes of warcraft

    Been following hearthstone for a few months but I'm not really a fan, I kind of see it as just a blizzard money generating machine, people will need to buy cards to remain competitive etc. If there was no selling cards, I would be a lot more interested. It is very polished, but ultimately, it's very much like magic but they basically just simplified the crap out of it and added a dash of warcraft. It feels very dumbed down for the masses which is quite typical of blizzard these days. I think it could be a lot more fun if the damage was toned down, and it became less about controlling the board, and the addition of enchantments/instants etc. to spice up the game play. Right now it's basically whoever gets their cards out faster wins as decks are so small too.
  9. p0is0n

    Just a vent about shutting down windows...

    Some people have tasks running on their PCs which require it is left on, most often my PC is doing something so it's running, but if it's not doing anything it's switched off to save power and heat. Setting up a separate low power/heat server to run 24/7 with files and media allows me to turn the PC off a lot more often when not in use. In relation to the OP though, as others have said, windows + L is your friend. Another good one is windows + E (opens a new explorer window) and there are many more you could really save yourself a lot of mouse clicking about. :)
  10. p0is0n

    New/Old Bits Project

    You'll probably only get about 700-750kH/s with something like litecoin which is still kind of profitable to mine, I don't know much about the lesser crypto currencys but more and more keep popping up. I am also mining litecoin with 2x 7970s which give me about 1.4MH/s and generates approx 12 LTC per month which is about $250-300ish at the current market value (~$24US/LTC), this doesn't factor in power use although my cards are overclocked slightly but not overvolted. Bitcoin is not even worth trying to mine unless you have some 600GH/s ASIC miners, which you can get online and will still pay for themselves within a few months. I've also heard talk surrounding name coin, sex coin, doge coin etc. but no idea if they are worth it or not. You can always pick a random coin type, mine up a few thousand just to have stock, then move on to another. There are also pools you can join which pay out on multiple types of currency called multi pools i think. Might also be worth looking at. For me though, I am sticking with LTC as I can actually pay for my power bills with it and some spare change. I am not sure that it's worth building a dedicated mining rig at this stage though. edit: windows or linux doesn't matter too much with cgminer as you can use it on anything, if the machine will be used for nothing else you could go with linux and just set/forget but you probably will want to leave it running 24/7 if mining. If you have a spare windows key though just use what you're more familiar with, I don't think there is any advantage to mining on linux, like no extra performance AFAIK. GL
  11. I don't know why you would need to bother setting RAID or JBOD if you only have 2 disks, just plug it in and it will work. The only way you can lose data is by somehow formatting the wrong disk. This is effectively JBOD anyway but JBOD is a term usually associated with HBA or raid card passing the disk directly to the OS not 'just a bunch of disks' inside your average PC. Assuming you're using windows, once you connect it you will need to go to the computer management MMC and initialize the disk and create a partition, takes 2 mins and should be very obvious which disk is which, so really there is no risk. Again, don't bother with adding it to your RAID controller or anything unless that's the only place you can connect it.
  12. p0is0n

    File Servers & NAS

    I personally think the older microservers are still the better choice for a NAS, compared to the gen8 newer models. If you plan on using it as more of a server, the gen8 might be better as it has things like iLO and a more powerful processor, however for a simple NAS there is nothing wrong with the N40L/N54L and you can actually fit more disks in them with a little effort. There are plenty of guides out there to set them up, kinda like this thread. I use mine for a lot of different things, but mostly it's a central point for storage and backups and does all my downloading so my PC doesn't need to be on which saves on power. You are correct in that all you need to do is install an OS and put in some disks. I'm running ubuntu from a usb on the internal usb port with 7x 3.5" hdds. It can stream to xbox/ps3/xbmc/tablets/htpc so it's pretty flexible as far as a media server goes. Sounds like it would be ideal for your situation. Any specific questions ask away I will check back later.
  13. p0is0n

    Laptop keeps restarting?

    At which point does it restart? During boot up? After 5-10 mins, or just literally randomly while using it?
  14. p0is0n


    if it shows up in a screenshot like that, it's not a physical issue with the screen... as you captured it by capturing the screen. they look like hidden icons to me, they are usually semi transparent.
  15. will try to get some 7970CF scores done over the weekend now I got my loop all sorted.
  16. p0is0n

    Show us your Rig

    well upgraded my machine a bit this week, so figure i will chuck up another pic. added a second cheap 7970 :)
  17. Geno on OCAU noticed his 290s occationally read as 290x in gpux when checking shaders etc. may be something to this. http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showpost...;postcount=2788
  18. p0is0n

    Things that make you go 'wtf'?

    that brings back memories.
  19. p0is0n

    New Name. New Singer. New Single.

    Nice one, just had a listen and I like it, will keep an eye out for any future threads so let us know when you record a few more things and get em online. I can see what you mean about being more hard rockish than metal, I would liken the level of heavy-ness or metal-ness to something like a7x - not so much stylistically - but i don't think they are really considered metal by most. Still hard to compare to something specific as each band has their own style. Sounds really refined though, pretty great for just a few weeks work. Well done.
  20. p0is0n

    email address change help

    hey, could a mod please assist me to change the email address on my account or the password? some of you may have noticed i've been posting with my old account, before it was renamed. this is because I can still log into it, but I have not idea how to log into this one, i'm just lucky the cookies never get deleted. i can't recall how i was first able to login once the account was renamed a long time ago, it's just remained logged in ever since. it's possible i did log in once, but i've tried every password i can think of and can't get logged back in. the email address that is associated with the account seems to be the original email i signed up with, which hasn't exited for probably 10 years or more. i'd like to change to my gmail so i can reset the password to be able to log in at work, but i need the password to change the email. thanks :)
  21. p0is0n

    Green Room Pics Thread

    guys just ignore fajw i've never seen him post 1 useful thing.
  22. I think so, although you'd notice intermittent choppiness, something like BF4 stays pretty smooth. I have an on screen display on my G19 displaying AIDA 64, and I noticed that when it would clock up or down there would be a 2-3 seconds of choppiness, and then it would be fine. I have updated the drovers, so it will be interesting to see if there is a difference. According to Tom's Hardware, they have sorted out some inconsistencies with fan speeds. you may also notice a boost from disabling core parking with bf4, by default i noticed windows 7 parked 4 of my cores at any time and bf4 can take advantage of as many cores as you have :) won't be much, but possibly a few fps here and there. here is a rundown, but you can google it to confirm. - open regedit - ctrl+f (find) and look for this key 0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583 - within this key, you will see 'ValueMax' - change this from 64 to 0, that that both min and max are now 0. this value is the setting for how many cores are allowed to be parked, 64 = 100%, therefore any core can be parked, or all cores. a parked core isn't working. - search again, you will probably find 2-3 of these keys, make the same change in each. there is one key for each power profile you have, so the default is 3. - do a complete shutdown and reboot, and your cores will no longer park. hopefully not too off topic, but I managed to grab a XFX 7970BE tonight for $250, pretty happy with it, just having trouble tracking down a matching block now, seems koolance don't make the one I have anymore, and nobody sells it anymore. the cheapest alternative I can find is $150 for EK :(
  23. p0is0n

    WoW - Worlds of Draenor Expansion

    i don't know anyone who still plays this after WotLK, it went to shit so fast. bad changes etc. I do know a bunch of people who bought pandas and lasted less than a week, i don't think anybody i know will actually buy this now..
  24. My bet is that they did it to keep prices as low as possible at launch to steal sales from Green. I down-clocked my two 290x cards to 950MHz. It has made a massive difference. They sit there all day no problem. Seems you just have to fiddle around with them a bit. New drivers might sort things out too. the thing with amd is it's always something they do to handicap themselves, if you see the link nobody posted, some retail cards don't even clock above the minimum 730mhz core or something, which is 200 lower than yours, due to thermals in quiet mode. more than 20%. not a problem if you're a tweaker or an overclocker, but for the average joe they will probably not want to have to do any of that and will see it as a negative, and go buy a 780 or 780ti.
  25. p0is0n

    Keyboard Woes

    I have a das keyboard, it's probably the best keyboard I've ever used and the noise isn't really an issue, although i have brown switches which aren't too bad. some of the others are a lot more noisy. I prefer it to typing on anything else, I make a lot more mistakes on other keyboards. Go to a shop and try a few keyboards, see what you think. 3 of the guys I work with all have some form of mechanical keyboard like a filco or ducky but all have brown switches too. they are simply the best choice. I can't stand flat keyboards, but that's just me. I guess it will depend on your typing style, if you peck away with a few fingers or can touch type with about 8 fingers. The better you are, the more you will probably enjoy a mechanical keyboard. Don't write it off straight away though, if you're used to an apple keyboard, it will take a lot of adjusting.