The Chest Case Mod Project – Part I

Last week I ordered a bunch of components for building a new computer. The main reason is that I want to be able to use triple screens with Eyefinity, and my current setup can’t handle that. I’ve been using dual monitors for about 7 years and never looked back, but I would like some more screen estate, especially when working in Photoshop and the likes, and playing 3D games. Games like Dragon Age (I/II) etc works fine with dual screens, but I find it annoying that all texts etc are split in the middle between two screens. For better vertical resolution, I will use my three 21″ Dell screens with IPS panels with extreme viewing angles and a lot better color depth than “normal” computer screens. And they can pivot, meaning I can place them vertically. The full resolution will be 3150×1680 with an aspect ratio of 15:8, slightly wider than standard 16:9 widescreen. And since my current computer is 5 years old, I thought it was about time to buy a new rig anyway.

The thing I enjoy most about getting a new computer is to build the case. To be able to fit the 3-slot wide, passively cooled graphics card alongside the CPU cooler, I could not go with a 17x17cm Mini-ITX motheboard this time as I have for my last two builds, but had to step up a level to a 24x24cm Micro-ATX instead. The size for the components are perfect for a case that I will build out of a small wooden chest. I will try to make the  chest to look as close to the  original as possible, not revealing that it actually contains a computer until you get a closer look at the sides and the rear.

Since everything but the CPU is passively cooled, even the PSU, the case will require some airflow as to not overheat. I will go for a silent 12cm fan on each side with adjustable speed that you can turn up if needed while playing heavy games or during a hot summer (Or I can just open the chest lid). The big problem will be to have air vents in the chest without it looking too strange. Right now I’m in the¬†decision¬†process on whether I will cut a 12x12cm hole on each side and place a fan grill above them, or if I will simply cut a lot of smaller holes in the chest around where the fan will be placed on the inside.

Two days ago I downloaded Google SketchUp, a free 3D modeling program, to do a design draft and make sure all components will fit. It was quite easy to learn, and after about a total of 8 hours learning and designing, I’ve come up with this. All done from scratch:

The Chest Case Mod - First 3D draft

The lid in the model is semi transparent in order to actually see the parts inside the chest. Everything is made with millimeter precision, and I’ve used my slide caliper plenty to measure everything correctly. To be less then modest, I’m quite impressed with the progress I’ve made in this short time. I do have previous 3D modeling experience, but that was back in 1995-96 in Autodesk 3D Studio for DOS. I can tell you this: SketchUp is a lot easier to learn.

The computer components are all top notch, and it’s hard to get better components than these without a major step up in price:

  • CPU:¬†Intel Core i7-2600K (stock cooler to start with, might upgrade later)
  • Motherboard:¬†ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z
  • Graphics card:¬†PowerColor Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5¬†SCS3
  • PSU:¬†Seasonic X-460FL
  • SSD:¬†Corsair SSD Force Series‚ĄĘ F115 (115GB, system disk)
  • HDD (x2): WD Caviar Green WD20EARX (2TB, storage disk, will use RAID 1)
  • RAM: A-Data DDR3-1600G (8GB)
  • Case fan (x2): ¬†Scythe Slip Stream PWM 120mm Adjustable
I expect most parts to arrive tomorrow, and hope to get started with the build soon.

New Host, New Server, New Everything

You might have noticed this page being down for about two weeks. 
That's because I decided to move from my self-hosted solution with a server in the apartment to a professional hosting solution. I've been thinking about this to and from for a few years now, but what set it all in motion was the fact that I am going to move in about two months (more on that later).  I didn't want to worry about the mail server being down while moving, setting up the DNS to to a new IP address etc. In retrospect, the server would probably be down less time if I had just stuck with the previous solution. But this also gives an additional peace of mind if there were to be a hardware breakdown or power outage at home during a vacation etc. 
Since the domain name killersnail.com has been down for about two weeks, any mails sent to me or the other people with killersnail.com addresses has NOT been delivered.
I'm sorry about that, but there is not much I can do. That domain name is still not fully functional, so emails will still not be up. Meanwhile, you can reach me by simply writing a comment to this post. If I know you and it's of a personal nature, just leave your name and address (will not be seen by others) and I'll contact you by other means. 
So, how did the transfer go? Well, I first signed up with One.com. Big mistake. After reading through a lot, they seemed like a good choice with good pricing. So I went ahead and transferred the main domain name (killersnail.com) there, since it was the one most important to get transferred first on account on being the mail server as well. Then I was going to transfer my other domain names (like frankjohansson.com), to add to the same account, acting as CNAME aliases. 
Turns out they can't handle that. Basically every other serious web hosting company offers the ability to add several domain names to one web hotel, except One.com. They COULD do it, but then I would have to pay for web hosting for each domain name, and the domain names would likely just be redirects instead of aliases. In other words, the price went up 8 times. 
Yes, I know I have many domain names, but they are not all for me.
So I asked for a refund, on account on their 15-day money-back guarantee, as well as the domain name unlock code so that I would be able to transfer the domain name to another host as soon as possible. Their support department told me that I had to send all my bank details to their British office in order to get my money back, and I could not get the domain transfer unlock code until everything else was processed. The details I had to send them were:
  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Account number
  • Name on the account
  • Swift code
  • Iban number
  • Clearing number for the bank.¬†

So I sent it all to their british office as instructed, and asked for the domain name unlock code again at the same time.

After two days I got a reply, where they asked for the following details:

  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Account number
  • Name on the account
  • Swift code
  • Iban number
  • Clearing number for the bank.

AND MY ORIGINAL EMAIL WHERE ALL THIS WAS STATED WAS LISTED BELOW. They couldn’t possibly have read more than the subject of the email. I politely pointed out the fact that I have already provided all the necessary information, in the email they themselves replied to, and asked for my domain name unlock code a third time. A few hours later I finally got the code, and transferred it to another host. It then took a week after that before the transfer was actually approved by One.com.

Today I got a letter stating that the money I demanded back from one.com has been deposited into my bank account. From One.com in DUBAI. So I signed up for a service and paid a company in Sweden. I had to request the money back to a British company. I then get paid from a company in the United Arab Emirates. Tax evasion, anyone?

My new host, Surftown, have so far been great, and the support crew seems friendly. Getting a domain name unlock code from my previous DNS service, Loopia, took less than a second since you can do it yourself from their control panel. The entire transfer to Surftown from there took about 20 minutes. In comparison, One.com once again shows their lack of competence. ¬†Surftown is a bit more expensive than One.com if you want the extra features I require (MySQL, PHP, support for multiple domain names etc). However, they currently have a campaign where you get all of this for only 10 SEK/day for the first year, so it’s actually cheaper right now.

In conclusion:

  • Domain transfer almost complete
  • Email not yet up, use comments in this post instead
  • One.com sucks monkey balls.

Frank’s Roadtrip Collection 2011

Frank's Roadtrip Collection 2011As I recently wrote, I collected a lot of (in my opinion) great songs for a roadtrip album last year. Originally to listen to while riding motorcycles, it should work just fine in a car as well. ūüėČ

This year I decided to to it again, waiting for the season to turn and getting the bike out of storage. The list is constantly evolving, but I have currently narrowed it down to about 85 songs. As last time, the songs are from around the last 60 years or so, but this time the focus it is slightly more on modern rock.

Since several several artists occurs more than once in the list, I usually sort it by song title, not by artist:

Title Artist


#41 Dave Matthews Band
25 Miles Edwin Starr
40 Day Dream Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Aint No Mountain High Enough Marvin Gaye
Airstream Driver Gomez
All of Us Blindside
American Woman Guess Who
Another Travelin Song Bright Eyes
Another White Dash Butterfly Boucher
Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jets
Babylon David Gray
Bad Motor Scooter Montrose
Beautiful Day U2
Blinded By The Light Manfred Manns Earth Band
Bohemian Like You Dandy Warhols
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams Green Day
Bright Side Of The Road Van Morrison
Brother Lee Citizen Cope
Bullet And A Target Citizen Cope
Call Me The Breeze Lynyrd Skynyrd
Carry On Wayward Son Kansas
Crazy(Album Version) Gnarls Barkley
Dingdong Thing Gluecifer
Don’t Believe a Word Def Leppard
Electric Worry Clutch
Engel Rammstein
Float On Modest Mouse
Free Fallin’ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Grounds For Divorce Elbow
Highway 49 Muddy Waters & Howlin’ Wolf
Home Depeche Mode
Home Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Hotel California Eagles
Hurt Absurd Minds
Hush Kula Shaker
I Don’t Want to Be Gavin DeGraw
I’m in love Madrugada
Innan Allt Försvinner Bo Kaspers Orkester
Just Like You Imagined Nine Inch Nails
Let It Ride Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Let It Ride Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Machinehead Bush
More Than A Feeling Boston
No Cars Go The Arcade Fire
No Good, Mr Holden Graveyard
Ol’ 55 Tom Waits
One Headlight (Radio Edit) The Wallflowers
Open Your Eyes Alter Bridge
Our Love Saves Us Blindside
Piece Of My Heart Janis Joplin
Ride Like The Wind Saxon
Road To Hell Chris Rea
Road To Zion (Radio Edit) Damian Marley Feat. Nas
Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo Rick Derringer
Roll Me Away Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Route 66 Them
Ruby Kaiser Chiefs
Rushing Rotersand
Rusty Cage Johnny Cash
Sailing To Philadelphia Mark Knopfler
See The World Gomez
Six Days On The Road Dave Dudley
Slania’s Song Eluveitie
Somebody Told Me The Killers
Son’s Gonna Rise Citizen Cope
Speed Montgomery Gentry
Steve Mcqueen Sheryl Crow
Suddenly I See KT Tunstall
Summertime Blues George Thorogood
Take It Easy Eagles
The Kill 30 Seconds To Mars
The Mob Goes Wild Clutch
The Promised Land Chuck Berry
The Way Fastball
Time To Pretend MGMT
Travelin Band Creedance Clearwater Revival
Tush Zz Top
Under The Milky Way The Church
Uprising Muse
Walking In My Shoes Depeche Mode
Weightless Black Lab
Widower The Dillinger Escape Plan
Wishing Well Free
Worm Drink Clutch

 

Again, friends that I know personally can ask for a copy.

Frank’s Roadtrip Collection 2010

Frank's Roadtrip Collection 2010Last summer I did quite a bit of roadtripping on my bike. ¬†And without music it tends to become pretty repetitive. So I started riding with earbuds (which you still want to use to dull the noise) and an mp3 player. But as most albums have their bad parts and it’s hard to skip songs when you’re riding at 110km/h, I decided to put together a roadtrip collection.

This collection features music from the last 60 years or so, but the focus is mainly on 70’s rock. I’ve been going through thousands of songs, made many revisions and kept only the ones that really works for me, over and over. Of course, it wasn’t the only thing I listened to while riding, but it’s still over 6 hours straight. Originally the list was 130+ songs, but now it’s down to 88. An example of a removed song is Guns & Roses – Paradise City. Sure, it’s a great song, but only if you listen to it once or twice a year. After 7-8 times in 3 months you kind of want to skip that song when it comes up.

A small warning: Several of the remaining songs are related to my childhood and what we listened to in the car when I was very young. Mostly the country songs. ūüėČ A few of the songs are also in Swedish.

Oh well, to the list! Since several several artists occurs more than once in the list, I usually sort it by song title, not by artist:

Title Artist


All Right Now Free
All There Is The Guilty Ones
Already Gone The Eagles
Alright Supergrass
Angel on My Bike The Wallflowers
Another 45 miles Golden Earring
Bad To The Bone George Thorogood
Black Betty Ram Jam
Black Hole Sun Soundgarden
Born To Be Wild Steppenwolf
Born To Run Bruce Springsteen
Boston Augustana
Children Robert Miles
Chop Suey System Of A Down
Come To Life Alter Bridge
Crosstown Traffic Jimi Hendrix
Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen
Drive My Car The Beatles
Dunce Cap Lost Dogs
East Bound And Down Jerry Reed
Everlong Foo Fighters
Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd
Gasoline Audioslave
(Ghost) Riders in the Sky Johnny Cash
Grace Will Young
Here I Go Again Whitesnake
Hold The Line Toto
Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody
I Am The Highway Audioslave
I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash
I Put A Spell On You Diesel
I’m a Ramblin’ Man Waylon Jennings
I’ve Always Been Crazy Waylon Jennings
I’ve Been Everywhere Johnny Cash
In The Air Tonight Phil Collins
In the Summertime Mungo Jerry
Interstate Love Song Stone Temple Pilots
It’s A Great Day To Be Alive Travis Tritt
Kickstart My Heart Motley Crue
King of the Road Roger Miller
La Caja Del Muerto The Barbwires
Lake Shore Drive Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
Learn to fly Foo Fighters
Life is a highway Tom Cochrane
Lost Highway Bon Jovi
Lullaby Assemblage 23
Mercedes Benz Janis Joplin
My Hero Foo Fighters
My Name Is Jonas Weezer
No Particular Place To Go Chuck Berry
Pamela Toto
Papillon Editors
Perfect The Smashing Pumpkins
Perfect day Lou Reed & Friends
Ride The Vines
Riding with The King B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Runnin’ Down a Dream Tom Petty
Running Up That Hill Placebo
Sången Om Allt Hans & Greta
Scenic Routes Lost Dogs
Schizophrenic Conversations Staind
Shout Disturbed
Sign Of The Gypsy Queen April Wine
Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Somebody To Love Jefferson Airplane
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin
Statesboro Blues Allman Brothers
Stylo Gorillaz
Superbeast Rob Zombie
Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd
Take Me Home Country Roads Olivia Newton-John
The City Stromkern
The House Of The Rising Sun The Animals
The Passenger Iggy Pop
The Solo Tyskarna Från Lund
The Weight Smith
Truckdriving song Galenskaparna & After Shave
Turn The Page Bob Seger
Unchain My Heart Joe Cocker
Unrecorded M83
Watching Over You (live) Seabound
Vehicle Ides of March
Whiter Shade Of Pale Procol Harum
Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me Keith Urban
Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
Vingar Mikael Rickfors
Vision One Röyksopp
With A Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker

Friends that I know personally can ask for a copy. ūüôā

Update: Don’t forget to check out the 2011 roadtrip collection as well!

Alive

Howdy,

Yes, I’m still alive, even though I’ve been out riding my bike for the last few weeks. It actually makes me feel more alive. Yes, ¬†I know it’s a terrible clich√©, but it’s true¬†nonetheless.

Been making a few mods as well:

  • Modifying and attaching the mounting thingy to the new saddlebags. They now support more¬†weight¬†and are easy to attach and remove, which is great for going shopping since they easily hold a full grocery bag each, and I don’t need to have them on all the time like the last ones. Should make longer road trips a whole lot easier as well, as I don’t have to unpack them at each sleepover, I can just pop them off.
  • Reversed the passenger pegs to move them forward and outward to not interfere with the previously mentioned bags. The excellent guide on Volusia Riders forum was a great help, even though I used shorter bolts and spacers than described in the guide to avoid long term twisting of the frame mount. M thought that her riding position improved a lot with this and made riding easier on her back, so two good things in one!
  • A custom made brake fluid reservoir lid. Pictures may come later.

I’ve also bought a new, chromed horn that I plan to install next week as the current one is on the fritz.

More things have happened in my life, but I’ll keep that private for now.

Catch you on the flipside.

A package arrived today. Or actually, it didn’t.

I got a package today, stuff I ordered about a week ago as a birthday present to myself. Motorcycle stuff from Louis.de (good online store).

But first, let me tell you about the Swedish postal system and how complicated it can be to get a package, especially if you order stuff from abroad.
Here is what I learned today from a disgruntled (but very helpful) employee at Posten‘s (The main Swedish postal service)¬†helpdesk:
What most people doesn’t know is that the mail part and the parcel/logistics part of Posten are two separate companies. They do have the same name, logotype, homepage etc., but they are in fact separate. And more, they are rivals. Even though they seem to work together, they¬†apparently¬†don’t. Or, at least not very well.

Example from today; I awaited a large package, around 1 x 1 x 0.5 meter, arriving from Germany. I followed the current location of the package online, using my tracking ID at Posten’s common homepage. When I checked the status during lunch, I could see a new note from 11:49, saying “The recipient’s door code is not stated on the package. The postal item is notified”.

Question 1: Why didn’t the guy delivering the package have the door code, when his¬†colleague that delivers letters and smaller parcels every day¬†have it?

Answer: Because they are rivals, and rivals don’t share information. The competition between the two parts of Posten is so stiff, despite the fact that they work under the same umbrella, that they will not even share the door codes, allowing the delivery men to enter the apartment building.

Question 2: So if the door code is not known on the first round, when will they actually deliver the package?

Answer: They won’t. It’s not possible to schedule a new delivery time, even if you provide them with the door code and stay home for an entire day. Instead, you are forced to go to Posten’s company center, 6.6 kilometers away. And 1 kilometer to the closest train station. During business hours. So if you don’t have a car and can leave work early, you are pretty much screwed. Unless you want to carry a big ass package a kilometer, then try to get it aboard the train, followed by the walk home. Luckily, I could get away from work earlier today and have a brother that could give me a ride.

But seriously, do they really expect people to be home in the middle of the day (and they will not inform you before which day or time they are coming)? And do they expect that there won’t be any door codes in apartment buildings whatsoever? Even so, they have probably made a number of deliveries to this very address this year alone, and should have the code by now. They didn’t even bother to call, even to just get the code. If they would, the package could actually have been delivered since M was in fact at home that time today.

All of this for a package that you actually paid for to be delivered to your doorstep.

Seriously Posten, get your shit together.

Ok, let’s move on. Oh yeah, what was in the package?

First off was a set of saddle bags, about twice the size of my previous bags (27 liters each). They are also better looking and more practical, allowing you to take them off without unscrewing the passenger seat. They should be more water proof as well, but just in case I also bought a set of rain covers for them that can be rigged as shower caps. Or actually, I bought two sets. I thought they were sold one by one, but them came in pairs so now I have a spare pair.

Since the saddle bags are removable, I also bought a matching 3 liter tool roll. I generally don’t like the looks of them, but this was pretty clean. I intend to use it only when the saddle bags are off, to keep a first aid kit and some emergency items like tire spray and cable ties in. To go with that roll, I also bought a water proof inner bag in roughly the same size. Wouldn’t want the first aid kit to go bad.

Additionally, I ¬†bought a lightweight nylon¬†cover for the entire bike to protect it from the weathers when it’s standing outdoors.

Aside from the luggage and covers, I also bought a new set of mini bullet turn indicators since the original ones on my bike are huge and not very stylish.

The last items were some valve caps with built-in pressure monitors. If the tire pressure drops with 0.2 – 0.3 bar, the indicator in the valve cap turns from green to red. I had a slight pressure drop in the front tire last summer, so this should be useful as I won’t have to stop by gas stations every 500 kilometers to check the pressure – a glance at the indicator should be enough.

On a side note, I have started to assemble my roadtrip music album for 2011. I did this last year, and had a great selection of around 130 songs that went great on the road and got good feedback from others who received a copy. I might write a separate post about that later.

All I need now is for spring to come.

Candy for my bike

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Issue #19Last night I finished the currently last number (#79) of The Walking Dead.

No, I’m not talking about the new TV series, I’m talking about what that TV series is based on – the comic.

The Walking Dead is created by writer Robert Kirkman and drawn by Charlie Adlard (Tony Moore did issues 1-6). It is in black and white, which I first thought was a let-down, but only after an issue didn’t really think about. While the art is very good, the storytelling is brilliant.

The story centers around Rick Grimes, a police officer who wakes up from a coma after a gunshot, only to find out that the world has been overrun by zombies. While this might not sound very original, I find it if not the, then at least among the very best zombie fictions I’ve ever seen, any medium. It has a lot of heart (and other intestines as well for that matter), and isn’t afraid to make dramatic turns, offing main characters and having plot twists that would make M. Night Shyamalan go “Whaaat?!”. This is a good thing. Unlike other ongoing comics that keeps the same ensemble of characters for 20 years except for the supervillain of the week (who often returns at least 20 or 30 times anyway), you actually meet new, original people all the time here. And then they die. ūüėČ

Differences from the TV series.

While the TV series is based on the comic, it seems to take a very different storyline after the first few issues. Without giving away the story, the happenings in the last episodes in season 1 didn’t occur at all in the comic – at least not so far. Most of the main characters stay basically the same, but where they are and what happens to them is different. For me it’s a good thing since I get a new story while watching the series (which I by the way also think is rather good), but the ones only watching the TV series is missing so much!

Try it for free!

Image Comics who publishes The Walking Dead offers the first issue online for free here, which I think is a great strategy for bringing new readers. So go ahead, see if you like it. If you do, visit your local comic book dealer.

Rome – The good, the bad and the ugly

The last week I’ve been in Rome, Italy. Monday to Friday I’ve lived in Frascati and worked in Morena, and during the weekend I’ve stayed near Termini in central Rome together with M.

Frascati was okay, I guess. Small, worn down but not completely without charm. We found one good restaurant there with both good food and nice staff.

Work went well and the clients appeared very happy with my part, so no worries there.

The bad and the ugly
Going into central Rome, I realized that the worn down thing was not specific to the suburbs but the city core as well. The streets were very dirty and we often came by areas that smelled very bad. The traffic was horrible, and the subway stations felt like nobody has bothered to renovate or otherwise improve them since 1986.
Everywhere on the streets people were trying to sell us cheap imitation bags and various crap with a very intrusive attitude. This was worst when eating at outdoor seatings, we often had to tell the peddlers at  least 3-4 times that we were not interested before they gave up. And came back again 30 minutes later.

Speaking of eating; I don’t know if we just had bad luck, or if the italian restaurants really are very bad. About 3/4 of all meals we had were a major disappointment. Service was most of the time terrible, and even though we always tried to be friendly and start the conversations in Italian, we were often treated with arrogance and not the smallest of smiles.

The good
The ice cream/gelato was good and the wine was cheap.

Sure, Colosseum was impressive and there were a lot of ruins, fountains and statues that would probably be reason enough for some people to go there, but after a while things start to look the same everywhere.

For us, Rome was all together quite a bad experience.

I hope I don’t have to go here again very soon. It will be really good to go home tomorrow.