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Month: June 2020

Streacom BC1 Open Benchtable

Below is a photo of a computer that I built recently.  The Streacom Open Benchtable (red chassis below the motherboard) made it easy to plug and unplug memory, PCIe cards, and cables during bring-up / testing. The PCIe slots are populated by three video cards and a host bus adapter. The smaller graphics card between the two larger ones is for the virtualization host. The other two are for a Linux VM and a Windows VM. The KVM switch beneath the SSD hot swap bay / backplane is used to switch between the VMs.  At the moment, it’s connected to four different VMs residing on two different physical machines. (The other machine is not shown in this photo.)

For the most part, using the Streacom BC1 was a pleasure.  I did, however, run into two problems:

  1. The threads on one of the PCIe standoffs needed to be cleaned up.  Try as I might I couldn’t get one of them to work until I used a die to clean the threads.
  2. I ran out of 6#32 thumbscrews. Six are provided with the Benchtable. I used three for attaching the power supply. If you want to attach two disk-drives (which I did), you’ll need four more of the 6#32 thumbscrews, so I was one short.  I found an ordinary 6#32 that would reach all the way through the provided slots to use instead.

Bush Fire from Fountain Hills

Marilyn, Marie, and I went for an evening walk on Saturday, the 13th.  Marilyn noticed a reddish glow in the distance; we walked up a nearby hill to see better.  We saw an orange glow in the distance, behind some hills.  When we concluded our walk, I brought my camera out to get this photo.  It was much less bright than shown in my photo below; actually, at the time we were there, it was less bright than earlier in the evening.

On the ten O’clock news we learned that it’s called the Bush Fire, it’s in the Tonto National Forest, and that traffic has been blocked of on SR 87 (Beeline Hwy).

Update – 2020-06-14:

Marilyn and I went out for another walk, shortly after 8:00pm on Sunday, the 14th.  We first walked up to the top of the hill where I had taken the earlier photo. We returned by walking down the street upon which we lived.  At the top of the street (which is on a hill), we found quite a dramatic view…

Update – 2020-06-15:

On the evening of Monday, the 15th, I walked across McDowell Mountain Road, hiked up one of the hills to the north, and took some more photos.  According to InciWeb, on Monday evening, the Bush Fire is 37,900 acres in size and is still 0% contained.

Remember, this is a long exposure; this scene did not appear this bright while I was there. I was able to see some lights on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, I certainly wasn’t able to see this community in the level of detail shown here – it was much too dark. Likewise, the smoke didn’t have much of the color or glow shown in this photo; that too is due to taking a long exposure.

Update – 2020-06-16:

According to InciWeb, the Bush Fire grew to 64,513 acres in size, still with 0% containment. However, when I went out on my balcony in the evening to look, I saw only a faint glow in several areas. That being the case, I decided against going somewhere to take a photo and instead just took a shot from my balcony. Although my eyes couldn’t see much activity in the distance, a three and half minute exposure picked up a lot of hot spots on Four Peaks in addition to the usual glow in the smoke. I think that the long exposure smoothed out the smoke in addition to making the trees appear out of focus – they’re not out of focus; it’s just motion blur.

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