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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

I saw the sine

Recently I learned the hard way that surge protectors are a lie.  During an unusually windy storm, there were a couple of power outages back to back that caused power irregularities at their ends that went straight into my main rendering computer and wreaked havoc.
Sincere thanks to those of you who offered words of support and promises of patience on my channel's Community tab, Instagram, Twitter, or here on the blog.  It was the patience part that I especially welcome, as much worse than the stress of sudden-onset calamity preventing me from working is that of letting down people who depend on me, even if it's for entertainment.  I appreciate any amount of understanding, and even a little goes a long way.

Thankfully I wasn't out of commission for long.  I've been building & tuning my own computers since IRQs had to be assigned to serial COM ports with physical DIP switches, and though I've all but forgotten the glory days of VESA Local Bus graphics and definitely don't remember the ANSI codes to make a double-line, multi-colored DOS prompt, I was able to get back up & running without a call to the Geek Squad.  As it turned out, the boot sector on my primary drive (SSD) had gotten corrupted in a most peculiar way that threw up confusing symptoms and refused repair.  A recently-updated OS recovery thumb stick couldn't get past the issue even when asked to take its most Draconian measures.  I mean, the original partitions & filesystems were accessible, but...

Well at any rate, not only did I return to the land of the living & video producing, but I took the opportunity to do some deep long-interval maintenance.  My system is now running on all newer drives that should go years without worry.  More of my workflow now remains in solid state for a touch more speed and less energy usage.  I even changed out the thermal paste on my CPU, netting bigger gains than expected and giving me more than ample room for a higher, yet still very conservative overclock.  I'm also now running on a nice true sine wave battery backup unit that monitors my computer's energy usage and tells me how many trees are needed to offset its carbon footprint.  Nifty.

Have you noticed that review season is finally winding down after 3 months of me publishing over 180 videos? It took longer than it should have, but the reasons behind the slowness mean future releases should be processed faster than ever (not to mention the higher quality).  New Jang City building season is about to ramp up again and I've collected a lot of inspiration and information to make my layout significantly more entertaining to look at this year.  I would say I can't wait to get started on implementation, but the great news is, I already have!


  1. Sorry to hear about the PC. Good to hear you fixed it yourself. Didn't know you were a PC guy too! Awesome stuff! Looking forward to your city updates!!

  2. Surprising, but also not surprising that you're a techie, haha. What are the specs of your editing rig?

  3. OMG. Assigning IRQs. I’m having flashbacks! The days when a sound card was an option. Floppy drives.
    Surge protectors work awesome. Just not usually the power board type. It takes a layered approach. Lightning arrestors at the meter box, surge arrestors after that (which should be the sacrificial type). To be completely thorough a UPS whose batteries are on line at all time is a must. You can beat massive capacitance. Our house could take a direct hit on the lines.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Glad it was all "mischief managed". Nice bit of nostalgia too. I built my 1st computer (DREAM 6800) in 1979 out of parts with a soldering iron and an Electronics Australia Article. You are a cool dude and I greatly enjoy your endeavours.

  5. Hey did anything ever come out of your use of the slot track? I have a Lego city setup and a big slot track and I want to marry the two...primarily because I don't have the space for both and was curious if you or anyone else has had any luck.