Cleaning out the Closet

Well I’m someone of a keeper. I’m alway thinking, that this piece of whatever might still be usefull someday. But this is some old computer stuff, where I really have no problem with letting go.

  • An ISA bus backplane
  • An ISA bus CPU card originally running with a 486DX and a whooping 33MHz
  • An ISA 4 channel V24 card
  • Two ISA 10Mbit Ethernet cards
  • An ISA Teles S16.3 ISDN card
  • An ISA 1505 Adaptec SCSI controller
  • An ISA 1540 Adaptec SCSI controller
  • An ISA Creative sound card CT4170
  • A Toshiba 2x SCSI-CDROM drive
  • A Tandberg TDC 3660 QIC Tape drive (capacity 40Mb I think)
  • Two V24 mouses
  • An Atari ST keyboard and a PC style keyboard
  • An Atari ST floppy disk
  • 3 SCSI hard disks with 40 and 80 Mb
  • An AT-compatible 150W power supply
  • A 2400Bd modem
  • A complete i486 66MHz system in a big server tower cabinet
  • and other smaller parts

Not that anyone cares what stuff I’m keeping in my closet, but interesting nevertheless, what accumulates over the years.

Photocast Network

Great things happening: “Photography Podcasters Join Forces To Form The Photocast Network

I’ve been following the RadiantVista since about November 2005 and only recently started listening to Tips from the Top Floor and started viewing PhotoWalkthrough.

There are some more links I definetely need to check out. I’ve already learned so much from the RadiantVista and Photowalkthrough and there is still so much more to learn. However I need to practice more. I need to get out of the house and start taking more pictures.

Warnung: !!!

Silly Warning

Ich bin jetzt zufällig in den Besitz einer gebrauchten Logitech Schnurlosen Tastatur gelangt. Dort sehe ich dann zum ersten Mal eine Warning nach dem Motto (siehe Bild): “Keine Tiere in der Microwelle trockenen” oder auf dem Kaffee-Pappbecher die Warnung “Vorsicht enhält heisses Getränk”.

Ist Logitech eigentlich ein amerikanische Firma? Da findet man doch immer solche Warnungen: “Achtung, Weiterleben ist mit Gefahren verbunden”.

Back in Time on the Memory Lane

HAWK & SMD Drive Alignment Tools

In the company our department has now moved to a new building. As is usual at these occasions everyone went through his/her stuff to identify things, which are no longer needed and can be put into the trash.

In between my things I found these two tools in the picture. They originate from the beginning of my career in computer technology. They must be around 20 to 21 years old. That would place them into 1985 or 1986.

These two tools were used to adjust the read/write heads of the HAWK and the SMD disk drives. I don’t remember, which company actually produced these drives, but they were known under the names HAWK and SMD (Storage Module Drive).

The HAWK drive had a capacity of two times 5 Mb, consisting of a fixed and a removable disk (pack) with overall 4 read/write heads (all 4 surfaces were used). From the picture the left tools was used to adjust the heads. A special CE-pack was used to align the heads on the correct position, so that the interchangeability of the removable packs between different drives was assured.

The SMD drive had only removable disk packs. Each pack consisted of 5 platters, the top and the bottom platters only for protection. 6 surfaces from the middle 3 platters was actually used. Only 5 surfaces were used to hold the user data. The 6th surface didn’t hold data, but was written with specific servo information, which was used to position the heads. Again special CE-packs were used to align the heads to the correct positions with the right tool from the picture, so that interchangeability was assured. The first drives I learned to know utilized 411 tracks which resulted in a capacity of about 33 Mb. Later versions used 822 tracks, which doubled the capacity to 66 Mb.

Alternative to Ball Bungees

David Hobby aka the strobist has a collection of very, very good articles online under the headline “[Lightning 101]((”, a must read for every one who wants to get his strobe/flash photography technique into shape (of course the rest of the site is just as good). He lists an item called the “Ball Bungee” as a very versatile means to quickly attach a flash to some furniture or whatever is available. These “Ball Bungees” appear to be a very common item in the US. However not so here in Germany. Extensive googleing didn’t turn up anything.

When I searched through bloglines, perhaps some other fellow European had found something equivalent, this flickr link turned up. After having seen this and some more googleing I found the Spannflex, which appears to be the very same thing as in the before mentioned flickr link. The “Spannflex” expression lead me finally to the online store and in particular to this (in white) and this (in black). €0.65 per piece. This webshop lists quite a number of country banners in their header, so this shop might be usefull to people in other countries.

As a last resort, it should be possible to build the Ball Bungees yourself. I found elastic rope in a local DIY store and it should possible to obtain appropiate wooden balls into which you drill a hole. Another source for elactic rope I found along the way is