So I’ve got an outdoor workbench that has a surplus-to-requirements office chair sitting in front of it. The only problem is that the workbench is at standing height, so the chair’s just not high enough.
I originally thought I’d have to get a whole new chair… but it actually turns out that most gas-lift struts for office chairs come in standard sizing - something which actually surprised me as a software developer.
A bit of measurement with calipers showed that the bottom of the strut measured 43mm, and that the top was 28mm. A quick search of eBay then revealed this one with very similar looking measurements. I ordered the HC200 model, and it arrived a few days later, somewhat amusingly with the top section sticking out the side of the package (something had pressed the button in shipping and the strut expanded).
Unlike the kind of hardware I usually deal with, the disassembly process can be summed up as “hit it with a hammer until it comes loose”. If this proves especially difficult, a larger hammer may help.
Reassembly, as they say, is the reverse of removal - reassemble, then sit on the chair to push both ends into place.
(you may wish to place the chair upright before use…)
(also, you may wish to purchase a foam mat in a better colour…)
With the taller strut, I probably wouldn’t lean back on the chair all the way - but it’s now the right height to sit at the workbench for extended soldering sessions, and I didn’t have to buy a whole new chair.
In the bedroom, there’s a media centre box attached to a projector. The projector in question is attached to the bed, pointed upwards at the ceiling, but that’s another story for another day…
Originally, I wanted the projector to be automatically switched on and off with the media centre. The projector has a RS232 serial port for control, so it was just a case of connecting this to the media centre with an appropriate cable and writing a few scripts to send commands on startup and shutdown.
However, I’ve just replaced the ancient AMD E350 based Mini-ITX box with a shiny new OSMC Vero 4k, an ARM-based box that you don’t really shut down.
Although I could still do this on the Vero, I decided to implement it as a standalone device. Take an ESP8266 NodeMCU board (a nice breakout board for an ESP-12 module) and combine it with a TTL to RS232 adaptor. Then, write firmware for it that connects to a MQTT server, and we’ll be able to control the projector from the web interface of HomeAssistant or any of the Amazon Echo devices.
So it seems that consumer affordable 10GBaseT is closer than I thought in my previous post. Asus has recently released a US$200 10GBaseT card which also supports 5 and 2.5Gbit. Following this, they’ve released another card, the cheaper XG-C100C with a MSRP of US$99 - although in the AU market, it seems to be selling for only about $30 less than the first one.
I’ve got a fileserver with two ZFS pools on it. Many terabytes of storage and much more reliable than individual disks. Single drives aren’t fast or reliable and I can’t fit all my Steam games on my RAID0 SSD pair. But the fileserver can read and write at close to 500MB/second. However, it’s on the other end of a gigabit ethernet connection, so it tops out at 120MB/sec - barely faster than a normal HDD. So what can we do? Isn’t 10GbE still crazy expensive?
I ended up with a drive letter on my desktop mapped to a SMB share on the fileserver and (most) Windows apps treat it no differently to a local drive. With a Steam library on it, I’m not going to be short on space for a while. But every time I go to load something, it’s bottlenecked by the gigabit connection.
(why ‘panzer’? The default name of a zfs pool is ‘tank’ and there already was one on the server)