Tumbleweed Box


This box is actually a makeover for another box named after one of my former kitties.  This machine has an older Enermax Ostrog case, which has plenty of room to work.  It was terrific to work inside this thing.  You could play racquetball inside this case!

I’m thinking the motherboard was an MSI 970 Gaming, but I forget.  The CPU is an AMD FX-8350 with a Cooler Master T3 air cooler.  The graphics card is a Radeon RX 470 with 4 GB of GDDR 5.  There’s 16G RAM for the system.  There’re two WD 1TB HDs and a 500GB SSD from Crucial.

That Radeon RX 470 is still rather new, so I had to use a bleeding edge Linux kernel to support it.  OpenSUSE Tumbleweed’s kernel gets updated very frequently, so that was no problem here.  This testing distribution seems to run fine on this box.  No problems yet.  Well, there was one teensy little problem.  My Gnome terminal didn’t have a transparent opacity function in this distro like it does on OpenSUSE Leap.  Horrors!  I use my shell a lot, and I gots to haz ma transparent opacity!  So I switched to XFCE terminal.  Works fine now, and I can’t really tell the difference between the two terminals!  So it’s not really a problem. Some people don’t like transparency.  I love it.

I was afraid this box was going to run warm because of the CPU.  AMD has that reputation. But no suchness!  It typically runs a chilly 18C inside there.  I’m sure the big green 120mm fan on the T3 helps.

This box is named after one of my earliest kitties.  Her name is holy, so I don’t utter it.  But I love her always.




So this was a fun build.  I started about a year ago I think with an i7-4790K cpu and 16G of RAM on an ASRock Z97 Pro board with an ASUS GTX 980Ti GPU.  I added four SSDs and one HD, plus an 802.11ac wireless card.  It dual boots Win 10 and Linux Mint 18 (“Sarah”).  I never have been a huge fan of water cooling, since I don’t overclock much.  A nice big Hyper 212 CPU cooler like this should work just fine in this case.  But as it has turned out, I came into possession of a large Corsair H110i water cooler that needs a larger case like this to fit in.  It has 140mm fans and this case will take them and the radiator they attach to. This case is a Corsair 760T in white, and some white LED fans might pimp the whole thing out nicely.

Since I just run out of room for all my PC projects, perhaps I need to simply evolve the PCs I’ve already built and that already have a legitimate physical place in my house!  Somehow I’ve got to keep from building more new computers.

Enterprise is the only host on my home network that isn’t named after a pet kitty.  I named it after NCC-1701.  Let’s see, was the WW2 aircraft carrier named after that too?  Nope, the chronology doesn’t line up!  (Just kidding, of course.  We learn the real truth from Star Trek Enterprise on the opening credits!!!

I have wasted many hours in front of this machine, playing Call of Duty.  And Doom.  And Wolfenstein.  And a bunch of things I can’t even remember.  So this is one of my favorite boxes.  Not the prettiest, necessarily, but certainly one of the most capable.  And it’s also fun to watch it run Linux.  Mint looks fabulous on it!

Fedora BlueBox



So all of this blog stuff is happening on a mATX PC powered by an AMD FX 6300 CPU with 16G of RAM and a 250GB SSD and a 1TB HD.  The motherboard is an old MSI 7641 ver 3.0 and doesn’t even have USB 3.0.  But I actually used the PCI x1 slot for a PCI to PCI Express adapter card that gave me an extra PCI-E slot.  And I put a USB 3.0 adapter card in that.  Two half-height cards in one ancient PCI x1 slot.  Cool!

The graphics card is a humble GeForce GT610 card.  Nothing fancy, but it does an easy 1080p display, which is what I need on my Acer K242HL.  Plenty of display for me.  I spend a lot of time in a terminal window as you can see in the picture above! Occasionally I use a graphical editor, like Sublime or Atom or something, but most often it is easiest just to use Vim in a terminal.


The box has a bunch of blue LED case fans from Corsair.  I love Corsair.  I use their products all the time!  The case is an 88r, which is one of my favorites.  Doesn’t take up much space, yet it doesn’t waste any either.  It doesn’t look like it, but there is lots of space behind the motherboard for cable management.  There’s room for a couple of SSDs, a couple of HDs, and even a DVD, which I use to watch reruns of Magnum, PI and other old TV shows I have on DVD.

Sound is provided by a pair of Logitech Z130 speakers.  Very inexpensive.  But to my ears they sound much more expensive! They sound great.

You’ll notice my desktop is the Cinnamon Environment ver 3.0.7.  It’s Fedora 24 and kernel 4.7.7.  Oh, and I’m running an 802.11ac card, so I have wicked fast wireless.  I had some adventures getting the card recognized by the kernel, but once I enabled 3rd party kernel mod repos, I could patch my source tree and compile the new support in.  Broadcom’s sources are proprietary, and hence the heartburn in a Fedora system.  Running the driver requires that I ‘taint’ my kernel, apparently.  Okay.  But it works, and I like it.  Sorry RMS!

The box is still awaiting a place to live.  Um, I’m out of space at the moment.  This box is named “peanut,” after one of my earliest Himalayan kitties.  All the boxes are named after famous pets, pretty much.  There’s one box that doesn’t follow that scheme.  I have 13 boxes right now, and I seem to have a slight PC building addiction.  I built four boxes earlier this month, and they’re looking pretty nice too.  Two Mint and two OpenSUSE boxes.  One is Tumbleweed and the other is Leap 42.1.  And both the Mint boxes are 18 (“Sarah”).  Some of the boxes dual boot from Windows.  I only boot to Windows to play Steam games, typically.  The rest of the time I’m at home in Linux.  Yep, Linux is my home!