Over the years I've had my website, I've been using a sub-par system I've had dinking around to run everything. Originally I cobbled together spare parts to build my first web server using an old AT motherboard with an AMD K6-2 300MHz CPU. After the first Power supply fried (which was hard wired into the case), I swapped the case and CPU. The motherboard was luckily just new enough for to have both AT and ATX main power connectors. With the new case, the old motherboard did not have the current paneling of ports at the back, leaving a big hole where the port plate would normally go. FrankenTux was born.
FrankenTux survived until March 2008 when a power outage and following flux effectively killed it, damaging the Power supply and motherboard. Using the parts sitting around from what was previously a windows server, I created the web server currently sitting idle. I named the server "Gir." And yes, this is in direct reference to Invader Zim. Gir survived until a couple days ago when the primary hard drive finally began to enter its death throes. One hard drive in the box, which was previously unused, had already failed. The primary drive, holding all the server data, has been giving warning to its eventual failure for a couple months.
This brings us to now. I am working on checking a spare hard drive to see if it is functional and can therefore be used to bring the server back up. Until then, I have put together a virtual machine to run Gir. The drive is no longer bootable, but is allowing me to recover data. My main system is now acting as the host. Until Gir is running again, Gir is Virtual Gir.
On an amusing note, about a year ago, I decided to upgrade the OS on Gir. Running a distro of Linux, I allowed myself an easy in-place upgrade, which when the upgrade commands were given (commands given as I had trouble with the GUI), came out along the lines of saying "Gir! Upgrade yourself!" several times. If you know anything about Gir from Invader Zim, you'd understand why this could be amusing, or bordering on disaster.
I finally got around to updating the Quote List. The page actually looks decent now and flows like the rest of the site. The list is broken into blocks of fifty. As of this point in time, the list stands at 505 quotes from people or bumper stickers. Updating the list caused a number of modifications to the back end of the list as well as to my MAdmin code base.
First, the curse was ended. Turned out the entire problem with my video card was caused by insufficient power from Power Supply. The problem ended when I replaced it with a PC Power & Cooling 750 watt unit. The primary difference was a single 12v rail. This allows for all devices using 12v to share the power, unlike the problem unit with multiple rails that by design didn't push enough to each rail.
However, since then I've overhauled my system yet again. I kept the same video card and PSU, but now use an eVGA X85 Motherboard with an Intel Core i7 920 (2.66ghz) and 6GB of RAM. At the present time I am running the RC of Windows 7. I am unable to benchmark it against Vista as I never completed the Vista installation. After I installed 7, I never went back. While I have a few quirks with Win7 that I'm going to need to find hacks for, it is better than Vista. It runs smoother and handles some programs better. I have been fiddling with old games as well. As an example, I have been playing Diablo 2 and StarCraft on 7. In both I had to use compatibility modes to make them work correctly. I haven't taken a lot of time to test the Windows XP Mode however. I have it installed, but haven't really played with it. So far as I'm seeing it, its just a Virtual PC running Windows XP that according to the information from M$, will cause the VM to interact with the Host OS. It'll likely become a test project in the months to come.
Work has started again on DotH v3. I've taken the time to complete the Quotes List and need to move it to the main site. It is now fully Database driven. The only problem is that presently it requires the MAdmin. The MAdmin is still very much incomplete, but in the time it took me to get the Quotes page sorted, I ended up working on it as well. This has resulted in some interesting changes in the code to handle User Access. The new Quotes List should be up soon and is currently at a count of 505.
After months of toiling with my computer to try to restabilize it with my new video card, I have finally come to the conclusion that the problem is one of two cases: Either the video card and my motherboard really do not get along; or my power supply under certain load is failing to provide the proper level of power to the card or other devices causing a power fault or isn't providing a stable current to devices.
In the last week, my system, under the 600W PSU, locked up sitting idle at multiple times. During one attempt at playing AOE3 with a friend, my system locked up. On rebooting it, the system began reporting that it could not boot. This resulted in my having to fix the Master Boot Record. Once I brought the system back up, I ran check disk twice, against the two partitions on the primary hard drive. Even had a situation at that point where my system wouldn't power on long enough to post. By Saturday, I had swapped by 6800XT back in, along with my old trusty STOCK 420W PSU. Then to correct some damage I'd discovered to my installation of Vista, I wiped the partition and reinstalled. I thought the curse was fading, but I guess not.