Thursday, January 31 2013
After an unseasonably warm night, the house didn't need much in the way of heating this morning, though temperatures dropped steadily throughout the day and ended up less than freezing once more. Despite all the thawing (which had gotten rid of all the snow on the roof and nearly all of it on the ground), a large unthawed chunk of ice remained in the brownhouse cistern.
Today I took delivery of replacement for the power supply of the teevee room's media computer, which allows us to watch movies downloaded from the internet nearly as easily as we watch DVDs, satellite teevee, or Roku. The old power supply died the other day in a cloud of acrid smoke that came from one of its toroid transformers (which overheated, burning away the insulation, shorting it out further, and causing a runaway destructive thermal process). The new power supply supposedly had a loud fan, so I'd also ordered a super quiet replacement. But when I plugged everything together, the stock fan sounded sufficiently quiet. Only later, afer I'd sealed everything up, did the fan, responding to higher temperatures, switch to a higher RPM, resulting in an unwelcome roar.
At some point today my 238 gigabyte SSD boot drive ran out of room, but it was impossible to easily determine what was using it all. I tried looking for a way to make Windows 7 show directory sizes, but it turns out that, while this was possible in Windows XP, it no longer is. But then I discovered something even better: a file visualizer called SequoiaView that produces a graphic where cushion-shaped squares of different sizes and colors represent files of different sizes and types. These are organized in turn into a hierarchy of rectangles, giving a sense of how much stuff is in the various directories. Using this program, I quickly tracked down what was using all the space on my boot drive. It was a copy of Bard College's ReserveWeb, a huge (46 gigabyte) collection of PDFs, MP3s, and AVIs submitted by every Bard professor for every Bard course going back years in time. I'd had to install this on a BPI server in Eastern Correctional Facility, and it had seemed like such an informational bounty that I'd kept a copy for myself. As it happened, I actually had more than one copy of it, so there was no reason for me to maintain a copy on my boot drive, where I only keep things that need to load very quickly.
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