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Posted on 19-04-12, 13:58
Not from my cellphone

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Time to quit computers for good then.

Licensed Pirate® since 2006, 100% Buttcoin™-free
Posted on 19-04-12, 14:08
Custom title here

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Posted by sureanem
Posted by CaptainJistuce
OpenBSD seems the safest active-development OS.
Fair enough, I thought you were going to say FreeBSD.
That is the board fad, for historical reasons.

And that's assuming Intel will even let you run unsigned code on their CPUs without a developer license
And Intel is untrustworthy anyways. The Intel Management Engine is an entire second computer running a(n outdated) Linux install, completely undocumented, with direct unrestricted access to every part of a machine(running or not). One with multiple known exploits in the recent past, at that.



--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-04-12, 15:03
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
Time to quit computers for good then.

But will it be possible?

If you today were to say, at least in a first world country, that you don't own a smartphone, people would look very strangely at you. And the only reason that the government even bothers to provide non-digital services, at least here, is due to older citizens. This usually works by calling the government agency, who then has some tech whiz there send an e-mail for you.

When they die out, that'll get scrapped. Here, they are already starting to phase out postal mail for government purposes, replacing it with an "electronic mailbox". To travel on the commuter train, you get a discount if you pay by app instead of charge card, and directly purchasing a ticket with your credit card is only possible for one-day tickets (about 3x more expensive than paying on a monthly basis), and obviously intended for tourists.

Cash is getting phased out as well. Most young people don't carry cash, but rather just make instant bank transfers to each other via their phones. The government is working on an "electronic currency" initiative, which would solve the issue that private banks become a vital part of infrastructure in a cashless society.

You might have thought things were bad with the rapid devaluation of currency. But at least you could spend the money that you had. In a True Cashless Society™, the government could just steal money from you at will, or restrict how you spent it, or monitor all transactions to get a very accurate picture of the economy for future regulations.

No tax evasion, no financial crime, no nothing. Just a global market of goods and services.

Venezuela in this regard is lucky to at least have incompetent politicians.

I don't think it stops with smartphones either. Some people are already buying Amazon Alexa or similar products. Presumably, they will force people to abandon perfectly working light switches for automating it via the motion sensors. And then, when it's, say, 99% rolled out, two things will happen:

1. The remaining 1% will end up on one or several watchlists and presumably get their phone tapped
2. Amazon will be pressured into "resisting hate" or some similar tripe, passing on evidence of "hate speech" to the mothership, and from there to the government.

Posted by 1984
The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.


Posted by https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-10/is-anyone-listening-to-you-on-alexa-a-global-team-reviews-audio
Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening.

Sometimes, someone is.

Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices.

...

Occasionally the listeners pick up things Echo owners likely would rather stay private: a woman singing badly off key in the shower, say, or a child screaming for help. The teams use internal chat rooms to share files when they need help parsing a muddled word—or come across an amusing recording.

...

In Alexa's privacy settings, Amazon gives users the option of disabling the use of their voice recordings for the development of new features. The company says people who opt out of that program might still have their recordings analyzed by hand over the regular course of the review process.

...

Amazon’s review process for speech data begins when Alexa pulls a random, small sampling of customer voice recordings and sends the audio files to the far-flung employees and contractors, according to a person familiar with the program’s design.

Do you trust their encryption? Do you trust their so-called "strict technical and operational safeguards"?

Well, no problem, because soon you'll have to have it whether you like it or not.

Posted by CaptainJistuce
And Intel is untrustworthy anyways. The Intel Management Engine is an entire second computer running a(n outdated) Linux install, completely undocumented, with direct unrestricted access to every part of a machine(running or not). One with multiple known exploits in the recent past, at that.
Sure, but Intel now at least benevolently grants you the freedom to run whatever code you desire on their processor. That's far better that what could be, and the Management Engine (which, really, is just there to keep you and your neighbors safe) is a small price to pay for this freedom. Remember that it's only thanks to Intel we've got to enjoyed these great leaps in semiconductor technology.

Stolen iPhones get iCloud locked, which is a great selling point. How long until they start "making device theft a non-issue" for computers too? Remember that it's enough that one of the non-replaceable components be rendered unusable for the device to become nothing more than an expensive paperweight.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-04-12, 16:53
Post: #32 of 134
Since: 11-24-18

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Regarding Saki - Why not simply bite the bullet and pay the $50 for something like this?

http://www.banana-pi.org/r1.html

Posted on 19-04-12, 17:00
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by wertigon
Regarding Saki - Why not simply bite the bullet and pay the $50 for something like this?

http://www.banana-pi.org/r1.html

The minimum wage in Venezuela is around $6.70/month.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-04-12, 19:59
Not from my cellphone

Post: #253 of 739
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Posted by sureanem
Posted by wertigon
Regarding Saki - Why not simply bite the bullet and pay the $50 for something like this?

http://www.banana-pi.org/r1.html

The minimum wage in Venezuela is around $6.70/month.

Actually, about $5 at the current exchange rates (or less at the black market rates).

Plus with the ongoing hyperinflation, your $50 ARM stick will easily cost over $150 here after going through all the greedy middlemen. Yay greed~!

Fun fact: there is no vintage computing scene over here. A look through MercadoLibre listings for old motherboards and RAMs stop just at the beginnings of Socket 478. Socket 370? A couple of SiS-based PCCHIPS turds. Socket 7? *crickets*. And some moron selling a Socket 3 mobo with fake cache for like $15. No rare 30-pin SIMMs or 32MB EDO sticks, no MSDOS dream rigs, not even ISA cards of any kind (except maybe for the occasional noname sound card or motherboard tester) :/

Anyway, I replaced the CPU: an underclocked Pentium MMX 233 for a slightly overclocked 200 part (75Mhz bus x 3.0 = 225MHz; none of those will run stable at 262.5MHz with the 3.5 multiplier) which I had used with this very system for like 5 years before swapping with with the underclocked part. The weird GRUB reboots / kernel oopses/panics seem to be gone. Now I've got another problem: the RTC drifts too much when the system is shut down, and for making things more interesting, this one of the very few PCCHIPS crud that actually uses a RTC module (originally a Houston Tech brick o' doom, but I'm running a legit DS12887A on mine), so looks like I'll have to rework it Soon™, just like the one on my 386.

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Posted on 19-04-12, 20:10
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
Now I've got another problem: the RTC drifts too much when the system is shut down, and for making things more interesting, this one of the very few PCCHIPS crud that actually uses a RTC module (originally a Houston Tech brick o' doom, but I'm running a legit DS12887A on mine), so looks like I'll have to rework it Soon™, just like the one on my 386.

Why not just use NTP? Do you need accurate time while booting for anything?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-04-12, 20:12 (revision 1)

Post: #113 of 279
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Posted by tomman
Anyway, I replaced the CPU: an underclocked Pentium MMX 233 for a slightly overclocked 200 part (75Mhz bus x 3.0 = 225MHz; none of those will run stable at 262.5MHz with the 3.5 multiplier) which I had used with this very system for like 5 years before swapping with with the underclocked part.

Is that even enough for ZSNES?

My current setup: Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-1CHIP-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10
Posted on 19-04-12, 20:39
Not from my cellphone

Post: #254 of 739
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Posted by sureanem
Posted by tomman
Now I've got another problem: the RTC drifts too much when the system is shut down, and for making things more interesting, this one of the very few PCCHIPS crud that actually uses a RTC module (originally a Houston Tech brick o' doom, but I'm running a legit DS12887A on mine), so looks like I'll have to rework it Soon™, just like the one on my 386.

Why not just use NTP? Do you need accurate time while booting for anything?

I do actually run openntpd as a service.

Sadly I can't rely too much on it, as my DSL is often down for OBVIOUS REASONS.

Also a dying RTC battery is not good at all, considering it also saves your CMOS settings!

Posted by creaothceann
Posted by tomman
Anyway, I replaced the CPU: an underclocked Pentium MMX 233 for a slightly overclocked 200 part (75Mhz bus x 3.0 = 225MHz; none of those will run stable at 262.5MHz with the 3.5 multiplier) which I had used with this very system for like 5 years before swapping with with the underclocked part.

Is that even enough for ZSNES?

My DOS box of dreams is not a 586. Not even a 486, but a plain 386 :)

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Posted on 19-04-12, 21:05
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman

I do actually run openntpd as a service.

Sadly I can't rely too much on it, as my DSL is often down for OBVIOUS REASONS.

Also a dying RTC battery is not good at all, considering it also saves your CMOS settings!

What about running an NTP server on one of your other boxes? Or do all have fucked RTCs?

As for the CMOS, how bad is it? Can't you perpetually run the computer on default settings and adjust everything else to match? I'm assuming any batteries of any kind would be too expensive/rare. Or can you still get like regular AA batteries?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-04-12, 21:34
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you know what is a good time keeping source? GPS.
Posted on 19-04-12, 22:15
May contain nuts

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This after the whole thing with the dates.
Posted on 19-04-12, 23:13
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by funkyass
you know what is a good time keeping source? GPS.

Also pretty expensive. Would be cool to have a GPS watch one day though, hate having to constantly set it.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-04-13, 00:06
Custom title here

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Posted by Kawa
This after the whole thing with the dates.
It is easy to know what decade you're in, which makes it easy to correct.
Also, new hardware uses the 13-bit week counter instead of the 10-bit one, and is good for a century and a half.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-05-15, 06:24 (revision 4)
Post: #194 of 367
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Microsoft finally corrected their article (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073119/protect-against-speculative-execution-side-channel-vulnerabilities-in) with correct instructions on installing the Speculation Control Powershell package.

Previously it was missing the Set-ExecutionPolicy and $SaveExecutionPolicy bits of the documentation for manual installation. So when you'd go to install it you'd get errors since you didn't have the right policy for installing scripts in effect. A lot of places which offer scripts to run, fail to provide this information and it's hard to google for if you don't quite know what to google.

(Save current policy)
$SaveExecutionPolicy = Get-ExecutionPolicy

(Gain permission to install packages)
PS> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope Currentuser

(Restore original policy)
PS> Set-ExecutionPolicy $SaveExecutionPolicy -Scope Currentuser

AMD Ryzen 3700X | MSI Gamer Geforce 1070Ti 8GB | 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 RAM | ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero (WiFi) Motherboard | Windows 10 x64
Posted on 19-05-15, 11:49 (revision 1)
Not from my cellphone

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If you're still using that old Thinkpad or Compaq Evo pizzabox that works with nothing but good ol' WinXP... be aware that there is yet another nasty vulnerability doing the rounds out there. But since the words "wormable" and "exploit" are involved, MS has yet again done the unthinkable: release a security patch for XP... in 2019! Remember: XP was EOL'd for good in 2014, but in the wake of the WannaCry disaster, MS had no option but to release a bunch of emergency patches in 2017 for the living zombie of this OS.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/05/microsoft-patches-wormable-flaw-in-windows-xp-7-and-windows-2003/
https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2019-0708
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4500705/customer-guidance-for-cve-2019-0708

This specific vulnerability does hit Remote Desktop / Terminal Server on all Windows versions up to Win7/2K8R2, but surprisingly not Windows 8.x/10. For W7, the patches are now available through the usual WU channels. For XP/2003, you have to source them from Windows Update Catalog. And for Vista... well, fuck you - why in the hell are you still using Vista!? XP has (mostly) legit excuses, at least.

At this point, MS should just grow a pair and un-EOL XP. People is not going to stop using anytime soon, no matter what you try. It was a great OS, and it still has some potential left. But no, that does clash with their Spy Machine of Terrible Performance known as Windows 10.

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Posted on 19-05-15, 15:00
Stirrer of Shit
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You can (should, must) never back down, and that is a consequence of having one in the first place, so un-EOL ing XP won't happen.

Good on them to still support it. I'd reckon all this "Windows 7 EOL" tripe is a hoax for the same reason.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-05-16, 06:18
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If they un-EOL XP they also need to un-EOL Win98 SE. So, not going to happen.

Though why anyone would run Win98 connected to internet these days is beyond me. :)

As for XP, at some time you need to stop supporting old versions. Since win7 there were few reasons left to use XP (or Vista for that matter; 7 was a straight upgrade from that), and those reasons are fewer and fewer as time goes on.

You don't like it there's always ReactOS!
Posted on 19-05-16, 07:20
Custom title here

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Honestly, the last XP patch looked like it only happened to get the camera so the media would listen when they said their spiel about state-level actors. I dunno on this one, it doesn't seem to be associated with any rant I can see.

--- In UTF-16, where available. ---
Posted on 19-06-13, 18:18 (revision 2)
Not from my cellphone

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As you already know, I've been using a ol' repurposed PC as a makeshift TV since late 2015. Nothing weird about this - thousands of randoms around the world do the same (we've been in this "smart TV" biz well before Samsung and friends started brainwashing the masses with their anything-but-smart panels).

What is weird is my specific setup and its... oddities. My specific box is a IBM Thinkcentre M50 (Type 8188, variant -KS5 which seems to be a Latam-specific build), and those are from a era back when IBM actually assembled Real Computers Built Tough™®. Seriously, those office pizzaboxes were designed to last anything short of a nuclear/EMP blast. Servicing those is a joy: no screws on the most commonly replaced parts (drives, top cover), BIOS and device driver updates for up to 4 years after the machine hit the streets, and they're pretty much unbrickable. Mine was assembled in Mexico, with a motherboard also assembled in Mexico (with a bunch of Foxconn parts from China), and with the finest Japanese capacitors that money can buy - every single cap inside is the good stuff: Nichicon, Rubycon and Sanyo. My specimen came to life in Tijuana in late '03, and originally belonged to my cousin since January 2004 - he mistreated this machine so badly I'm actually surprised it still survives to this date (has been in my hands since 2014 or so). Even the original Predesktop Area (including the Windows restore partition as those machines never shipped with CDs of any kind) is intact! (there is a neat tool called fiesta which can be used to backup and restore the HPA contents; I've successfully moved mine to a 250GB HDD from its long-failed stock 80GB WD drive). Hell, these even shipped with first-gen SATA ports! (a rarity in 2003, where PATA was still king, unwilling to leave the throne for 3 more years to come)

Troubleshooting those, on the other side, is a PITA. I stopped using mine as a TV tuner unit after the cableco fried anything that resembled a TV (and this included my TV tuner card), leaving me with CANTV-tier sat service. But I ended ditching that too after the Arduous March Everlasting Blackouts, so the machine has sat there idle, unplugged, devoid of any activity whatsoever. Even playing Sonic ROM hacks and refurbishing old WD Crapiar HDDs came to a screeching halt, as I couldn't afford to sacrifice yet another PC to the weaksauce of our memetic power grid, where words like "uptime" and "continuous service" are now officially verboten. Anyway, two days ago I plugged it to perform the HDD 2000-hour SMART selftest (long due!), and was greeted with a hang, then "PCI parity errors" from the (remnants of) TV tuner card. Cracked open the case, whack the card, bootingness restored, the Samsung HDD is still healthy, so off you go again.

Fast forward to the next blackout. I had forgot to unplug the PC, so when the power restored, so did the machine. There goes the first oddity of these IBM boxes: when you plug them to the wall power, the PSU will kick on -full blast- after a few seconds, long enough to let the HDD(s) spin up, then shutdown again, waiting for someone to actually turn then on again. I've never understood the why of this (maybe it's a sort of self test on standby/cold power up?), but this is normal on all those boxes I've seen so far (and those IBMs were sold by the truckload over here - chances are your nearest bank branch or public office are still using a few of those!). Here is the key: the machine should shutdown after a few seconds of this! Except that... mine just stuck there. No video, no beeps, no nada!

Tried all the following...
- Unplug power, then replug: nothing.
- Remove the CMOS battery: nothing.
- Clear the CMOS using the jumper: the machine beeps several times when the jumper is set, but it just sits there with it removed
- Remove all expansion cards: nothing.
- Reseat the RAM: nothing (Trying to boot without RAM does cause the machine to beep endlessly, just as expected... but as soon as ONE DIMM is set... well, nothing!)
- Unplug EVERYTHING (drives, cards) except for the PSU, some RAM, and the front panel button/LED board: NO-THING!

Long short story: I ended taking apart the machine down to the frame for a good cleanup. And oh boy, that thing was DIRTY! Tons of dust (including the PSU, which has never been opened since it came out of the factory in November 2003, and was a totally disgusting mess, maybe even a fire hazard!). After painstakingly cleaning every single piece, replacing caked thermal paste, brushing every corner of the case, and reassembling everything, the machine came back to life at the first try! (Just to rule out any failed component, I reassembled and tested in stages: first motherboard+RAM, then AGP video card, the HDD+FDD cage, and finally everything else).

So yeah, there is it: another good reminder that a straight cleanup every now and then can actually fix (and even prevent) boot issues. This is not the first time that dust bunnies prevent any of my machines to boot, but this IBM is particularly annoying with it.

If you ever have to service any of these puppies (they make great retroboxes for W98/2K/XP stuff, and they run Linux rather well), here are some useful tips:

- Inner plastic pieces are very brittle and thus prone to break after withstanding years of heat inside the case: this includes the PCI/AGP card lock handle thingy and the HDD tray. For the former, IBM engineers were ahead of you, and knew that their zero-tool solution would cause problems down the road, so they left conventional screw holes on the expansion bays - just get some loose screws from your head parts bin to secure your expansion cards. For the latter... well, this one is tough: more recent Lenovo boxes use very similar HDD trays, but don't waste your time with those, as they aren't compatible - these were made for slimmer rails and dropping a drive in one of those would do no good as there would be nothing securing the drive in place (plus those don't include the grounding tabs found on the old-style trays). A makeshift solution would be using spacers, from 3D-printed to ghetto-style solutions (I used cardboard!). The tray is not optional: there are no screw holes for securing HDDs on those drive cages! (surprisingly both the FDD and ODD cages DO have screw holes... and they're required!)

- Watch out when removing the motherboard from the case! The correct way is to slide it towards the front of the system, then lift it up. This is due to another interesting design choice by IBM: they use a proprietary Socket 478 heatsink/fan mount (it uses a couple of screws to fasten a couple of "wings" that secure the heatsink unit in place). As you know, since the Socket 478 era the heatsink/fan mounts are separate from the socket, and (usually) user-replaceable. But what makes this IBM design really special is that not only they made custom-shaped pieces to leave space to some parts in the PCB, they also placed a "clamp" at the lower case to secure the entire assembly to the PC chassis! (this is why you can't simply lift the mobo from the case - trying it will end severely damaging everything: case, motherboard, humans). I haven't tested if this motherboard can accept stock Intel (or 3rd-party) heatsink mounts.

- The motherboard is standard ATX fare, there is nothing proprietary there, except for the front panel connectors (power button, LEDs, USB ports, speaker). If you're planning to use one of those cases for a Frankenstein box (why not? They're far better than your generic Chinese junk, if you can withstand living with ONE HDD bay), get ready to rewire everything inside. IIRC IBM has all relevant pinouts documented on the Hardware Maintenance Manual for these. The speaker connector is 2-pin, but of a smaller pitch so you will need to solder a new connector, rather than just replacing the plastic jacket.

- As for PSUs... getting modern replacements for these ATX units (which were state-of-the-art in 2003: SATA power plugs, elaborate input filters, passive PFC coils heavy as hell... y'know, the basic stuff that you would expect from any half-decent PSU nowadays) can be very tricky. These came with 230W units, which is not a lot of power, and even less if you're considering to pimp your rig (Prescotts, fancy AGP video cards, DVD burners, and high-performance SATA drives can easily overload your PSU). While these are standard ATX units (down to the pinouts and screw holes), if you ever see one in the flesh you will notice its funky shape (the "hump" is to house a bigass 10cm fan). The hump is not of concern, but the depth is: this one is no more than 10~12cm deep, while the standard ATX PSU is easily twice that. The case is simply too small for it! You WILL run into clearance issues with the ODD drive cage (also, modular PSUs are right out of the question). These are your options:
+ Get rid of the ODD drive cage, which means giving up CD/DVD drives. This may or may not be a big deal to you, depending on what uses you have planned for your rig (in my case, while I have went disc-less, I actually replaced it with a removable PATA bay, which takes one of the 5.25" slots, so clearly that's not an option).
+ Use "short-loader" ODDs (Lite-On made plenty of those). This may buy you like 5cm or so, which is not enough for most PSUs out there.
+ Find a "short-sized" ATX PSU. They DO exist, but they're usually gutless wonders. Don't waste your time.
+ Consider switching to a SFX PSU. They're small enough to fit within the depth restrictions, and if there are ATX-to-SFX mounting plates available (if you get your PSU from a reputable brand instead of buying a gasoline-soaked rag, chances are they will throw one for free in the box). This limits your power budget to <700W, but that's more than enough for an Emergency Extreme Edition Gallatin with a HD4670 and a couple of 10KRPM screamer HDDs (you won't be overclocking on the stock IBM mobo/BIOS anytime soon anyway). As a bonus you get some extra space inside which helps with cooling.

- Cooling is a serious issue with those boxes, particularly around the FDD/HDD cage, which runs VERY HOT due to the cabling mess underneath (the ATX power harness, PATA/FDD ribbons, drive cage power cables, and SATA cables run under it, and with the RAM slots on bottom of THAT, this leaves no room for cooling there). While IBM provided the motherboard with 3 fan connectors, these were most likely intended for the tower systems, not for the desktop ones as these boxes have ZERO mounts for additional fans (WTF IBM!?!?!?!). This leaves HDDs very vulnerable to extreme heat (I've measured 65°C temps there, and that's on a room with plenty of air conditioning!), and it's THE most popular part to find failed on those. You need to get very creative to work around these constraints (hint: plastic and duct tape are your best friends... and of your HDD too!)

- Speaking about cooling and monitoring, don't expect to control your fans from Linux anytime soon: the specific SMSC SuperI/O chip on this board will never be supported by lm-sensors, despite being similar to other chips from the same manufacturer and vintage. You will have to survive with the three fan settings on the IBM BIOS (Normal, Quiet, Jet Engine). FWIW, this chip IS supported by SpeedFan under Windows.

- You can easily flash a new bootscreen using the official IBM/Phoenix BIOS update packages (it's all documented there). But the bootscreen will stop working for unknown reasons (instead all you get is the standard text mode boot messages). It certainly did stop working last time I switched video cards. You may try a reflash if this happens, but considering how long my IBM T120 panel takes to wake up over DVI (by the time it wakes after powering the PC, it's already on the GRUB boot menu), I didn't bother.

- There is no room for a secondary HDD! Ditch the floppy, get a 5.25" adapter bracket, or even better, install hotswap bays in the ODD slots (for whatever reason you get two of them on the desktop chassis)

- The AGP 8X slot in this thing only takes 1.5V cards. Universal cards will fit, but if it is a oldass 3.3V card, it will NOT work! Thankfully you can install HD3000/4000 cards on this thing (your PSU power budget allowing), assuming you're willing to endure ATi driver hell. The HD2000 series will work fine as long as you don't want to decode HD video on those because these first-gen UVD cards were garbage. Don't make the same mistake I made :/

- This thing will gladly take up to 4x1GB DDR400 DIMMs. But not only there are no 64-bit Socket 478 CPUs (barring a couple of very specific OEM-only CPUs for IBM servers that you won't be finding outside eBay scalpers, and that most likely will never work on this BIOS due to missing microcode), the 865G chipset has a 4GB ceiling. Remember: you also have to factor in all other devices in your system eating some of that memory address space, including your video card (if you have one). My recommendation? 4x512MB or 2x1GB sticks (so you can take advantage of Dual Channel modes) and you're golden, but NO MORE. XP will scream on such a setup, and even Debian will run with a more than modest performance. Just don't ever try running a web browser on it...

- If you add a sound card (highly recommended for any serious multimedia usage; the good ol' SB Live! is still a fine choice for these machines), don't forget to disable the built-in Analog Devices integrated audio codec.

- This machine will run Windows 7 (I've tried it), but you may have troubles getting the video card drivers to work (at least in the case of a GeForce 6200; I'm not willing to endure more stages of the ATi driver hell so I haven't tried with the HD2600). You will want a video card inside anyway no matter the OS, as the integrated i865 video is nothing short of utter rotten garbage. Stick to XP+Linux (or your favorite *BSD).

- If you ever have to get into the PSU, be aware that those are quality designs (no joking: for a measly 230W design they're HEAVY, which is often a good sign) which means that they're a PAIN to crack open! Mine came with a Hipro (now Chicony) PSU (which is considered among some PSU gurus by "almost God tier"), but these also shipped with ACBel and Lite-On PSUs), and tearing it apart is... well, not a joy:
+ Remove 5 screws: two at the bottom, and three at the front (two at the DC cables exit, one at the other side). Don't forget to break the cable tie holding the cable maze to the case (don't undo any of the other zip ties holding the maze together)
+ CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pry apart the two halves of the PSU case. The metal sheet is thick, but you can still get very hurt! Plus the fan (which is held with rubber posts instead of screws to minimize vibration) is SOLDERED to one of the many sub-PCBs inside the case. If you're feeling masochist you can cut the fan cables, but I strongly recommend to refrain from doing so.
+ Once the two case halves are separated, set the fan half aside. Now you will see a white plastic sheet (that's the isolator that any PSU should have, bar some gutless wonders). Under it, it's the main PCB, secured with 4 screws, one at each screw. The plastic sheet is affixed with the two screws towards the rear of the case. There is a corner cutout on the sheet exposing the 3rd screw, and the 4th and final one is UNDER the sheet. Remove those now.
+ With your third hand, try to unplug the power input cable that comes from the AC input filter board (which is right in front of the AC power socket). There is next to no room for your fingers in that highly crammed corner of the PCB, so be gentle! (Oh, if this is your first time, there is another cable tie that you must break) Even after unplugging it, you can't simply pull the main PCB as there is another wire coming from the PFC choke (?) SOLDERED to the PCB (WTF HIPRO, WHY?!?!??!). The best you can do is to carefully bend the case while wriggling the PCB until it sets free from the case. Take your time, as this is the single most frustrating step of the dissasembly!
+ Take your brush and evict all the dust bunnies! All 15 years of 'em! There is no need to remove the PFC choke or the input filter board, unless you really hate yourself or have a fourth and fifth hand.
+ To reassemble, do all steps in reverse. Reseating the plastic isolator sheet is the second next difficult step here: just push the goddamned thing HARD! Also, a helpful thing: you've noticed that the sheet has a screw hole for the 4th screw (the one you had to remove UNDER the sheet). The Hipro slaves at the China factory weren't lazy: leaving this hole alone and only screwing the PCB to the case on this point is intentional. DO NOT SCREW THE ISOLATOR SHEET HERE, otherwise you will NEVER be able to close the case as the fan goes here and will NEVER fit! The isolator needs to be free to slide under the fan (a long and thin plastic spudger may come helpful here).

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