2018: Day 42 the one with some Xbox One S fan noise
Word count 115,180 + 3,016 or 118,196 of 1,000,000
This was supposed to be an ode to Douglas Adams post full of witty and insightful prose. That just did not happen today. I could not muster the energy necessary to take this writing session to the next level. Sure the best intentions were present and the will to write and the time were available. That spark that takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary did not happen in a meaningful way. That might sound like an indictment of the 3,000 words that were written today. I’m pretty direct in my self-criticism and today that is just where we ended up. I should have done better, but my best was just not happening. That is going to happen from time to time during the long march to writing 3,000 words every day for a year. Investing all this time and energy into writing 1,000,000 words in the same year is going to have its ups and down. I guess the plan now is to try to avoid as many down moments as possible by striving forward.
Today should be a day of answers. That is entirely possible. It could happen. Sometimes you have to ask the ultimate question. I mean life, the universe, and well everything can be complex. Sometimes the right question makes all the difference. Not only does the right question matter, but also the answer probably matters as well. If the answer is of no consequence, then the question itself may well lack merit. By the use of the phrasing may well I’m saying it pretty much does lack merit. Yeah all those questions that that tie up thought without any real consequence are probably irrelevant and at worst somewhat destructive from our goal to strive forward to the best perfect possible future we can muster.
I’m going to write for a few minutes here as CBS is broadcasting the University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball game against the Baylor University Bears. At the end of this little spurt of writing upstairs I’m going to plug my Bose Qc35 headphones in to charge. They keep beeping at me and I assume that they are hey don’t forget to charge me beeps. The Bose COnnect application says that my headphones are at 40% charge. I guess that means they do not need to be charged at the moment. They hold a charge for wireless use of about 20 hours. I do not end up charging them very often. My use case for them typically involves about an hour a night of listening to some type of audio before falling asleep. Recently that has been an audiobook, but usually it some type of album.
The Jayhawks are not really demonstrating the type of game play that is associated with being ranked #10 in the nation at the moment. They appear to have only scored about 11 points in the first 10 minutes. That is not a recipe for success. Working toward a scoring pace that averages 40 points per game is not going to be very successful. Coach Bill Self is probably not enjoying this first half of basketball. This first half is not really the best example of Jayhawk basketball. This would have been a good game to have Svi at full speed. That ice pack Svi was rocking today was a little bit concerning. All of these commercials for Taco Bell’s $1 nacho fries are strangely needy. They are not really compelling me to run out and buy fries to dip in cheese.
Yesterday we had that freezing fog. Today it is just snowing and well snowing a little bit more. My Google weather application says it is going to snow until around 6 PM. That means we are going to be getting snow for the next five hours or so. That should work out just fine. We are not planning on leaving the house today. The weather outside is just frightful and that is a recipe for staying indoors. This game is going and going. The second half is well under way. For some reason I’m not really producing very many words doing the game. It could be that the poor performance from the Jayhawks is just sucking the air out of the room. Oh that game did not end well either. We will see what happens in the next few games. Coach Bill Self is going to have to make some adjustments to get things going again.
Topic 1: Managing Xbox One S noise
Last week I went online and found a pack of 6 acoustic noise cancelling tiles. They are about a square foot in size. Our television stand has three racks in the middle and sets of drawers on either side. My Microsoft Xbox One S has started making the most annoying fan noise. It sits on the top shelf just under the television and it makes a clicking noise. I am seriously disappointed in the quality control and part selection from the Microsoft team that built and designed this Xbox One S. Installing a quiet fan would have cost them a little bit and saved millions of people the annoyinging savage clicking sounds of a fan that just fails basic design tests. To combat that noise it seemed like a good idea to install the noise canceling tiles using an adhesive above the TiVo Roamio and the Xbox One S. Each of the panels was pretty easy to install. The liquid nails adhesive held the form tiles in place. Two and about a half of a tile are sitting on the top. I cut one of the leftover tiles in half and just slid the halves against the sides. Overall the solution has reduced most of the noise from leaving the shelf.
The fan became a really big problem when listening to the Olympics and other sports where they do not have any music in the background and it is mostly just people talking or background noise. When the volume drops off the sound of that Xbox One S fan just jumps out and annoys people in the room. I’m not sure how many people take the route of installing acoustic noise canceling tiles to combat Xbox One S noise pollution. That is probably the best and most accurate way of describing the fan noise. It is just plain and simple noise pollution that Microsoft elected to create in people’s homes. You can take a look at the thumbnail for today’s blog post. It includes my Xbox One S and some soundproofing acoustic studio foam wedge style panels. That is where things ended up and they are working so far. The amount of noise being spread throughout the room has been reduced. That was the goal. The goal has been achieved. You can tell the device still has plenty of room to exhaust heat.
I really do hope that Microsoft team figures out how to put together a better hardware build for the next generation. My best advice would be to hold some product forms and make sure you write on the whiteboard in very clear and bold letters that the next generation will have an ultra whisper quiet fan. That should be design consideration number one. A fan that will prevent the device from overheating and can deliver that functionality while being near silent. That is really not that much to ask. My entire computer case makes less noise and has a lot more fans.
Topic 2: Upgrading to USB 3.0
Tonight was the night that my backup computer “The Borg Cube” was upgraded to full USB 3.0 technology. The Corsair Carbide Series Air 740 High Airflow ATX Cube Case has been working out pretty well. I mean it looks good and all the parts fit well. Tonight I dropped in a PCI express card capable of supporting 2 external USB 3.0 ports and that card was able to connect the 2 front I/O Panel USB 3.0 ports. Connecting the I/O panel USB ports required a 19 pin usb 3.0 internal connector. That PCI express card was really the only way to add that functionality to my older motherboard that is hanging out in the case. I really wanted to have access to front facing USB 3.0 ports. That makes it really easy to plug things into the case.
Both of my computer builds feature USB 3.0 ports. That was something that I wanted to have on the devices. My Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone and my older Google Pixel XL smartphones both use USB Type-C connections. That would be the logical way to take my build. It was not the direction I decided to go. Getting the front ports on the Corsair 740 working was my primary goal of adding the ports. I was really disappointed when I realized that the older motherboard did not have the right pin connection for the case I/O panel USB ports.
Topic 3: New hard drives and other computer parts
It seems like the price of hard drives has dropped a ton. These 3.5 inch drives in my Newegg search have gotten so cheap compared to where they used to be. The Corsair 740 case can support 3 drives of the 3.5 inch size on the hidden power supply side. It would be pretty easy to setup 3 small 1 terabyte 3.5 inch drives in a RAID 3 configuration. The case can also support 4 of the 2.5 inch size drives. Those drives are always interesting. I’m not entirely sure it would be necessary to have 7 hard drives installed within my current case. That much storage is probably not required for this build, but it would be possible. The motherboard would support about 6 SATA drives and the power supply that I ordered would have no problem with that amount of storage.
At some point in the future I plan to buy a new motherboard, CPU, memory, and a Corsair CPU water cooler to install in the case. Right now my favorite motherboards are made by ASUS. Over the last several years I have either gone with ASUS or Gigabyte motherboards. Both have worked out well enough. My preference at the moment would be to acquire the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel Z370 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel motherboard. It looks pretty good and meets all my needs. That board supports an 8th Gen Intel Core Processor. That would lock me into buying an Intel core i7 processor. We will see if my interests shift to getting an Intel i9 processor box setup.
Topic 4: Rounding out the day
Welcome to the next day. That happened.
Today started off with a banana and a lungo pull of espresso. That should have been enough to kick off the day and get things going. Today was not that day. It took about 30 minutes to settle into the day and get things done in this very sentence. For some reason, I’m operating about 1,000 words behind and pushing forward each day. We will probably be watching some Olympics coverage today. The TiVo has been trained to record Olympic coverage. Without using any streaming that means that we just have to record a bunch of coverage and watch it when we want.
Ok —- I finally broke down and started watching Top Chef on YouTube TV. Right now Season 15 episode 9 “Bronco Brouhaha” is playing on my Storm Stryker custom built computer rig. It is not playing in 4K. The content on this one actually tops out at 720p (which YouTube has labeled as HD, but I’m not buying that). It looks like as we watch those last few Kansas Basketball games that will be on ESPN this year we will be paying for one month of YouTube TV. That means streaming content to one of my Chromecast devices when necessary.
It turns out the only show on television that I could not go without watching was Top Chef. Oddly enough that show is in its 15th season and still going on Bravo. We will see how that goes. I may have to turn it off. This Top Chef episode is not fueling my writing endeavors. The drama of this quickfire has pulled me in as a viewer. It is a show of details that you have to really watch to catch. They do not talk through everything that you are seeing. You really have to watch to see what folks are doing and presenting as food.
We ended up getting about four to five inches of snow outside the house. It was enough to get us to really stay home and enjoy the day inside. It does appear that YouTube TV does have commercials. I’m watching the same ones over and over again during the commercial breaks for this episode of Top Chef. That is going to keep happening I guess for the next 30 days. After that this whole end to cable television will really be an end I guess. So many choices for streaming exist that any content that really jumps out can be purchased.
Ok —- Those folks from Purple who made the seat cushion I’m using right now almost sold me a pillow. I have been pretty happy with my, “The Ultimate Purple No-Pressure Seat Cushion.” I use it every day it works well enough. I keep seeing advertisements for the Purple pillow. Those advertisements did get me to go look at the pillow online. It looks nice enough. It cost a little more than I want to pay for a pillow. That is a matter of personal preference.
Topic 5: Tackling the Firewire problem
I crawled under my desk and checked the back of my computer to see if any 1394 firewire ports existed. It was already pretty certain before I crawled under the desk that no 1394 firewire ports were attached to this computer. A few quick searches for 1394 firewire to USB adapter turned up a couple options. I’m going to roll out my Lian Li cube case here in a few minutes and check to see if a Firewire card is hiding. I’m pretty sure that at least one if not two cards are hanging around in my office somewhere.
After climbing up on my stepladder and grabbing the old camcorder bag I was able to figure out exactly what model had been purchased. It was a Sony digital video camera recorder model number DCR-TRV140. It was made in Japan. I have had it for a number of years. I guess two problems are rumbling around in my head right now related to this camcorder. First, will the device itself plug in and work properly. Second, will any of the tapes still be in working condition after this many years. We will find out here shortly assuming that I find the long lost firewire card.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. I’m like two hours into my day and things are just starting to get rolling. It took a little bit to get things started today. It could be that Captain Pickles was very wild today. Puppies being puppies you know. At some point, I’m going to need to jump up above the fold here and write one more topic to get this post up to a total of 3,000 words for the day. That our you are in for a very long postscript today. It could happen and that could the way this ends up rounding out the night.
YouTube TV just took me down a Top Chef rabbit hole. I have been watching the last few episodes and catching up. I’m going to try to figure out the firewire card problem here shortly this afternoon. I’m not sure exactly how many of the 31 tapes can be offloaded, but that is really what I am curious about at the moment. In this time that I should be looking forward to think about what is possible and what I can do I’m focusing on looking back. Even the fact that I went out to the internet archive Wayback Machine is a strong indicator that something is happening. My interest in being reflective is growing. It is possible that writing over 100,000 words this year has given me the opportunity to really think about things at a deeper level.
Part of this journey will include some reflective thought, but the core of the journey has to be focused on looking forward and thinking about what could be. It is about looking toward that perfect possible future and striving toward it. This inquiry into quality takes time. It will keep doing. Making it to day 42 took a certain amount of effort. It is really starting to set in that making to 365 days is going to be a battle. That is the part of the process that I want to truly avoid. It should be hard to write this many words, but the process cannot be a battle for an entire year. I have figure out how to make it a part of my routine and allow it be more of a writing process vs. a writing battle. I’m not the first person to realize that a battle with the page is the quickest way to active writers block. Fighting the blank page is a battle that never really works out well. You have to embrace the blank page and work with it and avoid working against it. That is the foundational recipe of truly writing for the sake of writing.
This Tervis tumbler came from the cabinet. It holds about 16 ounces and was Made in America and has a lifetime warranty. After grabbing the tumbler from the cabinet it was a short trip to the refrigerator. I made a snap decision to go with cubs instead of crushed ice. It took about 30 seconds to fill the tumbler about 2/3 full of ice. That was enough to have it ready for a beverage. That is what happened just before I sat down to write these words. This last little bit of content to push this blog post up over 3,000 words for the day. That was what needed to happen to make sure things do not fall behind.