Monday, June 29, 2020

The Cube rides again!

Remember the Mac Cube? At the time it was a tiny computer, quiet, and powerful for it's day. Since then I've acquired an iMac that is now the email and Linda's browsing computer. A laptop that is the main writing computer and remote photo editing/tethered computer. Then a recent iMac just for editing photos. The poor Cube gathered dust, between the times it was used to play videos during my bike workouts. Those have been happening less and less frequently and now will not happen at all.

One of my projects these days is to tidy up the basement. Throw away what should be thrown away. Migrate to the recycle bin, or the e-recycling depot, or the clothing bin, or, or, whatever. What remains ought to be neatly stored for when we want it.

The cube was sitting on some IVAR that I wanted to repurpose. I turned it on to see if it would actually work, and it still did. I'm not sure when I last turned it on. Then I had the happy thought of using it to display photos in the living room where we often read. I did a test and it worked.

I cleaned it off and brought it upstairs. I did a sample using some photos on an external hard drive, and other than taking a long time to digest them all, it displayed them quite nicely. I did a bit of poking and figured out that with a bit of tidying I ought to be able to get all the photos on the internal drive.

Then there was a detour. I think I deleted something I shouldn't have, or something got corrupted, or it just got cranky about being suddenly overworked. The solution was to reinstall the operating system, which has the added bonus of cleaning everything else off the hard drive. Except, (detour) I couldn't find the right install discs. Fortunately my buddy Ken C is much better organized, being a full blown IT guy, rather than the half propeller IT beanie I sometimes wear. I was pretty sure he'd have the disc, given he also has a cube in his basement. He lent me the disc, and I hope he enjoys the bottle of wine.

The install went fine, it just took a long time. Copying the files into the hard drive took a long time. Almost 10 thousand files, through the original USB port, when USB was new. Yes, the cube has firewire, and in the zillion cables in the house, I couldn't easily find a firewire on one end, and something that would go in one of my external drives on the other.

Now I've got it set up to display the photos as a screen saver. These are the social resolution photos I use for the blog and for Facebook, and they look great!. It cycles through them at random, displaying each for 10 or 11 seconds. I've set it up to put itself to sleep at night, and wake up in the morning, so we'll see if that's a thing.

The display is 18.5 x 12 inches, or 22 inches diagonally, 1600 x 1024 px resolution. No, it isn't the 55 inch TV we could have professionally mounted on the wall above the stairs. But the big advantage of this is that it's free. Plus, I think it's cool looking, in a slightly retro way. Now that I know it works, I'll get a nicer stand for it.

Posted this on Facebook the other day. It's opening slowly, still not open today.

Of the Day


Actually, this is not the flower photo you think it is. Yes, it's the white peony again, but t's really a photo of a water drop. Check out that big drop top left.


Ribbon Creek


1 comment:

  1. I tried to google the term disc but I only came up with Frisbee. Nice to see old tech repurposed. Cheers, Sean


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