Noctua NH-D15: Silencing the Ryzen.

A couple of months ago, when I installed the Ryzen 3800X in to my desktop, I noted that, whilst the provided stock cooling was decent, it did have a tendency to get noisy under load. Far noiser than the cooler provided with the Ryzen 1700. It also isn’t all that great at keeping the processor cool; easily reaching the upper limit of 95 degrees celsius, the moment it needed some grunt. I do like a quiet system, so decided I may as well get an aftermarket cooler sooner, rather than later.

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PC upgrade time. Ryzen R7 1700 to R7 3800X.

[Image from AMD.com]

There’s a lot happening in the AMD world. Some of the third generation Ryzen chips have just received a slightly faster sibling, in the form of the XT models, and Zen 3, in the form of the desktop Ryzen 4000 CPU’s (don’t get me started on the mobile chip model designation convention) can’t be too far away, with the expected release to be towards the latter of 2020. I’ve been umming and arring about what my next upgrade was going to be but when Amazon cut the price of the 3800x to £280, albeit temporarily, the decision become much easier.

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Upcoming Site Changes

I’m having a little sort out of this site, over the coming weeks. My main plan is to move the domain name over to simonpreston.dev, ditching the Devpond name (which wasn’t all that great anyway, really). I’ve already begun the process; the new domain name already points to the blog, and the site title has been updated. The next phase will to be update links, inside blog posts, that point to the old domain, to the new one. After that set the old domain to redirect completely to the new domain, and bye bye, old domain (eventually).

That’s just the first phase, and I’m not planning on stopping there. I’m looking to move the site to a new server, in the near future. Also, I want to give this site a more personal look, and create my own theme. Not quite sure which will come first; probably the server move, as that’s the easiest. A new theme will be some months of work. Especially when this site isn’t part of my day job. Other ideas will be to plug more of my own applications in to this site, so it’s not just a bland blog.

So there may be some little bumps, and unexpected downtime, here and there – including one earlier, which I’m thinking may have been a transaction lock on the database, preventing the site from loading, as every thing else looked fine. But it’s all for The Greater Good.

Update 19th April 2020:

Server switch done! A bit sooner than I expected. But, as it turns out, we all have a lot more time on our hands, these days, thanks to many of us being stuck indoors. Earlier in the week, I got the domain name switch complete, and the old address now redirects to the new domain. Over the last couple of days I’ve been getting a new Ubuntu server set up, with a mirror of the site primed and ready. I’ve flipped the public IP of my old server, to the new one (a nifty feature in AWS, which means no need to wait for a new IP to propagate), and got the new certificates set up. I’ll keep the old server running, for a bit, but our new home is looking pretty good.

Update 17th June 2020:

Given up on the idea of creating a new theme, for now. As our team was mostly reduced to a skeleton crew, I’ve had so much actual paid work on that’s it’s pretty much been an impossibility, due to the site theme being such a large project in itself. So that’s on the back-burner for a while. Will revisit that, at a later date.

Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome

You’re at your workstation, struggling to understand the current task in hand, or devise a solution for it. It’s over running and people are asking when it’ll be ready. You can’t give an answer. Then the brain kicks in, questioning itself, asking “am I really cut out for this? Maybe I’d be better in some other career.” The thoughts dwell on, perhaps keeping you up at night, as you wonder if you’ll be found out soon, and given the chop.
You’ve just experienced Imposter Syndrome. A pain in the bum inflection where self-doubt and worry you are not to the standard expected, in your field, is prevalent. The funny thing about it is people seldom want to talk about it, as they fear letting on that they are having doubting thoughts, over their own skillset, will lead to a lack of confidence from their peers.

But it’s nowhere near as bad as you think…

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Was Windows 8 that bad?

It happened. I updated one of my last machines, running Windows 8.1, to Windows 10. That means all my Windows OS machines, physical at least, are on the latest version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous OS. But, even as I was doing it, I was wondering to myself if it was even necessary. Also I was wondering if Windows 8 got way too much of a bad rep, perhaps unfairly. It certainly didn’t get off to a good start, and it never recovered from that. But the story of the successor to the much-loved Windows 7 is a catalogue of errors causing it to be much maligned, as Vista was.

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I’ve switched to Linux as my primary OS, at last.

My current desktop, using KDE.

I’ve been using Windows, as my main OS, since pretty much the turn of the century. I’ve never hidden my disdain for the 9x (95/98/Me) codebase. It was a horrid experience, full of badly made drivers, plug and play that never worked, and guaranteed crashes/freezes more than once a day. Fortunately, I hardly had to deal with it, as my Amiga happily carried on being my main machine, whilst I fired up the PC (an AMD Duron @ 700mhz running Windows 98 and, later, Me. Ewww) for secondary tasks. However, this changed when x86 CPUs started reaching gigahertz speeds, and Windows 2000, built on the NT codebase, was launched. Out of the box it was so much more stable than it’s 9x siblings. Plus it offered excellent networking technology meaning I could finally share files across my home network, and control who could access them. I also built a new system based on an AMD Athlon processor, at this time, and the shift to the Windows environment begun. Of course, every Microsoft OS since has been an evolution of that (2000, itself, an evolution of NT 4), so there’s always been an air of familiarity to it. In hindsight, I probably should have gone with Linux all the way back then. But most of the software I wanted to use was Windows only, at that time. But things have moved on, and with MS baking in lovely telemetry data in to Windows 10, it’s time to ditch and switch.

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Securing Your Website With SSL Part 2: Free Certificates With Let’s Encrypt.

In a previous tutorial we looked at setting up an SSL certificate using a paid for CA provider. With it we got a pretty cheap option that would do for a single low-traffic site. However, whilst still being a decent price, this can start to get pretty expensive, especially for devs that do this as a hobby, should there be multiple sites they wish to secure. Also, businesses have to secure their dev and staging sites, which is cost they don’t really want. Well today, we’re going to go one better than cheap; we’re going to set up SSL, on a website, for FREE. That’s right. Absolutely nowt. Enter Lets Encrypt.

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Solwise Aztech AV2 1200 Homeplugs

What do you do when you need internet to another room of your house, and wireless doesn’t cut the mustard? Whilst my first preference would be to cable up the building with ethernet ports in every room, that’s sometimes just not practical. Perhaps you’re renting or simply don’t have the time/budget. Whilst wireless is convenient, I’m still not a fan of my data flying through the air. Upload speeds tend to be very poor as well. Plus, if you have thick walls, it can difficult to get a signal even if you’re in the next room. Random drop outs can occur. Very helpful, if you’re running some homeserver on the network. Here’s where homeplugs come in. They offer the security and reliability of ethernet, whilst being rather convenient in that you don’t need to hack your way through the house. Sure they also come with their own caveats – they are no way near as fast as dedicated cabling, and performance varies in different scenarios – but they’re simple to get up and running.

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