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I've been bitten by the computer bug....
To get skitten's desktop box up and running, I figure I need a new motherboard and a CPU fan (the old one was choked with dust). The tricksy bit is actually finding an appropriate motherboard. The current MB/CPU compo is old (old I tell you, AMD is listing MB reviews from 2/2010, a whole 18 months ago!), and seeming two socket generations behind (it's an AM2+ socket, not even an AM3 or an FM1), so new motherboard to that spec are few and far between.

I did find a motherboard that looks like it's a drop-in replacement from Newegg for $70, and a new CPU fan/heatsink is another $20, so I think I can get her back up and running for $100 + S/H or so. I'll see when I can order it. I must be quick, or it'll go away.


When I thought I might have to go to a new-generation MB, plus CPU and memory, I started shopping around and looking what's available.

For $220 I can get an AMD A8 APU ("Accelerated" processing unit, a quad-core CPU with a GPU on the same die) and a motherboard to run it, which would give me modern graphics and processor speed. All I'd need to make it go would be memory (2x2GB, $50, or 2x4GB, $70), a hard drive (1TB, $60), a DVD drive ($20) and a case ($50) Let's see, that's... $420, plus S/H and tax. And that's without a lot of shopping around. I don't have the money now, but prices will likely fall more by the time I do (give me 2 months). I can has spiffy new box!

I'll note that Newegg features a DIY combo built much the same -- different MB than above, slightly more expensive case, slightly cheaper memory, and Win7 for $470. I don't need/want Win7, and with the $99 Win7, their combo is $50 less than buying separate, so it works about the same when dropping the OS.

Now I need a name... my current naming scheme is diacritical marks. Any thoughts?

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To memorialize the important bits of the package (which may change, with prices and availability)

For skitten:
MSI 785GTM-E45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

For my new box:
BIOSTAR TA75M+ FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX
2x4GB DDR3 1866
1TB Hard drive. Not going to go for a primary SSD just yet.
Case with 300W power supply, USB and Audio ports up front.
CD/DVD+R/W drive
A cheap $10 internal USB card reader.

How about "Cedilla"? That's the little backwards-C squiggle under the C in words like curaçao and cachaça (interestingly, the first two words that came to my mind were types of liquor...).

Good choice. Exactly what I was looking for a few years ago when naming skitten's now-dead box (it shall live again!). It's so good a choice, it's already been used and is therefore ineligible.

Other similarly good choices: umlaut, accent, háček (used as hacek), macron, circumflex, and risingtone. With risingtone I was stretching it.

Not all of these are still in use; several of them are prior OS installs and hardware swapouts sufficient to call it a new machine.

Then how about breve (the little curved thing above a vowel to indicate it is "short")? A breve looks a lot like a háček, except that the háček is pointed on the bottom and the breve is curved.

I can't find an official name for the little circle above "a" (å) in Scandinavian languages. But there's also tilde.

Edited at 2011-09-03 02:48 pm (UTC)


(lower right)

What happened to the microcontroller concertenia?

I'll get back to it. I've gotten distracted by life.

In dealing with OS upgrades, I managed to lose Eagle, the schematics/pcb layout program I was using. I've been trying out a couple of others.

That diagram completely misses all the sexual/anatomic references :-)

And a friend of mine once came up with the band name Pöÿntlëss Ümläüt...

Don't forget the diaeresis on "Spın̈al Tap"

Triple, and even more, umlauts are not physically impossible, but adding a diaerisis to many letters does seem to be - at least in ASCII.

Well, yeah. Umlauts don't exist in ASCII.

Umlauted letters (as well as letters bearing accents, circumflexes, reverse accents, cedillas, tildes, and the little circular gizmo) are "high ASCII" - decimal numbers between 128 and 255. That range also includes things like the upside-down exclamation point ¡ and question mark ¿ used in Spanish, the signs « and » that French uses for quotation marks, ± and ÷, the "æ" ligature, currency symbols such as ¢, £, ¥, P, and ƒ, and the fractions ½ and ¼.

You mean ISO 8859-1? That's not ASCII.

The manual for my more-than-20-years-old-and-still-working laser printer calls that set "high ASCII". Open Notepad (or equivalent), hold down the ALT key, then use the numeric keypad to type in a 3-digit number between 128 and 255 - say, 146. Release the ALT key and see what you get.

Ah, then it's probably not even ISO 8859-1, but the Windows specific extension to ASCII called CP-1252.

"...And we did all our computing with ones and zeroes, and sometimes we ran out of ones!"

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