| Amelia Meyer | ChemSci Lobby | Billy Joel--"Captain Jack" | chipper
So, yesterday I purchased an 80GB WD hard drive and a 1000VA UPS from one of the guys who is helping start up PSG. The two items (and a Belkin 4-port powered USB 2.0 hub glued to the top of the UPS) cost me around $50. The difficulty is that the UPS is currently missing a battery (they die eventually) and the data cable that connects it to a computer to handle ACPI functions (slightly more critical, but the guy says he knows he has it, likely back in his storehouse where he lives), the USB hub is missing the power adapter (fairly critical because it's not a standard 5VDC requirement, but 7.5VDC...) and the data cable (not critical--standard USB-A to USB-B cable, of which I have many). The hard drive is fine, though it was unformatted, and the UPS was under regular use before the guy got a bigger one, so I suspect that once I get a battery in it, I'm golden. A 12VDC rechargeable battery oughtn't be too extremely expensive, and--given MTU's current ability to maintain power--is a necessary thing, 'specially since I'm starting to use my desktop more and more as a server. Since the USB hub was entirely a bonus ("Hey, I glued it to the top because this was the main cable hub for my systems for a few years. I don't need it, you can have it for free. Good luck getting it off." [rubbing alcohol and some..."mechanical persuasion" worked wonders...]), I'm not too worried about it either. So, all in all, it was good doing business with him, and I likely will ask him in the future if I have a hardware need. A little backstory on the guy--he's brilliant as hell in a wide variety of technical fields (he's created an algorithm for cryptography based on Rubik's Cubes that is essentially unbreakable, he's worked on a recent GE supercomputer project harnessing the power of thousands of parallel procs, he's created a "Theory of Reality" that no one on campus has been able to poke holes in and makes hella lot of sense...need I go on?), he has been doing computer stuff since an age at which I was learning to read (which, for general information, was a fairly young age compared to normal), and has one (or two) entire storage spaces filled with computer hardware scrapped out of old machines. He has a very small subset of this vast hardware Shangri-La here on campus, but it's sufficient to supply pretty much anything one might possibly want, for a relatively low price. Hard drives are around a quarter per gigabyte (though that may depend on size, quality, condition, and current available funds in your wallet), other things are priced in a similar fashion.
Needless to say, even if I weren't interested in PSG, I'd continue going to the meetings just so I could maintain a connection with this guy. Fascinating person to talk to--spent almost five hours last night in his room, sitting on my newly-purchased UPS, talking about anything and everything. (Then, of course, like any responsible student with a 0900 class the next morning, I went upstairs to my house, and spent another couple hours watching a Star Trek movie, also sitting on my UPS--surprisingly comfortable seat, that).