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Machines I Have Known and Loved

From dankwiki
a rolling war machine, exterior

There were definitely also a Compaq Alpha SMP SCSI full tower and a Transmeta laptop in there somewhere, but for the life of me I can't recall their names. For a few months, I owned a collection of old UNIX workstations covering IRIX, HPUX, AIX, and Solaris, but I donated these to the Georgia Tech Computing Museum, and never did enough with them to consider them truly known or loved.

home machines

qgp (2023--)

  • Aorus Elite X670

strangelet (2022--)

grimes (2018--)

uptowngirl, before she became uptowngrimes and finally just grimes, 2019-03-09
  • Lenovo T580 laptop
  • Intel Core i7 8550U Skylake CPU
  • Samsung EVO 850 512GB SATA SSD (drive bay)
  • Big-ass additional 4X50M08812 72Wh battery
  • MyDigital SBXe 480GB M.2 2242 NVMe SSD (internal m.2 slot)
  • first machine on which i ran arch linux
  • first owned machine to run something but debian unstable in at least 15 years

schwarzgerät (2016--)

  • CaseLabs T10 case ($490)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 850 T2 220-T2-0850-X1 80+ Titanium PSU ($200)
  • Asus X99 Deluxe II ATX motherboard ($420)
    • Replaced with Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Master ($500)
  • Intel Core i7 6950X Broadwell-E CPU ($1650)
    • Replaced with AMD Threadripper 3970X ($1950)
  • 12x Seagate EXOS 12TB ST12000NM0007-2A drives ($340 per)
    • Replaced with 14x Seagate EXOS 18TB drives ($330 per)
  • 10x various 4TB drives (sold as a group for $250)
  • full bill of materials...
  • a truly ostentatious machine. a vulgar display of power.

skynet (2011--2017)

skynet 2012-03-21
The mighty Dell U3011
  • Status: Sold ($250)
  • CoolerMaster HAF932 ATX full tower ($139)
  • ABS Majesty 900W GOLD power supply ($149)
  • Intel Core i7-2600k Quad-core 3.4GHz Sandy Bridge ($315)
  • Noctua NH-D14 SSO processor cooler ($75)
  • 16GB via 4xG.SKILL Ripjaws X 7-8-7-24 DDR3-1600 ($115)
  • 11x2TB 7200RPM WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0 Western Digital Caviar Green / 5700RPM ST2000DL003-9VT1 Seagate 3.5" in RAID6
  • 2x320GB 7200ROM ST9320423AS Seagate 2.5" in RAID1
  • 2x120GB SSDSA2CW12 Intel 320 SSD 2.5"
  • LSI SAS2008 2xSAS SFF-8470 -> 4x SATA 6.0Gbps ($240)
  • AsRock Extreme4 Z68 motherboard ($270)
  • Asus Xonar Essence ST audio card ($200) (replaced with USB DAC, sold for $50 in 2017)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 video card ($100, purchased refurbished via NVIDIA employee program)
  • Dell U3011 IPS LCD ($1089) (damaged and sold in 2018 for $100)
  • Debian Unstable (2.6.x, 3.x kernels)
  • my first ass-kicking machine--money had ceased to be such a limiting factor by now.

hyperbox (2010)

  • Status: KIA (spilled a beer in it)
  • ASUS G60JX laptop
  • Quad-core Core i7 Nehalem with HyperThreading, 8G PC-1333 on 4xSODIMM, NVIDIA 360M
  • 500GB 7200RPM ST9500420AS Seagate Momentus 7200.4
  • 32GB SSD
  • Debian Unstable (2.6.x kernels)

recombinator (2006--2012)

  • Status: Retired
  • ATX full tower, Intel DG965WH, 480W
  • Dual-core Core 2 Duo, 4G PC2-6400 on 4xUDIMM, Intel G965
  • 300GB 10000RPM WDC WD3000HLFS-01G6U1 VelociRaptor 3.5"
  • 64GB TS32GSSD18M-M SSD 2.5"
  • Debian Unstable (2.6.x, 3.x kernels)

mothership (2003--2006)

  • Status: Retired
  • AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4GHz, 2GB, Matrox G450
  • 80GB 7200RPM + 3x500GB 5400RPM PATA
  • Debian Unstable (2.6.x kernels)
  • i fucking adored that athlon t-bird. the matrox was also elite AF.

badassmotherfucker (2002)

  • Status: MIA. possibly stolen
  • Tadpole SPARCLE 500 laptop
  • UltraSPARC IIe @ 500MHz, 1GB PC-133 ECC, 40GB PATA
  • Sun Solaris 8

nectar (2001--2003)

  • Status: KIA (caught fire)
  • AMD Athlon K7 1GHz, 1GB, Matrox G450
  • 30GB 7200RPM + 3x300GB 7200RPM PATA
  • Debian Unstable (2.4.x and 2.5.x kernels)
  • this was my first "good" computer, and the first i speced and put together myself.

junta (2000)

  • Status: Retired
  • Pentium 90, 16MB, S3 Virge
  • 4-port Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • Slackware Linux 7.0 (2.4.x kernels), OpenBSD, Solaris x86

rift (1999--2001)

  • Status: Retired
  • Pentium 133, 16MB
  • 4GB + 80GB PATA
  • 2-port Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • Slackware Linux 7.0 (2.4.x kernels), Debian Unstable (2.4.x kernels), OpenBSD

luckystrike/hoist (1998--2001)

  • Status: Retired
  • HP Pavilion
  • Pentium II Celeron @ 300MHz, 32MB, Matrox G200
  • 6GB + 30GB PATA
  • Windows 98, RedHat Linux 5.2 (2.0.x kernels), Mandrake Linux (2.2.x kernels), Slackware Linux 7.0 (2.4.x kernels), Debian Testing (2.4.x kernels)

shadowgate (1995--1998)

  • Status: Retired
  • 386SX, 4MB, VGA, Hayes Optima 14.4kbps external modem
  • 2x20MB + 1GB PATA
  • Renegade BBS
  • MSDOS 6.22, FreeBSD 3.0, Slackware Linux 3.0 (1.x kernels)

pc (1992--1995)

  • Status: KIA (took it apart)
  • 8086, 1MB, CGA, Hayes-compatible 2400bps internal modem
  • 10MB MFM
  • Telix BBS
  • MSDOS 4.0, MSDOS 5.0

ATARI 400 (1985--1996)

  • Status: KIA (took it apart)
  • MOS 6502 @ 1.8MHz + ANTIC + GTIA + POKEY, 8KB, ATARI 410 Data Cassette Drive
  • Microperipherals Microconnection 300bps acoustic coupler
  • ATARI OS Rev. B

work machines (highly incomplete)

DSSCAW: killermike (2019--)

Luma/Newell: dankcanyon (2016--2018)

Google: recombinator (2014--2016)

  • HP Z420 workstation
  • Goobuntu Precise/Trusty, Google Rodete

Google: eschatron (2014--2016)

  • Thinkpad T430s laptop
  • Dell M3100 laptop
  • Goobuntu Precise/Trusty

NVIDIA: kingfriday (2011)

  • CoolerMaster HAF942 ATX full tower, Corvair 850TX BRONZE
  • Asus P6TD
  • Quad-core Nehalem Core i7
  • NVIDIA 560ti, NVIDIA 480 GTX, NVIDIA 285 GTX
  • you would not believe how hard I had to fight for these GPUs working at NVidia, ugh

NVIDIA: eschatomatic (2011)

  • Dell Latitude E6510 laptop
  • Dual-core Core i7 Nehalem with HyperThreading, 8G PC-1333 on 4xSODIMM, NVIDIA NVS 3100M
  • 500GB 7200RPM ST9500420AS Seagate Momentus 7200.4
  • Windows Enterprise 7, Debian Unstable (2.4.x and 2.5.x kernels)

AccelerEyes: mmas (2010)

CipherTrust: areopagod (2008--2009)

  • Status: Returned
  • Dell Latitude laptop

CipherTrust: adytum (2007--2008)

  • Status: Stolen
  • Dell Latitude XFR "All-Terrain Grade" ruggedized laptop

CipherTrust: diaconicon (2005--2007)

  • Status: Lost
  • Dell Latitude laptop

CipherTrust: aho (2006--2009)

CipherTrust: providence (2006--2009)

  • this repurposed 1U half-depth machine ended up replacing most of three racks run by IT, heh

CipherTrust: knuth (2005--2009)

Reflex: bivio (2005)

This company doesn't exist anymore, but they had a crazy 2xPentium + 8xPPC blade solution that we sold IPS on. I wonder what happened to our demo copy. It was the second loudest single computer I've ever been around, the loudest being a Tilera Gx.

Reflex: desoxyn (2004--2005)

Reflex: discordia (2000--2005)

Reflex: eris (2000--2003)

Reflex: panzer (2001--2005)

Sun Microsystems built some fine hardware. Oracle is a travesty.
  • 4U Supermicro
  • 2xPentium IV Xeon

TeleSync: marcello (2000)

  • Sun Ultra 10
  • 6GB SCSI

Sun workstations will be forever pimp. press f for respects

CNN: lemont (20 minutes in 1999)

One day I showed up at CNN, played some Tecmo Bowl in NESticle, hit on a few girls in the non-techy areas of the floor, and saw what I assumed to be furniture being wheeled into my office. It turned out to be one of our production Sun Enterprise 4500's, a machine costing well over a hundred thousand dollars in 1999 money. I assumed that respect was finally being properly paid, and accepted the gift in tribute. Very upset people reclaimed it less than half an hour later, and yea verily, this was not the most ridiculous (nor the most discombobulated) horseshit I witnessed in a few months at the Cable News Network.

Fun(?) story: that machine was one of the two valiant frontline webservers that delivered the stripped-down CNN front page of 2001-09-11.

school machines (highly incomplete)

A Sun Enterprise 4500, one serious fucking machine in its pre-bubble heyday.










My freshman year, we started a punk band named acme-x, named after one of the six machines behind the alias.

colo'd machines


  • Status: you're reading it
  • VPS with Linode, who are awesome
    • Previously with 1and1, who were garbage
  • E5-2680 v3, 8GB RAM, 180GB disk

slump (2004--2005)

  • Status: stolen
  • 1U Supermicro, AMD Athlon K7, 2GB
  • 2x300GB PATA
  • lived next to in what turned out to be an unauthorized setup, causing much angst :(