Clunking hard drives, Ubuntu and a bad back

The crescendo of computer related noises in my office has once again reached the level at which I actually notice it so I’ve spent some time today tracking down the worst clicks and whirrs. First candidate was my desktop PC. I opened the side of the case and the first thing that I noticed was dust. I’m blaming the shredder. Ever since I put it in the office there’s been a noticable increase in the amount of dust that’s kicking around. Maybe I should move it somewhere else. Anyway. I digress.. I cleaned out the dust. Well that’s not quite true. I re-organised the dust using a can of compressed air, taking particular care to make sure all the build up on the fans was cleared off. Normally I grab a Swiffer and use that but that would have meant going downstairs, something I’m not a huge fan of at the moment.

Still noisey so I started stopping fans with my finger to work out what was making the noise. The graphics card fan. Easy one to sort out with a quick visit to So once that’s sorted I should have a quiet desktop again.

Next it was time to dig out the server that lives hidden away behind the desk. At least one of the hard drives has been making a nasty clunking noise recently. A nose around inside and after pulling a couple of power leads I worked out that it was the root disk that was making all the noise. Typical; the only disk that requires me to rebuild the box. I’ve ordered some 250GB Samsung SpinPoint disks to replace all the drives in the box. They are probably the quietest disks you can buy which is what I’m looking for. Seek speeds and ultimate performance aren’t really required in a file server.

So rebuilding the server allows me to try another flavour of Unix. I was going to go back to Debian after fiddling with Gentoo for a while. But friends have recommended Ubuntu. It’s based on Debian with the same package management system behind it; the thing that I love abot Debian. The difference is that it’s a lot more up to date with a release every 6 months, come rain or shine. I’ll see how I go.

Back to the stairs remark earlier. I hurt my back on Saturday and have been struggling since. I’m booked in to see the Quack on Friday afternoon with a view to being referred to a local chiropractor called The Spine Team. I’ve heard a lot of good about them and after checking today that they are registered with BUPA, it’s not going to break the bank to go and give it a go.

The annoying thing is that I was all rev’d up to start back at the gym on Monday morning. It’s now Thursday and I still haven’t been. It’s making me more determined to come up with the final solution though.


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