Sunday, June 12, 2011

Old meets New

I finally fixed the gremlins found lurking inside my antique Hickok Model 665 oscilloscope (O-silly-scope?) and returned it to service. For now, it sits in a place of honor to the right of my 2009-vintage IBM IntelliStation Z-Pro 9228, which takes the vacuum tube switching technology of the Hickok and multiplies it several millions of times.

True to form, this particular IBM workstation is water-cooled, to keep the dual Xeon 5160 (aka, Woodcrest) 3.0Ghz dual-core processors happy while playing Fallout New Vegas or running SolidWorks, Adobe CS5, etc. There are 10Gb of FB-DIMM memory onboard, a monster MSI TwinFrozr Radeon HD6870 1Gb video card to feed the monitor, a Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb hard drive keeping the files in order (hence the Masscool blower keeping the HD temps down), and a Koolance Exos 2 running blue coolant through the gold-plated waterblocks attached to both Xeon CPUs. The operating system of choice to run this 64-bit beast is Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, which is pretty much a seamless transition from its 32-bit sibling, save for my Canon LiDE 30 scanner drivers.

The Hickok oscilloscope will soon be attached to the output of the computer's sound card, to give a visual representation of whatever music or Windows Media Center TV/DVD I happen to be enjoying at the given time. That, or I'll attach it to the output of the MGE Pulsar EX30 UPS to show the perfect 60-cycle power feed...