cramps and a multimeter
Sunday, February 8 2004
I keep having different theories about what exactly is wrong with my gastro-intestinal system. Sometimes it seems like I'm suffering from an ulcer. Other times I'm convinced I have some sort of esophageal hernia. Another theory is that I somehow pulled a muscle whilst shoveling snow. As you recall, a few days ago I had these unpleasant clenching feelings in my lower esophagus. Those continued right up though last night, though by then they had started feeling like they might actually be back pains. Today I was absolutely fine for most of the day, but towards evening I started feeling crampy, almostly exactly like I remember being once after eating insufficiently-cooked catfish. It's possible that these cramps are completely unrelated to my esophageal discomfort - they might have been related to all the tempeh I ate yesterday. (Throughout this whole ordeal, my appetite hasn't been diminished at all. If anything, I actually eat more, since I seem to be most comfortable when I'm either lying on my back or have food in my stomach.)
Today has been the first day in days that I haven't experienced any distinctly esophageal discomfort, and this gives me hope that I'm on the mend from whatever my mystery ailment might have been, an ailment I might have gone and had diagnosed if my medical insurance was any better. The prospect that this all might be behind me makes me feel much better than I do when I'm healthy and haven't been ill. This is because I'm coming out of the funk of uselessness and unproductivity that hangs over me when I'm distracted by disease. Throughout my life, mysterious pain and illness (everything from Meckel's Diverticulitis to unprovoked testicular pain) have forced me to examine the normally-repressed issue of mortality. Have I done all the things I need to have done with this life?
Following a few tips sent by readers, I further examined the issue of the new hard drive installed in Badger, which claims to be only 128 Gigabytes (137 Billion bytes) instead of the 200 Gigabytes it should be. It turns out that there is a limit imposed by 28 bit addressing on the conventional ATA IDE bus, but there are drivers, BIOses, and interface cards allowing this limit to be circumvented. Unfortunately, the Intel motherboard inside Badger does not support 48 bit addressing, so I'm stuck (for the time being) with a 128 Gigabyte drive.
I thought about perhaps replacing Badger's motherboard with another one I have lying around, a Soyo equipped with a 1.8 GHz Celeron, but that particular motherboard has long daunted me with its special "ATX 12V" power requirements - which means it needs a secondary four pin power supply connector having additional voltage lines. Today, though, I figured out an easy solution to this problem. Using a multimeter, I quickly determined that the four pin connector consisted of two grounds and two 12 volt lines, but all it really needed was one 12 volt line to either of the two 12 volt pins, and I could just run that from an unused hard drive power connector. That was all it took to get the motherboard to work using a conventional ATX power supply, one I bought for cheap at P&T Surplus in Kingston.
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