Current Machines

Excelsior

Excelsior
Excelsior

Excelsior is my home powerhouse. It maintains my music collection, manages photos, edits videos, runs various operating systems in virtualization, and serves as my development machine for web and mobile applications. And I built it myself!

  • Model: SBCE Model 001-07 “Transwarp”
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600, quad 4.0ghz (x86-64) (overclocked from 3.4ghz) (Geekbench scores: 3,815 single, 12,339 multi)
  • RAM: 12gb DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 256gb (SSD) + 1tb (7200rpm) + 1tb (7200rpm)
  • Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1703). Many others in virtualization and emulation, including Apple macOS 10.12, Haiku Development/Nightly, and Linux Mint 18.1
  • Graphics Cards:
    • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 Sonic, 1gb (Geekbench score: 30,451)
    • Nvidia GeForce GT 520, 1gb (Geekbench score: 6,640)
  • Displays: Dual 23″ Asus LCDs at 1920×1080 and 19″ Insignia LCD television at 1360×768
  • Input Devices: Unicomp Custom USB (Dvorak layout, IBM Model M derivative), Logitech T650 Touchpad, Logitech M510 Mouse
  • Name Meaning: Reference to the fictional Star Trek starship Excelsior (NX/NCC-2000). Excelsior was a large, fast, experimental ship (fitting for my first home-built machine) that became the prototype for a long series of Excelsior class starships. It appeared in the films Star Trek III, IV, V, and VI, and the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Flashback.’
  • Revision History: Significant upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the secondary model number.
    • 01: Initial build
    • 02: Upgrade CPU cooling and add intake fans
    • 03: Add second video card (Nvidia GeForce GT 520)
    • 04: Add second 1tb hard drive (7200rpm)
    • 05: Upgrade system drive from 120gb SSD to 256gb SSD
    • 06: Replace failed intake fan and improve internal airflow
    • 07: Replace failed CPU cooler

Phoenix

Phoenix
Phoenix

Phoenix is a mobile workhorse, which is capable of doing much of what Excelsior can do, but it can do it anywhere. It is lightweight 2-in-1 that can keep up with pretty much anything I throw at it.

  • Model: Microsoft Surface Book
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6300U, dual 2.4ghz (x86-64) (Geekbench scores: 3,579 single, 7,027 multi)
  • RAM: 8gb DDR3.
  • Hard Drive: 256gb (SSD)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1703)
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics (Geekbench score: 17,689)
  • Display: Built-in 13.5″ HiDPI LCD at 3000×2000
  • Input Devices: Keyboard and touchpad dock, built-in touch screen
  • Name Meaning: Reference to the fictional Star Trek starship Phoenix (NCC-65420). Phoenix was a Nebula class starship that was commanded by Captain Benjamin Maxwell, who turned vigilante and destroyed a number of Cardassian outposts and ships without provocation. It was featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode ‘The Wounded.’
  • Revision History: Significant upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the secondary model number.
    • 01: As manufactured

Valiant

Valiant
Valiant

Valiant is a secondary machine that sits in our bedroom and, in addition to general computing, controls and interacts with radio equipment connected to a pair of attic antennas.

  • Model: Asus VivoPC VM40B, SBCE Revision 02
  • Processor: Intel Celeron 1007U, dual 1.5ghz (x86-64) (Geekbench scores: 1,548 single, 2,447 multi)
  • RAM: 4gb DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 128gb (SSD)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1703)
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics (Geekbench score: 2,522)
  • Display: Acer LCD at 1680×1050
  • Input Devices: Asus keyboard and mouse
  • Name Meaning: Reference to the fictional Star Trek starship Valiant. Valiant was a Federation star cruiser, possibly of the Constitution Class, that visited Eminiar VII and was destroyed in an ongoing war between Eminiar VII and Vendikar. The ship was mentioned in the Star Trek original series episode ‘A Taste of Armageddon,’ and became the namesake of several later Starfleet ships.
  • Revision History: Significant upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the secondary model number.
    • 01: As manufactured
    • 02: Upgrade from 500gb hard drive to 128gb SSD

Eelserver 3

Eelserver 3
Eelserver 3

The Eelserver is our home file and network server. It runs CentOS, has giant hard drives for data storage and backups, shares a printer over the network (black & white HP LaserJet 1022), provides remote network access, streams music across the network, and much more.

  • Model: SBCE Model 002-01 “Toaster”
  • Processor: Intel Pentium G3240 3.1ghz (x86-64) (Geekbench scores: 3,452 single, 5,826 multi)
  • RAM: 8gb DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 4-disk array (4tb x 4)
  • Operating System(s): CentOS 7.3-1611
  • Display: None (managed remotely)
  • Name Meaning: Our network is called the Eeltank network, a reference to Eeltank.com. Thus, the server is called the Eelserver. That’s the best explanation I have.
  • Revision History: Significant upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the SBCE revision number.
    • 01: Initial build

Computer History

Flagship Computers

These are the machines that, at one time or another, served as my main day-to-day workhorse. They have mostly been desktops, except for a period where I used Apple notebooks as my primary machines.

  • Katia 2 (MacBook Pro, 15″ 2.16ghz; Mac OS X 10.6)
  • Katia (PowerBook G4, 15″ 1.67ghz; Mac OS X 10.4)
  • Nadia (Power Mac G4, 733mhz; Mac OS X 10.3)
  • Maurice (Compaq Presario, AMD K6-II 266mhz; MS-DOS 7.1/Windows 98)
  • Ziggy 3 (Acer 486, 90mhz; MS-DOS 7.0/Windows 95)
  • Ziggy 2 (Gateway 2000 386, 25mhz, upgraded to 486 75mhz; MS-DOS 6.22/Windows 3.11)
  • Ziggy (IBM PC-AT, 286 6mhz; MS-DOS 5.11)

Servers

Not long after Melissa and I were married, we discovered that we had a need between the two of us for a server to back up our data, share files back and forth, and generally keep our home network under control.

Secondary Computers

Because I’m a nerd, it is rare that I limit myself only to my flagship machine. These other machines have floated in and out of my life as-needed, serving as backups, ‘coffee-table’ machines, and other ancillary purposes. Some are desktops, but most are laptops.

Scott Bradford has been building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.