Flagships

Flagship machines are those that I rely on for my day-to-day computing needs. For many years I relied on a single flagship desktop, and for a few I relied on a single flagship laptop, but in recent years I have adopted a ‘dual flagship’ arrangement where I have both a reasonably powerful desktop and a reasonably powerful laptop.

My typical upgrade cadence is that I perform a major upgrade to my flagship desktop when it is five years old, and then replace it entirely when it is ten years old. I replace my flagship laptop every five years. Of course I can adjust this schedule as-needed, and perform an upgrade early if a machine dies or late if it holds up better than expected.

Each hardware upgrade iterates my ‘revision’ number. For laptops, this is a simple two digit number (beginning with revision 01, as originally built). For desktops, revision numbers are prepended with an A (for revisions of the initial build) or B (for revisions following the major mid-life refresh).

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 “Transwarp” (revision B01)
  • CPU:
    • Intel Core i7-2600, quad 4.0ghz (x86-64)
    • Geekbench scores: 3,837 single, 12,648 multi
  • RAM: 32gb DDR3 1866
  • Storage: 2tb (SSD) + 1tb (7200rpm) + 256gb (SSD)
  • Operating Systems:
    • Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1709) (native)
    • Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS (via Windows Subsystem for Linux)
    • Apple MacOS 10.13 (via VMWare Workstation Pro)
    • Haiku Development/Nightly (via VMWare Workstation Pro)
    • Xubuntu Linux 17.10 (via VMWare Workstation Pro)
  • GPUs:
    • Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, 2gb
    • Geekbench OpenCL score: 74,305 each
  • Displays:
    • Dual 23″ Asus LCDs at 1920×1080
    • 19″ Insignia LCD television at 1360×768
  • Input Devices:
  • Name Meaning: Reference to the fictional Star Trek starship Excelsior (NX/NCC-2000). Excelsior was a large, fast, experimental ship 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: Upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the revision number.
    • Cycle A (ended at revision 07 with these specifications)
      • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600, quad 3.4ghz (x86-64)
      • RAM: 12gb DDR3 1600
      • Storage: 256gb (SSD) + 1tb (7200rpm) + 1tb (7200rpm)
      • GPUs: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460, 2gb + Nvidia GeForge GT 520, 1tgb
    • Cycle B
      • 01: Initial build/upgrade

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 (revision 01)
  • CPU:
    • Intel Core i5-6300U, dual 2.4ghz (x86-64)
    • Geekbench scores: 3,592 single, 6,964 multi
  • RAM: 8gb DDR3 1866
  • Storage: 256gb (SSD)
  • Operating Systems:
    • Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1709) (native)
    • Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS (via Windows Subsystem for Linux)
    • Xubuntu Linux 17.10 (via Oracle VirtualBox)
  • GPU:
    • Intel HD Graphics 520
    • Geekbench OpenCL score: 17,345
  • 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: Upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the revision number.
    • 01: As manufactured

Other Machines

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 (revision 02)
  • CPU:
    • Intel Celeron 1007U, dual 1.5ghz (x86-64)
    • Geekbench scores: 1,518 single, 2,481 multi
  • RAM: 4gb DDR3
  • Storage: 128gb (SSD)
  • Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro (1709)
  • GPU:
    • Intel HD Graphics
    • Geekbench OpenCL score: 2,502
  • 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: Upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the revision 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.

  • ModelSBCE Model 002-01 “Toaster” (revision 01)
  • CPU:
    • Intel Pentium G3240 3.1ghz (x86-64)
    • Geekbench scores: 3,379 single, 5,814 multi
  • RAM: 8gb DDR3
  • Storage: ~10tb RAID 5 array (4tb discs x 4)
  • Operating System: CentOS 7.4-1708
  • 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: Upgrades from the initial specifications iterate the 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, although more recently I have adopted a dual-flagship arrangement (one desktop and one mobile).

  • Intrepid (Asus UL80J; Core i3 1.2ghz; Windows 8.1)
  • 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 machines. 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.