Customizing the YY Cube

Part 5

There comes a time in every project of this sort when its time for the rubber to meet the road. There are endless further cosmetic details I could work on, but by this time I desperately wanted to take this hot rod for a spin around the block. The cube had assimilated me and taken control...

The first stage of testing out any electronic project is known as the "smoke test". It's a simple test: you just plug the gadget in, turn it on, and see if there's any evidence of smoke. If you see any, turn the gadget off immediately and try to figure out why.

Careful to get away after you plug it in, Song!

As they say in the fireworks industry, "Put on ground, light, and get away!"

Steve has adopted the traditional role of Product Management in the final stages of a complex R&D project.

Cerveza Dos Equis!

Bob is doing the typical management thing. Hey Bob, this is no time to RTFM, turn the blinkin' thing on already!
The cube simply waits. Implacable and unperterbable. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile!

It Lives!

The RAID controller is online here asking us what we want to do about configuring a RAID array. I was so shocked the thing came up I didn't take a picture until it had gotten this far into the boot sequence.

Sadly, we didn't get much further than this. Things kept locking up and generally misbehaving. My only clue was some angry chirping from the system speaker.

Not to worry. I know I'm a complete idiot where building a computer is concerned. Fortunately, I have a book that is ideally suited to my level of comprehension.

After having rectified the problem (those beeps tell you what your trouble is if you know how to decode them--that idiot book came in handy!), Bob is now the Master of the Cube.

Well, maybe not quite yet...

(Voice from afar, "Captain I dunno how much longer she'll take it!")

After getting the BIOS configured properly, we slapped the Windows XP CDROM into the drive and proceeded to install. Kicked back in our chairs, feet up, and drinking beer, we were rudely interrupted from our smug satisfaction by a little problem, courtesy of William H. Gates III, the pencil-necked billionaire.

It seems we have to load a RAID driver so XP will have somewhere to be installed. Billy G's contribution is to ensure that its completely impossible to do this from the CDROM--you must have a floppy drive.

DOH! I HATE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!

I had left floppy technology out of the cube, figuring it was hopelessly antiquated and inappropriate. Seems I would have to make a quick trip to the local electronics store and buy one.

Stupid Bill! Stupid, stupid, STUPID!

The stupid, primitive device is connected. I know understand Spock's pain in trying to "construct a mnemonic device from stone knives and bear skins." For the time being, I refuse to install it in the cube. It will remain a temporary parasite, connected as needed, and put away in a dark place when not.

"I say," says a very John Cleesy voice, "does that say 78 thousand megabytes?"

Takes a bit of time to format too...

If Bill G. thinks he can thwart my plans for world domination with a simple floppy disk, he is sadly mistaken!

Or, as the evil computer geek says, "Yes! I am invincible!"

Yes! Come to Pappa! Come on baby!

Houston, we have liftoff!

Windows XP is here!

Here are some final pix after its all running. Fear the cube!

 
All material 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.