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Re: low-MHz server

On Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 03:43:34PM -0600, Jonathan Wilson wrote:
> On Sunday 03 February 2008 21:18:50 Bob wrote:
> > I'd get a modern ish server and underclock it, that way you'll be able
> > to get more RAM and bigger hard drives, the Athlon XP was fairly easy to
> > get down to 300 MHz with the FSB still @ 133, I never tried lower but I
> > don't see why not, for comedy value see if you can get the CPU clocking
> > lower than the RAM.
> I've been following this discussion and you state that you want low-Mhz CPUs 
> but then you don't say anything about the other parts. Underclocking 
> a "modern-ish" computer would still give you faster bus speeds than an old 
> box.

Well, short of underclocking, if you get an old box with a slow CPU, you
get a slow-enough PCI bus.  They didn't have PCI-e and SATA back then.
Lets say that would rather have nothing that is clocked above 200 MHz.
OTOH, who knows what speed the controller in a new SCSI drive is

> Ditto for newer hard drives: you don't want a PATA-66, you want a PATA-33 - 
> unless it's /only/ the CPU that matters. I'm sure it's possible, but I find 
> it hard to convince myself that the CPU is the only part the matters - don't 
> the drives and buses. cards and cables emit EMF too?

Well, a 66 MHz would be fine.  Looking at the wikipedia article on SCSI
shows that ultra 320 would be fine.

> Also, somewhere in another post you mentioned that using a server case might 
> help since it would have "fewer openings" (I assume you meant, as compared to 
> a PC). I don't believe that air-space has much effect on the EMF, only the 
> noise level. If a closed box fixes the problem, why don't you put the 
> computer in a metal box? As someone else mentioned, you could also try a 
> Faraday cage. Or maybe a lead container ;-)

Well, a server in a rack with doors counts as a metal box.  A desktop in
a metal box needs careful cooling design.  Makes it into a server case.
What I mean is that a desktop/workstation has lots of openings where you
can see right onto the MB.  If the opening is big enough, the RF can get
out.  On a server, I think that there are internal metal parts
between any openings and the MB.  

[snip topics covered in other emails]
> Have you had your house checked out by an electrician for any weird effects? 
> I've heard of people who had old or badly done wiring in their house that 
> caused strange electric fields to the point where it messed with appliances, 
> radios, and phones (cell and cordless). I'm sure it could mess with people 
> too.

House has been fully inspected by safety authority and I have verified
every connection point at every device, checked for grounded neutrals,
etc.  The problem is also not specific to our house.  She has problems
in other buildings with computers and outside near e.g. laptops, flat
panel screens in restraunts, near people with digital cameras, cell
phones, etc.

> Is your wife perfectly fine as long as the computer is off?

> I have a friend who had to have the electric company come move the 
> transformer/pole away from the house because it was effecting her. She really 
> did start feeling better after it moved away. Have you taken your wife away - 
> say on vacation to a cabin in the mountains where there is no electricity at 
> all - to see if she feels much better away from it all?

20 miles North East of Kirkland Lake in Ontario is Esker Lakes
Provincial Park.  No hydro to the camp sites.  Nearest cell tower is
Kirkland lake.  Park's only phone hook up is via a 100' tower with a
directional cell antenna for the parks two phone lines (phone +
internet/credit-card/fax).  Hand-held or 5Watt bag phones have not hope.
Wife is fine there, except near the park office or front gate (where the
computers are).

> Have you tried testing for magnetic or EMF fields yourself? Does a compass act 
> weird in your house? I'm not an electric expert but I know there are tools 
> that can pick up fields. Someone else mentioned an oscilloscope. 

I don't have a device like a spectrum analyzer for the GHz range.  They
are very expensive.  No fixed magnetic anomolies that I can find around
the house.  Kingston harbour area (25 Km south-east of us) has a known
magnetic anomoly that is considered a hazard to marine navigation.
We're on the boundary where sedementary bedrock abuts the precambrian
(Canadian) shield.  

> An electrician came to my house one day when I was a boy to repair something. 
> My mom mentioned that the florescent light in the dinning room seemed to be 
> bothering her eyes (we'd never had a florescent before). The electrician 
> started telling us how florescents put off tons of EMF (not to mention the 
> flicker). He took an electrical multi-tester - I'm talking about the kind 
> with two metal probes that you touch two metal parts with to see if you have 
> a circuit, measure resistance, etc - and just held the two probes up into the 
> air about 4 inches from the florescents  (not touching anything) and they it 
> started to register electrical current out of the thin air! You can try it 
> yourself.

Sure.  We don't have florescents, nor even halogens.  Plain ordinary
(soon to be discontinued) incandescant.  Analog radio is fine (IIRC,
intermediate frequency of 155 MHz).  



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