A new PC build – just in time

Thanks to a friend who sent me a present lately (you know who you are), I decided to build a new PC for myself. I had built one for my wife earlier this year, and after waiting for the first reports about newer stuff like the new AMD Ryzen processor family I thought that that’s *not* the direction I wanted to go – these newer ones consume power just like Intel processors, and I wanted something a bit less power thirsty. ARM is the future (see Apple), but for normal PC builds we don’t have anything usable yet, so I decided to take more or less the same parts of the build for my wife, but in a smaller case. Here’s what I chose:

Parts for my PC build in October 2022

Here’s a parts list in case you’re interested:

So that would be my first Mini-ITX build, and I was really looking forward to it when the first of these parts arrived last Tuesday:

PC parts for a new build, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

The case (and mainboard) arrived a day later:

PC case for a new build, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

And last Friday, I had the new machine up and running beside the old one:

My finished and running new PC, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

Of course, building a machine and setting it up to use it are separate steps. First I thought about what I’d need or want, and after copying over my Windows 10 partition it offered me to upgrade that to Win11 more or less right away. I thought: “Why not?”, since I use that only for the Olympus (now “OM System”) raw image converter. In the end I decided for a clean installation tho – you need a Microsoft account even for the Pro version of Windows I had, so it made no difference, and I wanted to start with a more clean plate. So soon enough I was done with that, and greeted by that newer operating system:

Finished my Win11 installation on late Saturday
Ooops – not quite done yet…

First impressions of it are positive – in my opinion it got the looks almost like Apple does, and for its internals they borrowed many good ideas from both the BSD and also the Linux side of things. Even their Edge browser which I tried only briefly seemed to show me less ads and other annoying stuff than (Google’s) Chrome would. But ok, this ain’t the OS for surfing, not for me anyway, so on to more pleasant things…

After looking at many options like Arch, the new beta of Fedora Workstation and so on, I decided against a triple boot this time. I wanted to keep things easy and just set up for my personal use (music, photography, blogging, and so on), so except for Windows which didn’t get that much space I took about three quarter of the space on the new SSD for Debian, so here you go:

Debian 11 “Bullseye”, but with a newer kernel

What you see is Debian stable (which is currently nicknamed “Bullseye”). In the upper right hand corner you see the processor temperature and fan speeds reported by a Gnome desktop extension called “Freon”, and under that you see that I have installed a kernel 5.18 from the Debian bullseye-backports repository, otherwise you wouldn’t see those fan speeds, and the Intel WiFi chip which is integrated into the mainboard wants a newer kernel as well – I knew that already from Mitchie’s machine where wireless and Bluetooth started working with Ubuntu 21.10 (instead of their older 20.04 LTS).

So this morning I was about ready, and short after lunch I was greeted by TEE-KWA’s pretty cover picture on Wikiloops:

Wikiloops’ album of the day on my new machine

Of course I also installed and tried Ardour, my Digital Audio Workstation of choice, and within it, the headphone correction by Sonarworks:

Ardour with gimproviser’s wonderful song “Cloudy
Sonarworks correction for my Sennheiser HD560S headphones in the monitoring section of Ardour

So, regarding music and photography and blogging, this more or less completes my build.

Which was, coming back to the headline of this article, just in time. I wanted to give my old machine to my brother, but alas, it gave up its ghost just after I was finished building this one. Broken heart syndrome on a CPU? Hm, that would be something new even for old timer PC doctors like me… anyway, I tried lots of things today, but it seems we’re out of luck with that one. So yeah, phew, that *was* just in time! To really ‘nail it down’ to a single not working component, I’d need to have a bench and spare parts like Jay so I could change each part and see what/who the culprit is… still sorting out if my brother – who lives in a much bigger city than we do – maybe has neighbours who are hobby PC builders with enough parts for that.

So for me, and thanks to my friend, it’s this new one from now. So cool… and by the way, 8 cores and 16 threads are way more than enough for what I do… still these machines are waiting for us most of the time, not vice versa 🙂

And like always, thanks for reading.

Three hours with Paul Davis of Ardour

I reported about yesterday’s interview event, and in case you haven’t seen it, here are three hours of talks and interesting news about the upcoming version 7.0 of Ardour. Starts at 30:11 according to unfa, one of the hosts.


Kernel 6.0 released

Just as announced and expected, Linus yesterday released kernel 6.0 – see LWN or kernel.org for more.

Debian is still on a long term supported version 5.10, with latest updates to that tree from September 28th as you can see on kernel.org. If you need Debian stable with newer kernels (for new machines for instance), there’s always backports which has more current ones. That’s a supported way of keeping the stable branch a bit more current, and unlike the testing branch it includes security updates.

Debian will add non-free firmware, change SC, switch to Pipewire for next release

The Debian developers have voted upon adding non-free firmware to the Debian Installer, which will make it easier for the average user to use just the standard image to install it onto newer (or more exotic) hardware, as former DPL Steve McIntyre reports. To do so, the social contract has to be changed accordingly.

And in the upcoming release (codename “Bookworm”, no planned release date yet), Debian will switch to Pipewire as their default audio architecture, something that other distributions like Suse or Fedora have done already. I have tested Pipewire on Arch where it works just fine, there are still some quirks for pro audio, but average consumers shouldn’t have any problem with it (rather the opposite).

What a cool photo of Paul!

Paul Davis, creator of Ardour and Jack, in the Scottish Highlands

You can listen to him and to ‘unfa’, a vlogger from Poland tomorrow, see here.

As always, thanks for reading / viewing.

A supermarket in “Vista” b&w

Taken with my Pixel 4a phone this morning, and edited it with the “Vista” b&w preset which is very contrasty:

Lidl supermarket in “Vista” b&w, Mörfelden 2022

Taken from the (our) small car which you see reflected there. And like always, thanks for viewing.

A Cookie on my chair

Today I took two very different photos of the same “model” (really, these are my favourite models, with not even the slightest trace of vanity). First was with my Olympus camera and Mitchie’s 20mm lens:

A Cookie on my chair 1/2, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

And the second one with a “free” camera, the one from LineageOS 18.1 (which is based upon Android 11, see my last article) on a Google Nexus 5 phone from late 2013:

A Cookie on my chair 2/2, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

And there he stayed until short after 8pm when I started watching the news (Tagesschau) on this very Nexus 5 phone. Tho I had the sound *very* silent, it still disturbed him enough to sit up, stretch, and then leave, which means that I saw only the first few minutes of the news… 😉

Now he’s gone, and although I’m looking out from time to time, he doesn’t seem to come back – and no other neighbours’ cats either. So that’s it for today as it seems…

As always, thanks for viewing.

OTA update for a 9 year old device…

… how cool! Just got an over-the-air update of LineageOS on the Nexus 5, a mobile phone from 2013:

LineageOS OTA update

It’s still based upon Android 11 – but considering that Google stopped supporting this device with Android 6 or 7, this is still worlds apart. Gotta *love* open source! Thanks to everyone involved, you guys & girls help saving the planet!

And like always, thanks to you for reading.

P.S.: A few days ago I’ve read that Android 13 – the version we currently have on our Pixel devices – needs at least 2GB of RAM to be installed, even the open source AOSP version. So I guess that would be borderline compatible for this older Nexus 5 device, but let’s see – Android 12 could still be coming in open source form for it. Love this…