Thursday, November 26, 2015

What if i could make my PC even smaller?


I thought that the Silverstone SG13 case was the smallest case that I could fit my hardware inside, but there seems to be another contender now. And it is significantly small that the SG13  in terms of the volume, at only 7.25 litres or 63% of the volume of the SG13. More importantly, it only weighs 1.25kg because it is made of Aluminum.

The case is called A4-SFX by DAN Cases. Funny thing is, it supports a much longer video card than the SG13 does. (295mm vs. 267mm) If you can survive with a CPU cooler that's only 48mm tall, then this is an amazing case.

What's great is that you don't have to look around for compatible CPU coolers or PSUs, because the website lists them all under the Compatibility section in their product page. I don't even have to change anything in my PC to switch to this PC, except I will have to revert to the stock Intel cooler and say bye bye to overclocking. Perhaps a cooler from that list would allow me to keep the 4.5GHz overclock.

There are two catches though.

    • The case isn't available for purchase yet. According to the FAQ on their website, it says the case would arrive at the end of 2015. There is only one month to go before the end of the year though. So it must be just around the corner. Awesome!
    • It is going to be very expensive. The case would be $200 to $230 (before tax) when launched and you will have to pay shipping on top of that price tag. Darn! I don’t think I will be able to spend that money on a case. It would be $300 with all the extra charges if I want to order it from Japan.

      That price is way too steep for me unfortunately. So I might keep holding to the SG09 case for the moment. Once I settle down, there is really no need for a SFF PC. So I don't want to spend a lot of money on making it any smaller.

      Sunday, November 15, 2015

      Smarket gave me more than their estimate for the iPhones


      In a previous post I mentioned that I found a shop called Smarket to sell my iPhones. The sent a delivery man to my apartment to pick up the phones, free of charge. I received an email after a couple of days (on Monday) saying that the phones arrived at their shop safely. They also mentioned that it might take up to 2 weeks for them to conclude the assessment due to extremely high popularity with their service. I did not really care as long as I received the same amount of money or as close to their original estimate, and that I received them before I left Japan.

      On Thursday, I received another email from them saying that there was a little issue with the documentation I provided as proof regarding my name, age and address. I sent copies of the front side of the Insurance card and an electricity bill. They had asked for a copy of the back side of the card as well. There is not much on that side other than an address column which has to be filled by the owner of the card. I had written the address by hand, but they said it is fine. Since I didn't want to delay their work any longer, I faxed them what they wanted within an hour. Just to be safe, I also faxed my Residence card. I had to pay JPY 50 to send the fax from the Family Mart near the office. I could have used snail mail too, but it is actually more expensive than sending a fax. This is actually my 3rd time sending a fax - ever. (This is the first one, and the second one was sent from the office)

      They emailed me saying that they received the fax, but sadly that they could only assess it the next day because it was late.

      Sunday, November 8, 2015

      Catching a Nambu line express train from Nakanoshima


      The name of the railway line that goes through the closest railway station to our apartment in Japan is called Nambu line. The station is Nakanoshima. Nambu line is operated by JR.

      Couple of years ago, JR started an express train service on the Nambu line. What's meant by express in this case is that the trains skip the less important stations and ultimately shave off few minutes as a result. They did it without expanding the stations and simply exploited the larger time gaps between each train during the day time. In other words, the express train service isn't available during rush hour where the time gap between trains is short. Still, they have to time it so that the express trains can overtake the slower, regular ones at stations that has the facility to switch tracks (there are only a handful of stations with the capability on the Nambu line). This isn't that hard especially on the Nambu line which doesn't branch into multiple lines and because the trains are punctual.

      Being a heavy residential area, Nakanoshima was originally chosen as a station where express trains halted. However, after few months, for whatever reason, they removed Nakanoshima from the list of such stations. Now we have to watch in awe when the express trains whistle past us when we are waiting to hop onto a train.

      But all isn't lost. If you are lucky, there is still a way you can hop onto an express train. If there is a train travelling in the opposite direction that is approaching the station soon after you missed a regular train (or if you deliberately missed it to do the following trick), you can board it, go one station (which has to be a station where express trains stop - and in the case of Nakanoshima, both stations before and after it are stations where express trains halt), get off and hopefully get aboard the express train going in the direction you originally wanted to travel. (The good thing is, it won’t cost you any additional charges. In Japan, the charge it calculated as the lowest between two gates where you either insert the ticket in or you touch the Suica card on. There is usually no need to go through a gate when switching the directions.)

      We managed to put this trick into test recently.

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