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ITAP of the Moselle

Friday I drove a few km alongside the Moselle when I heard my compact camera yell from inside the glove box. It yelled 'stop right now!' and 'why do you even have me?' So I stopped, remembered why I have it and took this photo.

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Useless Memories (Part 3)

I'm helping a friend who is carering to a group of businesspeople at their company-organised yearly get-together. For him it's a gig he is hoping will become a regular thing and a relatively reliable income some day. For me it's mostly cleaning glasses between refills. For a while, that is all my friend and I were doing: cleaning, rinsing. We took turns. At one point this guy comes up to us to let us know that his drink tasted a bit like dishsoap. He was nice and really just wanted to let us know so we can be more careful in the future if necessary. I don't see a reason for him to lie or exagerate. And he was sure that's what the taste was. It makes sense, too. We were hurring a bit sometime because there weren't that many glasses, a residue of dishsoap would be invisible but ruin the taste of the drink. But, for some reason or not, I defaulted on "But I'm not aware of me or us doing anything wrong." I didn't quite put it into those words. But my hesitant reply must have conveyed that that was how I felt about the "unterstellung". My friend was (and still is, successfully) more customer-aware than me, thanked the guy and assured him that it won't happen again. Guy was happy, friend was mad (today I think at me; back then I thought at the guy). And my stupid non-committing and abweisende reply is what I think of nearly every time I wash any dishes by hand, which since my dishwasher broke a few years ago, is a lot. I don't think I will ever either get rid of that memory or figure out how remembering it might still help me.

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Film: Have Dreams, Will Travel

I don't know what the more correct title of the movie is. Some call it Have Dreams Will Travel, some call it A West texas Children's Story and I don't know where either title was originally used.

It's about the adventure that Cassie and Ben have after she her parents die and his don't even notice that that he leaves without saying anything. It's also about trauma processing, communication in relationships (parental, friendships and romantic). That's what I see in it at least.

Cassie: I think it's time for us to leave.
Ben: Leave?
Cassie: Look. Those two people who you live with. They're nice and everything, but-
Ben: My parents?
Cassie: Right. But from what I can tell, they don't really have anything to offer you and they certainly don't have a thing to offer me.
Ben: So, where're we goin'?
Cassie: Baltimore. I have an aunt and uncle there. I haven't seen them since I was five but from what I can remember they're both extremely hip.

The overly compressed sound (accoustically compressed, not in terms of saving storage) is so cinematic that it's auffallend ungewohnt for a movie made in this century. But it fits the overly grainly film-look and does a good job at creating this big-life-story vibe that dominates the whole movie. Like many dramas this movie has a recurring melody, creating a melodramatic yet optimistic mood.

The characters are so well defined at first that it almost came as a positive surprise that they both have deeper personalities. But I soon got used to the movie not becoming as comedic as I first thought it might be.

There is something about some of the dialogues that make them refreshing and simultaniously irregular for child characters and very fitting for these particular child characters.

Cassie: See, a real plan is more than just some pipe dream.
Ben: Pipe dream?
Cassie: A pipe dream is an unrealistic fantasy that deludes oneself into thinking that it's an actual plan. It's a very popular expression. I'm surprised you've never heard of it before.
Ben: I didn't say I'd never heard it.
Cassie: Anyway, a real plan is an actual goal that you believe in enough to create a set of circumstances. Which leads you to, and into, a plan. Comprende?
Ben: Where do you come up with this stuff? I mean, what part of your brain works so hard it makes you think and talk like that?
Cassie: My father was a professor with a very wide vocabulary and lots of unique ideas. When he wasn't teaching his students, he taught me.
Ben: So what does your mom do?
Cassie: She never did anything.

The last line of that quote may have a different meaning that I thought watching the movie for the first time.

The fact that I was surprised by the dramatic loss of Cassie's fasade may make me naive, but for me it just means that I got a non-obvious important change of the story route. And it's nice to get t a story told with a non-obvious route. Whether that's because you're tired, three, stupid, naive or because of excelent writing doesn't really matter. Other viewers may have been able to deduct more about Cassie than I early on, with her efforts to do things in grown-up ways. I didn't even know what Ben meant when he asked Cassie what she's hiding. That just created all the more potential to be sucked in by emotions to be discovered by my naive movie-drama graving brain.

Over time I think Ben proved that he is the more grown-up one in the relationship. Not by having a large vocabulary or a life plan, but by simply by adressing the issue he sees.

In the end, Ben makes his parents choose in a away what's more important for them to have - their passionate hobbies or their son - and decides for them at the same time. The result is the most glorious mixing of (fake) sad cry tears with (fake) happy cry tears I've seen in a mov- anywhere really.

I sort of expected this movie to end without any closure. It seemed like one of these movies. But not only did it have a closure for Ben's parents and a happy ending for his part of the story. It even has a happier ending above and after that, depicting the best possible futures Cassie and Ben could have perceived to have together. A utopic extra happy ending that I didn't see necessary. I keep saying that I'd like to see more movies without a happy ending. This one has two but also shows that a movie can still be as emotional and melodramatic as it is even with a double happy endling. Maybe they felt they needed to quickly tell how happy they both end up in the future so that no viewer with a similar life story or drama kills themselves after watching the movie.

I think it's interesting that AnnaSophia Robb (Cassie) isn't seen more in movies as an adult now. She has this sort of model face that men find so beautiful and she can act, I think. Maybe she's working more as a model. Cayden Boyd too. He looks like a model for a shaver commercial now. But he only had some small TV show roles in recent years. I haven't seen him in any other role. Maybe he sucks at acting.

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SBWG 0.10.11

It's been two months since I published a new version of SBWG (and therefore since I worked enough on it to make me feel that an increase in the version number may be justified). I hardly get around to working on it, lately. But when I do, I try to make some solid small steps towards the improvements I wish do be done to SBWG.

So, now there is a new version (0.10.11) but I haven't published it yet because before I do I want to test it a bit more when I'm not as fucking tired as I am right now. Writing this entry could actually be considered part of the testing that I still want to do. But as I said, I'm fucking tired right now. So I'll continue this entry another time.

Edit 2022-09-12: I did some tests with fake content offline and feel confident that I fixed more than I broke in this version. I'll add it to the project page soon.

Two long procrastinate areas that have been overdue to get fixed for a while now are permanent caching and parallelisation. For permanent caching, the bugs that I found are fixed. Aggressive caching with option `--cache` (`-C`) works and it certain groups can be selected (excluding others) for permanent caching. In my test this speeds up everyday web site re-generations by up to 100%. But it also means the user has to be aware of the cache files that persist after SBWG is done and will be used the next time. Changes to existing entries will not take effect without removing the relevant cache files. For parallelisation, the bugs that I found and that affect the generated HTML are fixed. I still consider parallel mode to be experimental. Sometimes messages on stdout are weird or cut off. But who used very verbose mode and looks at every message anyway? Parallelisation is functional and usable is what I mean to say. In my test on a Core i5 with 4 cores (8 threads) it speeds up everyday web site re-generation by around 380% with default settings. It depends a lot on how much of web site generation is generating thumbnails and other image sizes of file attachments or gallery images. Those aren't sped up that much because the CPU already is the bottleneck for those. HTML file generation profits more from having more parallel threads than CPU cores (or threads) running.

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GalaCon 2022

In this entry I'm probably going to not try hard enough to give enough context for a reader who doesn't know the MLP:FiM fandom. So I guess it's written for fans, especially people who know have attended GalaCon before. But I'll try to explain what I'm talking about at least a little bit where necessary. Or maybe I'm not going to go that far into details. We'll see.

After 2 years without a GalaCon in person (because of COVID), there finally was one last week in Ludwigsburg. When in 2019 it was officially announced that there will be one in 2020, I and others were happy to hear that GalaCon was not one of the My Little Pony fan conventions that quit because the fandom was finally shrinking after a surprising grouth since 2011. I always thought badly of the Bronycon organisers for ditching the project as soon as it seemed that it might not be an easy yearly money printing operation any more. GalaCon is different and I expect the foundation behind it to continue to organise events as long as there are people willing to organise them and some fans willing to attend them. But nobody planned with the pandemic of course. So, I and others were even happier that the plans for the next in-person convention weren't cancelled. As it has turned out, the fandom didn't shrink into a tiny puddle of half-heartedness, as it was predicted by some in 2019. GalaCon started out as the European MLP fan convention because not enough people thought it worthwhile to start conventions in their European countries at first. Since then, several other MLP conventions have been held and some of them became a yearly expectance. And now, years into the pandemic, there are more MLP convensions in Europe than ever before. It seems that the USA weren't guiding the trend in this case, contrary to what almost everybody expected. I'm not saying the fandom grew in the last three years. I think the opposite is likely true. But it sure is still thriving and lots of (not huge but worthwhile) in-person events are happening this year and are planned for next year. The fact that attendance at GalaCon 2022 wasn't much smaller than in other years may be because many wanted to have one last GalaCon and couldn't in the last two years. We'll see how it goes next year. I'll assume that there will be another one of them next year. By the way, it's not quite true that GalaCon didn't happen at all in Ludwigsburg in 2020 and 2021. A few people still came and met outside the Forum. In some cases because they couldn't cancel their travelling arrangements and hotel rooms, in other cases because they don't live too far away.

steeph at GalaCon 2022

I was, like at almost every GalaCon in Ludwigsburg, a venter, selling some of my engraved LED pictures. So I didn't take much time away from the vendor table during visiting hours. But as always, I still saw and met a lot of things, ponies and people. I didn't have an time to make new LED pictures in the last three years, since the last GalaCon. But I still had enough from earlier to fill the table.

I just accepted that it's not really interesting enough to describe everything that I saw, mention everybody that I talked with and explain everything that I learned. But here is a list of things determined somewhat noteworthy by me right now. I mean, I'll try to make it shorter. I don't know if I can. (Spoiler: I stopped trying too hard after just a few sentences. Who cares?)

Starting on Friday, there was https://www.princewhateverer.com/a DJ with a mobile set at the quare in front of the forum, playing mostly electronic music from the fandom that I know and like but also performing similar music. That meant that the cops this year also found a reason to interrupt already on Friday. Good cop calmed bad cop down and we agreed that the lack of a permit isn't for the live music isn't actually relevant because we were bothering nobody and that Rainbow Dash is cool.

There wasn't much time for setting up the table. I always take too long for that. But I had enough up when the doors opened to show what the table was about. I sold a few pictures over the two days, making just a bit more than I payed for tables, entry tickets, traveling and hotel, but not enough to pay for all materials. But I bought those years ago. So I'm just glad that I could visit GalaCon more or less for free again this year. From behind my table I also met a bunch of people, including some that I know but only ever meet at GalaCon. I had some nice conversations without leaving the table. And I liked every time somebody stopped just to tell me that they like my LED pictures.

As usual I missed all the panels, games and other sessions because somebody had to be at the table pretty much at all times and my helper couldn't be there all day either. But I took some minutes here and there to visit other tables. I was stunned by some of the art. I was happy to see old acquaintances who are also regularly vendors at GalaCon and I was glad to still find a very big variety of different fan-made merch and different art. A lot of stickers this time. But as usual not many t-shirts and I again didn't get one in my size. Except for the official con shirt. But those are always very cheap, don't last long but cost a lot of money. I did get a pile of used pony t-shirts, though. Zunt brought his private shirts as part of his final sell-out.

Chalk Ponies

As always the first chalk drawings started to appear on Friday. On Saturday there were many more than ever before. There was no rain during the entire weekend. But that alone can't explain why there were so many more chalk drawings on Saturday than on any other GalaCon Saturday. And there were even more on Sunday. People continued and added pictures way into dawn. Some of these drawings are really stunning. But it's also interesting to watch them develop, to watch how they are made. The result may look kind of magical sometimes. But seeing how it's done reveals that it's learnable skill that creates that look. There are some pictures of some chark drawings attached. I made way more photos of them. This is just a selection of a few that I like for different reasons.

The Concert

Prince Whateverer (YouTube, Bandcamp) was at the concert. I like his songs (lyrics, music, voice). Some of the songs he writes are so strong if you knwo the context or the inspiration for them. For some I don't really knwo what they are about. But those sound good, too. Too bad the sound at the concert wasn't mixed properly. Maybe it sounded right from the monitor speakers, I don't know. But it was pretty bad from right in front of the stage, except when you were standing right in front of of the tweeters. I enjoyed the performance anyway. We has a band now, which is great! I only saw him perform alone before, with the rest of the instruments as playback. I took the opportunity to get a CD and get it signed. If I had tried I probably could have had a chat and/or a beer with him later at the pub. But he had enough people around himself whenever I saw him. He probably wouldn't have enjoyed more fans talking at him. I'm just glad I got to talk to him for a minute before he left.

Blackened Blue (YouTube, Bandcamp), another metal musician from the UK who is in the MLP fandom, was great, too. I hadn't heard him before But his stuff is definitely worth checking out. Some good remixes of recent songs from The New Generation, among many original songs.

Other Vendors

Zunt sold out and ended his side-business. If you don't know who Zunt is, well, it doesn't really matter to you. But Zunt has been well known for buying and selling pony merch from very early on in the fandom. He imported licensed and fan-made merch from the USA and traveled through Germany selling it at brony meetups and later also at GalaCon. At this year's GalaCon he sold the last of his stuff, including his tombola wheel and raffle box. People who know his role in the German brony community can imagine how I felt taking a symbolic photo of him selling his last plushie, and sitting behind his empty vendor table. I was glad to catch that little, sort of historical moment.

The were also two new vendors this year. I mean, there are usually new vendors every year. I don't keep track of everybody. But these two I'd like to mention. Thst one guy (apparently I didn't remember to write down his name) decorated glass jars with landscapes and pony figurines and they look really great. He didn't have his own table in the vendor hall, just part of somebody else'd table. I guess maybe this was the reason that they didn't sell that well. Because they really look amazing. There are a few pictures of his work below. And if I find a webpage to link to, I'll add the link here.

The other new vendor that I talked with wasn't officially a vendor. She tried to sell some MLP-themed bracelets outside the venue. She was sent away by staff before she could sell anything. When she tried again outside of the property ground that belongs to the venue, she apparently was threatened, or at least harshyl told to stop in order to not get into serious trouble. I don't know why anybody thought it necessary to tell her and her dad that selling things here without a permit would be illegal. A 7-year-old trying to make 2 bucks didn't hurt anybody ar all. I offered her to take half of one of my tables. But when we spoke on Sunday they had already given up because she was too intimidated.

One other vendor that I'd like to mention. I mean, there would be more with products and art worth presenting. But then I'd take several more weeks until I finish this entry, and that isn't my intention with this writeup. So, this painter of whom I have to loop up the name again (Yeah, this entry is still work in progress.) had this painting at her table. She had several very good painting. But this one stood out to me and made me stop at her table every time I passes it, whether I wanted to or had time to or not. There's a picture attached. It's not so much what this piece expresses, but rather how it speaks to me. The style, technique, but also the character, her expression and the setting. That's one of the few times I've seen a pony painting and thought "Now that real art!" There are lots and lots of really great drawings and paintings that came out of the brondydom. The MLP fandom of the last decate is kind of known for that. But only very few, less than a handful, stick out to me like this. I'm not an artist and I don't know art. So I won't try to describe the painting any further. It's the one of Fluttershy below in the attachments.

The Future Of The Fandom

Some people have voiced their negative or at least less optimistic outlook on the development of the fandom, especially in terms of size, at the last GalaCon in 2019. We were all glas back then that GalaCon wasn't one of the MLP fan conventiosn that announced plans of ending things. The future of the fandom is safe, I'm sure of that. It just couldn't keep growing, especially at the fast rate many bronies were used to. And after the 4th generation series ended, it's to be expected that people move on. Now, three years later, GalaCon still had a good amount of attendees. It wasn't the fullest the venue ever was during a GalaCon weekend. It was probably just right. Very diverse and enough visitors so you definitely couldn't talk to everybody in just two and a half days, but not so full that you couldn't calmly stroll through the halls at any time.

Conclusions

Sunday after closing I took some time to talk more to random people, about the show and its developments, the new generation, the fandom and its developments, other fan conventions and fan events and their development. It was so nice to meet those nice people again after a 2 year long hole of no events!

I thought I'd summarise what I gathered people think of the new generation and how they expect the fandom will develop. But I didn't make a survey or something and the conclusion may, in the end, not _really_ top what most people said on the topic even before season 9 of the G4 show ended: The fandom will shrink, but the core of the fandom will stay, and G5 will have to be good if Hasbro wants a sizeable fandom to continue to exist at all. The movie was promising. There is potential. The actual G5 show hasn't started yet. So it may use that potential and keep a good amount of bronies around. I'd like that. I hope it will be a show that I can enjoy watching. But I'm not sure whether that (for me) would be a show that's very much like the previous one, or one that takes standards (both storytelling and animation) to another level.

There are a bunch of photos with descriptions attached. Most of the photos aren't manually edited at all and most of the descriptions have typos (probably). I will probably reduce image resolution and increase JPEG compression to save space on the server. The JPEG files from my GRIII (the compact camera that I took to GalaCon) are huge.

File Attachments

Vendors getting good deals the day before the convention opens_
Vendors getting good deals the day before the convention opens.
I like these pins_ They are very good_ And colorful_ They are made by My Little Ties_
I like these pins. They are very good. And colorful. They are made by My Little Ties.
Hand-engraved drinking glasses_ Good prices, too_ They are made by Bastler´s Bastelstube
Hand-engraved drinking glasses. Good prices, too. They are made by Bastler´s Bastelstube
Dusty at GalaCon_
Dusty at GalaCon.
Outside Music Supplier
Outside Music Supplier
Chalk Painting Canni (in the making)
Chalk Painting Canni (in the making)
The well water wasn't clean this year_ But it still was refreshing_
The well water wasn't clean this year. But it still was refreshing.
Canni Chalk Painting (done)
Canni Chalk Painting (done)
Derpy!
Derpy!
HORS!
HORS!
Czech check…
Czech check…
The pub is always so full that most people are in front of it_ One reason why this is good is that one can join the crowd but drink/eat brought stuff_ It's still good business for the pub_
The pub is always so full that most people are in front of it. One reason why this is good is that one can join the crowd but drink/eat brought stuff. It's still good business for the pub.
Year after year the music seems to be getting more in front of the pub_ It hasn't reacht levels of not letting me enjoy it though_
Year after year the music seems to be getting more in front of the pub. It hasn't reacht levels of not letting me enjoy it though.
This conga-stuff is always so weird to me_ But it seems to be so much fun to the people who join and so many do every time I see one at GalaCon_ It became a normal thing to me that just happens sometimes around me_
This conga-stuff is always so weird to me. But it seems to be so much fun to the people who join and so many do every time I see one at GalaCon. It became a normal thing to me that just happens sometimes around me.
I don't knwo what costume that is_ But I bet it's a character from or a reference to some fanfic or meme or something_
I don't knwo what costume that is. But I bet it's a character from or a reference to some fanfic or meme or something.
The Real Party
The Real Party
This is the guy decorating the jars with pony figurines and landscapes_ Doing another one while waiting for the doors on Saturday morning_ Why didn't I write down his name?
This is the guy decorating the jars with pony figurines and landscapes. Doing another one while waiting for the doors on Saturday morning. Why didn't I write down his name?
I just don't know what went wrong_ It kind of looks a bit as if it's intentionally blurred_ Cool effect_ But it looks even more as if a great painting has been damaged_ Also: Shoobeedoo!
I just don't know what went wrong. It kind of looks a bit as if it's intentionally blurred. Cool effect. But it looks even more as if a great painting has been damaged. Also: Shoobeedoo!
I always like seeing Torben's place at GalaCon_ It's always so colorful and great pictures too_ Every time I want to buy something from him whether I need it or not_ Torben is cool, and so is the stuff he sells_
I always like seeing Torben's place at GalaCon. It's always so colorful and great pictures too. Every time I want to buy something from him whether I need it or not. Torben is cool, and so is the stuff he sells.
Nice colorful metal with pony pictures from My Little Ties_ (The next two pictures, too_)
Nice colorful metal with pony pictures from My Little Ties. (The next two pictures, too.)
Many vendors had keychains_ (I'm not judging; I have some, too_ It's an easy extra item to serve the demand for pony merch in the low price range_) I don't even know who's table this is at_ _Maybe_ "Lefays Creations feat_ Tegs", but that's just a guess after a look at the vendor table chart_
Many vendors had keychains. (I'm not judging; I have some, too. It's an easy extra item to serve the demand for pony merch in the low price range.) I don't even know who's table this is at. _Maybe_ "Lefays Creations feat. Tegs", but that's just a guess after a look at the vendor table chart.
Nice Rainbow Dash plushie! One of the two biggest plushies on sale at GalaCon this year_ I didn't buy it_
Nice Rainbow Dash plushie! One of the two biggest plushies on sale at GalaCon this year. I didn't buy it.
Dusty at his table_
Dusty at his table.
Vinyl Scratch with his base cannon and … some- somepony …
Vinyl Scratch with his base cannon and … some- somepony …
Base Cannon (front, outside) - Looks as close to the original as it has to_ Very nice! I did a bit of planning once to see what it would take to build one as close as possible to the original using only high-quality parts_ I came up with a BoM over just a bit over 1000 € and has still quite a bit of uncertainty left about whether the opening mechanism would work the way I imagined it_ (I'm not an engineer_) The one in the picture doesn't open automatically and the red button also diesn't work like it does in the video_ But it's perfect_ Because this one was built; mine wasn't_
Base Cannon (front, outside) - Looks as close to the original as it has to. Very nice! I did a bit of planning once to see what it would take to build one as close as possible to the original using only high-quality parts. I came up with a BoM over just a bit over 1000 € and has still quite a bit of uncertainty left about whether the opening mechanism would work the way I imagined it. (I'm not an engineer.) The one in the picture doesn't open automatically and the red button also diesn't work like it does in the video. But it's perfect. Because this one was built; mine wasn't.
Base Cannon (back, inside) - Not bad considering you have to leave a lot of room for the woofer_
Base Cannon (back, inside) - Not bad considering you have to leave a lot of room for the woofer.
Probably the largest plushie I saw this year_ (Although there were others that at least came close_) Real heavy limbs, too_
Probably the largest plushie I saw this year. (Although there were others that at least came close.) Real heavy limbs, too.
Boop_
Boop.
That in the back there looks like a beer bike for plushies but without being a beer bike_ Don't feed them!
That in the back there looks like a beer bike for plushies but without being a beer bike. Don't feed them!
His hair actually look like they do in the show_ I've never before seen that in an MLP costume_
His hair actually look like they do in the show. I've never before seen that in an MLP costume.
I so love that this guy has actually built a base cannon that looks like the one from that skit and that he started cosplaying and bringing his base cannon to conventions after years of having his base cannon only for himself_ (Or should I say she/her because it's vinyl scratch?
I so love that this guy has actually built a base cannon that looks like the one from that skit and that he started cosplaying and bringing his base cannon to conventions after years of having his base cannon only for himself. (Or should I say she/her because it's vinyl scratch?
My table never finishes being set up during the event_ I never get around to tidying up_
My table never finishes being set up during the event. I never get around to tidying up.
Drink Fanta!
Drink Fanta!
Come to UK PonyCon!
Come to UK PonyCon!
Celia Kasper's table_ She wasn't there when I came by_
Celia Kasper's table. She wasn't there when I came by.
I like those tiny frames_ Again I didn't note down who's table this is_ Sry_
I like those tiny frames. Again I didn't note down who's table this is. Sry.
Laser-engraved wood stuff by Dranaar_ Paintings by Yulyeen_ I hope those wood-pieces sell better than they did when I last spoke to him_ The quality of those pictures has increased since then_ They look perfect_ Maybe I'll get another one next year if I see one that I like especially_
Laser-engraved wood stuff by Dranaar. Paintings by Yulyeen. I hope those wood-pieces sell better than they did when I last spoke to him. The quality of those pictures has increased since then. They look perfect. Maybe I'll get another one next year if I see one that I like especially.
Prince Whateverer's table_ He wasn't there when I came by_
Prince Whateverer's table. He wasn't there when I came by.
I don't know that fanfic or character_ But I like how this costume is made of just three simple things (cartboard, packaging tape and paint) but still looks elaborate on first and second glance_
I don't know that fanfic or character. But I like how this costume is made of just three simple things (cartboard, packaging tape and paint) but still looks elaborate on first and second glance.
Apropos giant plishies_ Applejack, Fluttershy and Egghead (next picture) chilling and waiting for something_
Apropos giant plishies. Applejack, Fluttershy and Egghead (next picture) chilling and waiting for something.
Hand for comparison_ And to make her heavy head look into the camera_
Hand for comparison. And to make her heavy head look into the camera.
Starlight Glimmer with her "original" cutie mark_
Starlight Glimmer with her "original" cutie mark.
👍
👍
The chalk drawings are getting more and more_
The chalk drawings are getting more and more.
cute
cute
Isee (Izzy)
Isee (Izzy)
Oh, I take back what I said earlier about the biggest plushie I saw there for sale_ I think those were bigger_ Abd more elaborate, with their costumes_ Awesome job!
Oh, I take back what I said earlier about the biggest plushie I saw there for sale. I think those were bigger. Abd more elaborate, with their costumes. Awesome job!
Many vendors had these and similar key fobs_ Apparently they suddenly became a thing_ I hadn't seen them before_ I didn't see any with a picture of a human on it, though_ Would be something to give your MLP plushie maybe_
Many vendors had these and similar key fobs. Apparently they suddenly became a thing. I hadn't seen them before. I didn't see any with a picture of a human on it, though. Would be something to give your MLP plushie maybe.
Magic? We're safe_
Magic? We're safe.
These are those jars I mentioned_
These are those jars I mentioned.
This is the table with the Fluttershy painting that amazed so much_ (On the left_)
This is the table with the Fluttershy painting that amazed so much. (On the left.)
Neat suits_
Neat suits.
More and more neat suits came by_
More and more neat suits came by.
My favirite fursuit at GC2022_
My favirite fursuit at GC2022.
Taking a picture of smiling Flutterguy at GalaCon is sort of a tradition for me_ Also, he's a tradition at GalaCon of sorts_
Taking a picture of smiling Flutterguy at GalaCon is sort of a tradition for me. Also, he's a tradition at GalaCon of sorts.
He has fans_
He has fans.
This tennis ball on her horn looks about as big as it does in the movie, right? So, since tennis ball are of an expected standard size, is this how big Genereation 5 My Little Ponies are?
This tennis ball on her horn looks about as big as it does in the movie, right? So, since tennis ball are of an expected standard size, is this how big Genereation 5 My Little Ponies are?
Every now and then some fursuits were walking by and sometimes I was quick enough at getting the camera out and taking a picture_ But they were always that far away_ I think I don't have even one picture of the Tempest Shadow_ (I know that's not her 'real name'_)
Every now and then some fursuits were walking by and sometimes I was quick enough at getting the camera out and taking a picture. But they were always that far away. I think I don't have even one picture of the Tempest Shadow. (I know that's not her 'real name'.)
BlackenedBlue shooting invisible mouth lasers_
BlackenedBlue shooting invisible mouth lasers.
Prince Whateverer yelling at the microphone_
Prince Whateverer yelling at the microphone.
Wall of Death_ Nobody died though_
Wall of Death. Nobody died though.
Prince Whateverer openly yelling at the microphone_
Prince Whateverer openly yelling at the microphone.
PrinceWhateverer and band
PrinceWhateverer and band
PrinceWhateverer and no band
PrinceWhateverer and no band
Masks were about as rare as in a supermarket in the same region around that time, which is pretty rare_ I know some people would have liked more people to wear masks_ But people were there to have fun and I guess that makes them not start aguments or shout at each other or something of that sort_
Masks were about as rare as in a supermarket in the same region around that time, which is pretty rare. I know some people would have liked more people to wear masks. But people were there to have fun and I guess that makes them not start aguments or shout at each other or something of that sort.
Some visitors watching pony videos projected on a metallic anthracite-coloured surface_ That worked very well actually_ There is a backstory about this_ But I'm not going to tell it in this image description_ Maybe I should've put it in the blog post_
Some visitors watching pony videos projected on a metallic anthracite-coloured surface. That worked very well actually. There is a backstory about this. But I'm not going to tell it in this image description. Maybe I should've put it in the blog post.
Wow!
Wow!
This is further than the chalk ponies ever reached before_
This is further than the chalk ponies ever reached before.
There was a ferris wheel on the parking lot on the other side of the street which started to be colorful before it went dark but stopped being lit when it really became dark_ I took this picture just a few seconds - maybe 2 seconds - before the colors were turned off_ The photographer next to me tried to take the same picture at the same time but was two seconds slower and didn't get it_ Mine didn't turn out exactly how I intended_ I could probably fix it if I developed the raw image_
There was a ferris wheel on the parking lot on the other side of the street which started to be colorful before it went dark but stopped being lit when it really became dark. I took this picture just a few seconds - maybe 2 seconds - before the colors were turned off. The photographer next to me tried to take the same picture at the same time but was two seconds slower and didn't get it. Mine didn't turn out exactly how I intended. I could probably fix it if I developed the raw image.
Ponies who attended the gala
Ponies who attended the gala
Bronies who didn't attend the gala
Bronies who didn't attend the gala
Ponies all the way!
Ponies all the way!
All the way back there!
All the way back there!
The Great and Powerful Brixie
The Great and Powerful Brixie
A late welcome to GalaCon
A late welcome to GalaCon
She's called Stablight Glimmer_
She's called Stablight Glimmer.
Weirly lit pony in a glass idea that I quickly tried out_ Maybe I'll make a few of these but better_
Weirly lit pony in a glass idea that I quickly tried out. Maybe I'll make a few of these but better.
Lyra: :D
Lyra: :D
Zunt attempting to sell everything
Zunt attempting to sell everything
This may be the best Tempest plushie that I've ever seen_
This may be the best Tempest plushie that I've ever seen.
A photographer from Belgium (I think) doing a project on bronies (I think)_ www_katherine-longly_net
A photographer from Belgium (I think) doing a project on bronies (I think). www.katherine-longly.net
Another good costume made from cartboard_ Also, I feel like I've seen this one at the first GalaCon in Stuttgart_ It probably was a similar one_
Another good costume made from cartboard. Also, I feel like I've seen this one at the first GalaCon in Stuttgart. It probably was a similar one.
And here is a close-up of the painting that I mentioned that improssed me so much_ Now it can impress you too_
And here is a close-up of the painting that I mentioned that improssed me so much. Now it can impress you too.
Zunt selling his last irem_
Zunt selling his last irem.
Zunt got rid of everything_ Even his mask (for the picture)_ But not his smile_
Zunt got rid of everything. Even his mask (for the picture). But not his smile.
Later I solved the mysterie of the missing word in this picture_ It was just a mistake of an English learner_ Also I think it should say 'apples', but anyways, nice picture!
Later I solved the mysterie of the missing word in this picture. It was just a mistake of an English learner. Also I think it should say 'apples', but anyways, nice picture!
Du musst saufen_
Du musst saufen.
I love this style for chalk paintings because it's so unlike chalk painting usually are_ The shadows and the outlines look so good!
I love this style for chalk paintings because it's so unlike chalk painting usually are. The shadows and the outlines look so good!
Alright, the chalk ponies have almost made it to the other side of the square_ (Not really, the square stretches around and is huge_)
Alright, the chalk ponies have almost made it to the other side of the square. (Not really, the square stretches around and is huge.)
I watched about 12 minutes of the charity auktion_ It was fun, but I couldn't sit calmly_ Too much excitement in the last two/three days_ But at least I took a picture (of red hair)_
I watched about 12 minutes of the charity auktion. It was fun, but I couldn't sit calmly. Too much excitement in the last two/three days. But at least I took a picture (of red hair).
Ponies and bronies going home_ That luna plush there is best plush_
Ponies and bronies going home. That luna plush there is best plush.
Actually, many stayed for another few hours, or went to the pub afterwards_ So since the venue was closed already and I had no table to attend to, I got to have interesting conversations with kind strangers_
Actually, many stayed for another few hours, or went to the pub afterwards. So since the venue was closed already and I had no table to attend to, I got to have interesting conversations with kind strangers.
It's so useful to have a bass cannon_
It's so useful to have a bass cannon.
Spike is best pony!
Spike is best pony!
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Fred - Part 2 - The Case Lid And Cooling

This entry is a reply to or continuation of the entry 'Fred - Part 1 - Modding The Quiet Into A Server Rack Case'.

In this entry I'll describe how Fred's components are air cooled.

So, after removing the fan wall and unplugging the two fans in the back of the case there was no active cooling left. That's good for reducing noise, but not enough cooling for the hard drives, the CPU and the SAS controller cards. Since the case is not mounted in a rack and nothing is placed on top of it, I decided to use the space in the case lid to place larger fans.

The CPU

My idea was to replace the CPU cooler with a larger one that just fits into the case and have a fan above it suck out its hot air (also pulling in ait from the RAM modules next to the CPU socket). I fount a heat sink from Scythe called Iori (SCIOR-1000). Mounted on the socket there would be just enough space for a 15 mm fan above it. As it turns out though, the heat sink is large enough to cool the CPU passively and the RAM doesn't need any additional cooling, too. So the fan above it is not even plugged in.

The Extension Cards

Since the HBA and the RAID card that I'm using are designed for servers with a proper airflow, they need at least some additional cooling. Their heat sinks are quite small for the amount of heat they produce. But there was enough room above them to place a fan that sucks the hot ait directly from the extension card area out of the case. I was told these cards usually don't have any problems getting extremely hot. But I rather don't want to have them do their things for hours or days streight without any active cooling. Replacing their heat sinks with larger ones would only be a sufficiant option if there was room for much much larger heat sinks.

The Hard Drives

I don't want to have have hard drives run continuesly without any active cooling, especially when they are sitting in enclosures that don't allow for any aitflow without some amount of pressure. There is just no-where for the heat to go on its own in these tight drawers. I decided for three 140 mm fans that would neatly in a row behind the hard drive compartment and backplane. Since the motherboard isn't that large, there was nothing but a few cables in that area of the case. I've mounted an aluminium bar that I had lying around and tucked two pieces of flat plastic between this bar and the bar that originally held the fan wall at the bottom. That way, the air that is pressed in from above gets directed only into the hard drive compartment where it has no way to escape without passing the hard drives.

Unfortunately the room around the hard drives is so small that quite a lot of air preassure is needed to cool them as much as I wanted to. Running the fans at full speed all the time is hardly enough to keep them at a temperature that I deem acceptable. I tried to increase the cooling effect by sealing all the edges and other tiny spaces where some air could escape without cooling the hard drives. But this didn't lead to a measurable difference. I ended up taking out two of the 16 hard drives to increase the size of the duct. I chose two drives in the centre so that there now is a large surface where the air cools the remaining drives. That lowered the temperatures of the surrounding drives a lot. The temperature of the drives at the edges was of course hardly effected. But those weren't the problem anyway.

I'll probably continue about the rest of the case mod in a followup entry.

File Attachments

Making the holes for the fans was easier than I expected_ I marked the borders with a pencil by following the outlines of the actual fans, cut the rough holes with an angle grinder with a cutting disk, then did the finishing with a rotary tool (a not Dremel)_
Making the holes for the fans was easier than I expected. I marked the borders with a pencil by following the outlines of the actual fans, cut the rough holes with an angle grinder with a cutting disk, then did the finishing with a rotary tool (a not Dremel).
I used up several cheap grinding bits for the finishing_ The remaining borders between the fas are only a few millimeters wide_ But the ~2 mm thick steel holds up surprisingly well_ They don't make regular home computer cases from that material_
I used up several cheap grinding bits for the finishing. The remaining borders between the fas are only a few millimeters wide. But the ~2 mm thick steel holds up surprisingly well. They don't make regular home computer cases from that material.
First coat: primer, second coat: matte black, thirdly added sparkly sprinkles_ In the picture I started taping the sides for what comes next_
First coat: primer, second coat: matte black, thirdly added sparkly sprinkles. In the picture I started taping the sides for what comes next.
Then I painted the middle part pink_ After the tape was removed I noticed the paint came off in one spot_ Well, that's how it goes if you don't do it right_ I can just cover this with a sticker_ For now I just added a matte clearcoat_
Then I painted the middle part pink. After the tape was removed I noticed the paint came off in one spot. Well, that's how it goes if you don't do it right. I can just cover this with a sticker. For now I just added a matte clearcoat.
In between cooling systems_ I tested the modded lid as it was in the picture but closed_ It did do something and it was better than the open case with scattered fans in the next picture, but not by much_
In between cooling systems. I tested the modded lid as it was in the picture but closed. It did do something and it was better than the open case with scattered fans in the next picture, but not by much.
That's how it looked for a day while I used the NAS before finishing the new cooling system_ Notice the large space in the middle_ That will be used in the next pictures_
That's how it looked for a day while I used the NAS before finishing the new cooling system. Notice the large space in the middle. That will be used in the next pictures.
This is how the case looked inside now_ (I'll write about the power supply in the next entry_)
This is how the case looked inside now. (I'll write about the power supply in the next entry.)
And from the outside_ The fan on the bottom right cools the RAID card and the HBA_ I don't know if it's cooling it enough because I don't know what the cards/processors are made to withstand_ But they still ran a few years after that picture was taken_ The CPU fan is off because it stays cool enough during a hours-long burn test_
And from the outside. The fan on the bottom right cools the RAID card and the HBA. I don't know if it's cooling it enough because I don't know what the cards/processors are made to withstand. But they still ran a few years after that picture was taken. The CPU fan is off because it stays cool enough during a hours-long burn test.
The cooler mount wasn't made for that socket_ I think it was for an AMD socket_ The bracket was really strong and tight and eventually broke in two_ The CPU lid didn't take any damage though and I simply used a few zipties to hold the cooler in place without much preasure on the CPU_ That still was enough to cool the CPU passively and the machine ran three quarters of a year that way_
The cooler mount wasn't made for that socket. I think it was for an AMD socket. The bracket was really strong and tight and eventually broke in two. The CPU lid didn't take any damage though and I simply used a few zipties to hold the cooler in place without much preasure on the CPU. That still was enough to cool the CPU passively and the machine ran three quarters of a year that way.
Eventually I made my own bracket (not in the picture) and now that is held down by zipties_ It's quite sturdy_
Eventually I made my own bracket (not in the picture) and now that is held down by zipties. It's quite sturdy.
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Fred - Part 1 - Modding The Quiet Into A Server Rack Case

Fred is an old Supermicro rack server that I got as an attempt at building a NAS that replaces all the smaller NASs that I already had. But I like to collect stuff and it's never going to be enough. So it ended up being just another extension of my home network.

Overview

It's an old 3U Supermicro server case with 16 3.5" hard drive drawers, a good but not too bulky Asus motherboard and a nice low-power Intel CPU. I kept the motherboard, CPU and 32 GB ECC RAM. It's more than enough.

I wanted to do some mods on the case though to make it more comparible to my home and my visual taste in computer cases. In short, what I did was: Switch the PSU to a quieter one, build fans into the lid for quieter drive and card cooling, painted the case, switched the CPU cooler for passive cooling, added two HBA cards and 14 8 TB hard drives (two drawers left intentionally free).

I will tell about/may document these mods in more detail in separate entries.

File Attachments

The case before I started (but not before I added some stickers)
The case before I started (but not before I added some stickers)
The pretty much finished case
The pretty much finished case
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deth to rite speling!

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