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Reply 27281 of 27608, by konc

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momaka wrote on 2024-04-10, 12:22:

Does ripping music CDs onto my computer count as a retro activity?

I'll take this a step further, imagine re-ripping the same old audio CDs to a better/lossless format now that storage space isn't an issue!

Reply 27282 of 27608, by pan069

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konc wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:30:
momaka wrote on 2024-04-10, 12:22:

Does ripping music CDs onto my computer count as a retro activity?

I'll take this a step further, imagine re-ripping the same old audio CDs to a better/lossless format now that storage space isn't an issue!

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Reply 27283 of 27608, by revolstar

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I replaced the old and worn top fans in my ZALMAN Z3 PLUS case, which currently houses my Win98 rig. I had tried to lubricate them first, but that didn't cut it, they were still somewhat noisy. I'm saving them as spares though, just in *case* 😉

Win98 rig: Athlon XP 2500+/512MB RAM/Gigabyte GA-7VT600/SB Live!/GF FX5700/Voodoo2 12MB
WinXP rig: HP RP5800 - Pentium G850/2GB RAM/GF GT530 1GB
Amiga: A600/2MB RAM
PS3: 500GB HDD Slim, mostly for RetroArch, PSX & PS2 games

Reply 27284 of 27608, by konc

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pan069 wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:35:
konc wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:30:
momaka wrote on 2024-04-10, 12:22:

Does ripping music CDs onto my computer count as a retro activity?

I'll take this a step further, imagine re-ripping the same old audio CDs to a better/lossless format now that storage space isn't an issue!

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Ouch, for me it's the 3rd time: I started from 128kbps when space was an issue and computer speakers a joke, did the same CDs later in 320 and finally went lossless.

Reply 27285 of 27608, by creepingnet

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Well...not today, it's been a few months, but ALL of my Retro Boxes are now technically "Wireless"...

The Tandy and Compaq in the garage are both using the iMac's ethernet port as a router to the iMacs WiFi. Currently I just pass the ethernet between the two but I have a Cisco Catalyst Managed Switch to play with that I might start messing with with these two computers.

The 486 upstairs is still using the LinkSys WNCE2001 to connect over WPA2-PSK.

I setup a mini FTP Share on my server now so I can download all my DOS Games and other software over FTP on the home network. The Server is blocked from most internet traffic as I'm aware I don't want it to become an opendirectory or make it vulnerable to attacks. This on the whole....has been VERY nice to have. I just FTP in over mTCP and snag the zip-files I want, and then unzip-em on the machine in question (I even found utilities that work on my Tandy 1000A for this). Even some pretty huge games download pretty fast.

I also started the move toward maybe just running FreeDOS on everything, since I now have found a way to get Ultima7 to run by using the command line switch "P" after running the U7.EXE or SI.EXE files. Sure, I can't create characters, but I could always - for now at least - use a boot disk to DOS 7 to create the characters and kick off the game from there.

The laptops are still using tether to cell phone for now but that might change in the not too terribly distant future once I'm done with the never-ending train of guitar-madness I've been on lately (I have a stack of wood in the garage, resin pour, and al whole pile of guitar projects getting completed).

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/
The Creeping Network Repo - https://www.geocities.ws/creepingnet2019/

Reply 27286 of 27608, by gerry

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StriderTR wrote on 2024-04-08, 22:47:

I've got no room to judge, I have to use classic, some would call "vintage", TV trays like the ones seen below as my workbench whenever I work on anything. Setup all my tools, do the work, tare it all down and put it away. Projects take so much longer than they would normally. I really need to figure out a dedicated work area, but, you work with what you got.

The joys of tiny apartment life. 😜

that's a nice folding tray/table though! very practical in small spaces

Reply 27287 of 27608, by gerry

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konc wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:50:
pan069 wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:35:

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Ouch, for me it's the 3rd time: I started from 128kbps when space was an issue and computer speakers a joke, did the same CDs later in 320 and finally went lossless.

i'm sure this happened a lot, savings stuff to floppies, to zip disks to cds, dvds, early usb sticks, external hdds and so on and so on

it's difficult to keep up with a) ever larger and cheaper storage b) ever more capable/speedier encoding c) ever quicker internet speeds

and i like to keep original cds, dvds etc too

others just let it all go completely and rely on streaming things on the basis that everything will carry on becoming ever more available

Reply 27288 of 27608, by Ozzuneoj

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pan069 wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:35:
konc wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:30:
momaka wrote on 2024-04-10, 12:22:

Does ripping music CDs onto my computer count as a retro activity?

I'll take this a step further, imagine re-ripping the same old audio CDs to a better/lossless format now that storage space isn't an issue!

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Oh man, I can't imagine doing that. 128kbit MP3 has always sounded terrible. I remember 192kbps being the minimum that I would ever rip to. I may have done 256kbps or 320kbps at some point before switching to lossless too, but I don't think that period lasted long.

Admittedly, I have basically kept all my CDs other than ones I just don't listen to anymore. I still prefer to own physical media, but for many years now (probably 2009?) I have been immediately ripping them to FLAC, and then I put the CD in a safe place in my collection. I guess it's partially an ownership thing, partially nostalgia and partially that I like having the CD inserts if I ever want to look at them.

... oh, I just remembered that I have given some CDs to my daughter. My wife and I decided a while back that this kid would be raised with some appreciation for physical media, and I'm happy to say that she likes using CDs and *gasp* listens to whole albums, rather than just being fed whatever spotify is spewing out at random.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 27289 of 27608, by Ozzuneoj

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Doing some card testing today and I've got something strange happening with an All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro. When I try to power on my system with the card installed, the system fans twitch but the system does not turn on.

Anyone ever experienced that with one of these cards? The aux power (floppy connector) is connected and I don't see any visible damage to the card. The black heatsink has visibly been through quite a bit of heat and has a brown tinge to it, which is obviously not good, but beyond the general unreliability and crappy longevity of these things (R3xx cards are almost always dead) I haven't run into one preventing a system from powering on. I'm guessing something is shorted somewhere, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

... as it is, I basically always write all R3xx cards off as dead when I see them in scrap lots or elsewhere, so it isn't a huge loss. I wasn't expecting it to work, especially with the brown heatsink. It'll go into my for-parts\hopeless repairs box, along with almost every other Radeon 9700 or 9800 I've ever come across. 🤣

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 27290 of 27608, by PcBytes

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Oh well, you wouldn't be the only to write off a card 🤣. I had to write my recent 7800GS AGP (or 7900GS, have yet to figure what card it is, G71 chipset tho) as I would get no POST whatsoever - it'd get stuck @ POST 25.

Tried all the options I had:

- reflow G71 chip
- reflow PCI-E to AGP bridge
- check for missing SMDs - none missing.
- program another BIOS w/ CH341A - used a Leadtek BIOS slightly newer than the one printed on the back of the card

None worked, all would stop @ POST 25 over a bunch of different mobos:
- ABIT NF7
- ASUS K8N
- MSI 694D Pro-AR
- ASUS CUSL2 (the irony that would've been of a 7800GS on a 815 based P3 mobo 🤣)
- MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR MS-6570
- ECS K7S5A
- Soltek SL-75FRN2-RL

Ah well. I guess I'll stick to my 9700 Pro and ASUS GF6600 non-GT then.

Last edited by PcBytes on 2024-04-11, 18:59. Edited 2 times in total.

"Enter at your own peril, past the bolted door..."
Main PC: i5 3470, GB B75M-D3H, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB
98SE : P3 650, Soyo SY-6BA+IV, 384MB RAM, 80GB

Reply 27291 of 27608, by BitWrangler

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:36:

Doing some card testing today and I've got something strange happening with an All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro. When I try to power on my system with the card installed, the system fans twitch but the system does not turn on.

Anyone ever experienced that with one of these cards? The aux power (floppy connector) is connected and I don't see any visible damage to the card. The black heatsink has visibly been through quite a bit of heat and has a brown tinge to it, which is obviously not good, but beyond the general unreliability and crappy longevity of these things (R3xx cards are almost always dead) I haven't run into one preventing a system from powering on. I'm guessing something is shorted somewhere, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

... as it is, I basically always write all R3xx cards off as dead when I see them in scrap lots or elsewhere, so it isn't a huge loss. I wasn't expecting it to work, especially with the brown heatsink. It'll go into my for-parts\hopeless repairs box, along with almost every other Radeon 9700 or 9800 I've ever come across. 🤣

That sounds more like a golden ticket one to me, a totally random failure that stopped it dying before it overheated or ate it's mosfets, so trace that out and it MIGHT be something simple that lets you run the card then R&R it properly to stop it dieing of what they normally die of.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 27292 of 27608, by bakemono

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 17:00:
pan069 wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:35:

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Oh man, I can't imagine doing that. 128kbit MP3 has always sounded terrible. I remember 192kbps being the minimum that I would ever rip to. I may have done 256kbps or 320kbps at some point before switching to lossless too, but I don't think that period lasted long.

I ripped CDs at 160kbps which seemed good enough at the time. With how much worse my hearing is these days, it's definitely good enough now, 🤣

again another retro game on itch: https://90soft90.itch.io/shmup-salad

Reply 27293 of 27608, by fillosaurus

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gerry wrote on 2024-04-11, 16:03:
i'm sure this happened a lot, savings stuff to floppies, to zip disks to cds, dvds, early usb sticks, external hdds and so on an […]
Show full quote
konc wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:50:
pan069 wrote on 2024-04-11, 10:35:

Reminds me of a friend back in the late 90's. He ripped all his CDs at 128Kbps (took 1 night for 1 CD) and then he sold all his CDs. Only a few years later hard drive space was a lot cheaper and he was annoyed that he didn't ripped at a much higher bitrate... 😀

Ouch, for me it's the 3rd time: I started from 128kbps when space was an issue and computer speakers a joke, did the same CDs later in 320 and finally went lossless.

i'm sure this happened a lot, savings stuff to floppies, to zip disks to cds, dvds, early usb sticks, external hdds and so on and so on

it's difficult to keep up with a) ever larger and cheaper storage b) ever more capable/speedier encoding c) ever quicker internet speeds

and i like to keep original cds, dvds etc too

others just let it all go completely and rely on streaming things on the basis that everything will carry on becoming ever more available

Yeah... Well... When DVD burners came down to more reasonable prices instead of a kidney and testicle I reviewed all the old CDs, selected stuff, organized it and burned it on DVDs. But I kept'em, just in case. 😉

Y2K box: AMD Athlon K75 (second generation slot A)@700, ASUS K7M motherboard, 256 MB SDRAM, ATI Radeon 7500+2xVoodoo2 in SLI, SB Live! 5.1, VIA USB 2.0 PCI card, 40 GB Seagate HDD.
WIP: external midi module based on NEC wavetable (Yamaha clone)

Reply 27294 of 27608, by Ozzuneoj

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BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:57:
Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:36:

Doing some card testing today and I've got something strange happening with an All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro. When I try to power on my system with the card installed, the system fans twitch but the system does not turn on.

Anyone ever experienced that with one of these cards? The aux power (floppy connector) is connected and I don't see any visible damage to the card. The black heatsink has visibly been through quite a bit of heat and has a brown tinge to it, which is obviously not good, but beyond the general unreliability and crappy longevity of these things (R3xx cards are almost always dead) I haven't run into one preventing a system from powering on. I'm guessing something is shorted somewhere, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

... as it is, I basically always write all R3xx cards off as dead when I see them in scrap lots or elsewhere, so it isn't a huge loss. I wasn't expecting it to work, especially with the brown heatsink. It'll go into my for-parts\hopeless repairs box, along with almost every other Radeon 9700 or 9800 I've ever come across. 🤣

That sounds more like a golden ticket one to me, a totally random failure that stopped it dying before it overheated or ate it's mosfets, so trace that out and it MIGHT be something simple that lets you run the card then R&R it properly to stop it dieing of what they normally die of.

Yeah, that had crossed my mind. Look for something that is shorted, replace it and hope the stupid thing isn't already toast.

Also, I am getting that distinct feeling of reaching the "ATI section" of the box of cards to test:

  • AIW 9700 Pro = DOA
  • Radeon HD 3450 AGP = Pain to find working drivers for; works in some games but blue screens in 3dmark2001SE - if it's a driver issue... meh.
  • Radeon 9000 Pro AGP = Fan was basically stuck. Oiled it, and it moves fine now. Everything seemed okay without any drivers installed (hah). Once drivers are installed Windows XP loads to a blank\no-signal display. Probably not worth diagnosing...
  • Radeon 9600XT AGP = Horrible grinding\screaming noise from fan. Stupid fan requires the heatsink to be removed because the screws go in from the bottom. Great idea guys. Thankfully, the thermal paste did break free, but it doesn't want to clean off and it's basically part of the die at this point so I don't dare scrape at it with a metal tool. Something else may take it off, but at this point I just want to test the card without the fan burning up. Cleaned it as best as I could, oiled the fan, applied new thermal paste, reassembled the card... and... holy smokes, it works! The fan is quiet, one of the driver packages I had already installed finally just worked (surprising how rarely this happens with ATI cards), and it just completed a run of 3Dmark 2001SE. Awesome! Gotta say, the 9600 series seem to be the most likely to work and are solid cards... this one stays super cool, even with the tiny OEM ATI cooler and trades blows with the much larger and hotter FX5700 Ultra in 3Dmark. Anyway, 25% success is pretty good for the ATI section of the box. 😀

(Sorry for the sarcasm... it's just really sad, to the point of being funny. I've been doing this long enough to know that ATI cards are almost never worth even trying to get working because of the effort involved and the high probability of failure. I *loved* my Tyan Tacheon 9600 Pro back in the day, and I still have it... but most of these things have aged like, well, a corpse.)

Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2024-04-11, 20:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 27295 of 27608, by fillosaurus

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Wrangled with some ISA soundcards today. To be more specific, Yamaha SW20-PC, Reveal SoundFX SC400 Pro 16, Samsung Audio Magic X and an OEM HP Aztech 2320.
And somehow I revived 2 graphic cards, a no name S3 Trio 3D/2X AGP and a Matrox G200 PCI.

Last edited by fillosaurus on 2024-04-11, 22:21. Edited 1 time in total.

Y2K box: AMD Athlon K75 (second generation slot A)@700, ASUS K7M motherboard, 256 MB SDRAM, ATI Radeon 7500+2xVoodoo2 in SLI, SB Live! 5.1, VIA USB 2.0 PCI card, 40 GB Seagate HDD.
WIP: external midi module based on NEC wavetable (Yamaha clone)

Reply 27296 of 27608, by zuldan

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 20:34:

[*]Radeon 9600XT AGP = Horrible grinding\screaming noise from fan. Stupid fan requires the heatsink to be removed because the screws go in from the bottom. Great idea guys. Thankfully, the thermal paste did break free, but it doesn't want to clean off and it's basically part of the die at this point so I don't dare scrape at it with a metal tool. Something else may take it off, but at this point I just want to test the card without the fan burning up.

This should be able to get it off. I’ve been told it works well. Put a little on and scrap with a plastic tool.

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Last edited by zuldan on 2024-04-11, 20:48. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 27297 of 27608, by BitWrangler

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 20:34:
Yeah, that had crossed my mind. Look for something that is shorted, replace it and hope the stupid thing isn't already toast. […]
Show full quote
BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:57:
Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:36:

Doing some card testing today and I've got something strange happening with an All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro. When I try to power on my system with the card installed, the system fans twitch but the system does not turn on.

Anyone ever experienced that with one of these cards? The aux power (floppy connector) is connected and I don't see any visible damage to the card. The black heatsink has visibly been through quite a bit of heat and has a brown tinge to it, which is obviously not good, but beyond the general unreliability and crappy longevity of these things (R3xx cards are almost always dead) I haven't run into one preventing a system from powering on. I'm guessing something is shorted somewhere, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

... as it is, I basically always write all R3xx cards off as dead when I see them in scrap lots or elsewhere, so it isn't a huge loss. I wasn't expecting it to work, especially with the brown heatsink. It'll go into my for-parts\hopeless repairs box, along with almost every other Radeon 9700 or 9800 I've ever come across. 🤣

That sounds more like a golden ticket one to me, a totally random failure that stopped it dying before it overheated or ate it's mosfets, so trace that out and it MIGHT be something simple that lets you run the card then R&R it properly to stop it dieing of what they normally die of.

Yeah, that had crossed my mind. Look for something that is shorted, replace it and hope the stupid thing isn't already toast.

Also, I am getting that distinct feeling of reaching the "ATI section" of the box of cards to test:

  • AIW 9700 Pro = DOA
  • Radeon HD 3450 AGP = Pain to find working drivers for; works in some games but blue screens in 3dmark2001SE - if it's a driver issue... meh.
  • Radeon 9000 Pro AGP = Fan was basically stuck. Oiled it, and it moves fine now. Everything seemed okay without any drivers installed (hah). Once drivers are installed Windows XP loads to a blank\no-signal display. Probably not worth diagnosing...
  • Radeon 9600XT AGP = Horrible grinding\screaming noise from fan. Stupid fan requires the heatsink to be removed because the screws go in from the bottom. Great idea guys. Thankfully, the thermal paste did break free, but it doesn't want to clean off and it's basically part of the die at this point so I don't dare scrape at it with a metal tool. Something else may take it off, but at this point I just want to test the card without the fan burning up. Cleaned it as best as I could, oiled the fan, applied new thermal paste, reassembled the card... and... holy smokes, it works! The fan is quiet, one of the driver packages I had already installed finally just worked (surprising how rarely this happens with ATI cards), and it just completed a run of 3Dmark 2001SE. Awesome! Gotta say, the 9600 series seem to be the most likely to work and are solid cards... this one stays super cool, even with the tiny OEM ATI cooler and trades blows with the much larger and hotter FX5700 Ultra in 3Dmark. Anyway, 25% success is pretty good for the ATI section of the box. 😀

(Sorry for the sarcasm... it's just really sad, to the point of being funny. I've been doing this long enough to know that ATI cards are almost never worth even trying to get working because of the effort involved and the high probability of failure. I *loved* my Tyan Tacheon 9600 Pro back in the day, and I still have it... but most of these things have aged like, well, a corpse.)

I am batting 100% on everything 7x00, 50% on 8500, 100% on 9x00 where x is 6 or lower and 0% on x is 7 or greater..... though the 9800... I have an idea... rig vice with a domestic iron set at 200C each side, clamp it in, and squeeeeeeze 🤣

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 27298 of 27608, by Ozzuneoj

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BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-11, 20:47:
Ozzuneoj wrote on 2024-04-11, 20:34:
Yeah, that had crossed my mind. Look for something that is shorted, replace it and hope the stupid thing isn't already toast. […]
Show full quote
BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-11, 18:57:

That sounds more like a golden ticket one to me, a totally random failure that stopped it dying before it overheated or ate it's mosfets, so trace that out and it MIGHT be something simple that lets you run the card then R&R it properly to stop it dieing of what they normally die of.

Yeah, that had crossed my mind. Look for something that is shorted, replace it and hope the stupid thing isn't already toast.

Also, I am getting that distinct feeling of reaching the "ATI section" of the box of cards to test:

  • AIW 9700 Pro = DOA
  • Radeon HD 3450 AGP = Pain to find working drivers for; works in some games but blue screens in 3dmark2001SE - if it's a driver issue... meh.
  • Radeon 9000 Pro AGP = Fan was basically stuck. Oiled it, and it moves fine now. Everything seemed okay without any drivers installed (hah). Once drivers are installed Windows XP loads to a blank\no-signal display. Probably not worth diagnosing...
  • Radeon 9600XT AGP = Horrible grinding\screaming noise from fan. Stupid fan requires the heatsink to be removed because the screws go in from the bottom. Great idea guys. Thankfully, the thermal paste did break free, but it doesn't want to clean off and it's basically part of the die at this point so I don't dare scrape at it with a metal tool. Something else may take it off, but at this point I just want to test the card without the fan burning up. Cleaned it as best as I could, oiled the fan, applied new thermal paste, reassembled the card... and... holy smokes, it works! The fan is quiet, one of the driver packages I had already installed finally just worked (surprising how rarely this happens with ATI cards), and it just completed a run of 3Dmark 2001SE. Awesome! Gotta say, the 9600 series seem to be the most likely to work and are solid cards... this one stays super cool, even with the tiny OEM ATI cooler and trades blows with the much larger and hotter FX5700 Ultra in 3Dmark. Anyway, 25% success is pretty good for the ATI section of the box. 😀

(Sorry for the sarcasm... it's just really sad, to the point of being funny. I've been doing this long enough to know that ATI cards are almost never worth even trying to get working because of the effort involved and the high probability of failure. I *loved* my Tyan Tacheon 9600 Pro back in the day, and I still have it... but most of these things have aged like, well, a corpse.)

I am batting 100% on everything 7x00, 50% on 8500, 100% on 9x00 where x is 6 or lower and 0% on x is 7 or greater..... though the 9800... I have an idea... rig vice with a domestic iron set at 200C each side, clamp it in, and squeeeeeeze 🤣

Yes! That sounds about right! 🤣

Part of what I find frustrating about this is that on my tester system (Athlon XP at 2Ghz) I've been accumulating 3dmark 2001SE results for the last few years and I have tons of Geforce cards from Geforce2 through 7000 series, and I'd love to have Radeons to compare them to, but so far I only have some of the lower end or older models that have worked long enough to test on this system. I do have some much later ones (HD4650, HD3850) that I tested on a faster AGP system (A64 X2 4200+), but obviously those results wouldn't be comparable... maybe I'll just plop those cards into the older system and see how bad the bottleneck is.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 27299 of 27608, by luckybob

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I finally finished my read-only drive interface.

I saw one of these 5.25 drive bay devices on a random CathodeRayDude video - and the ability to hot-plug in SCSI is something that really doesnt come up often. The USB/SCSI adapters are all terrible. So the only roadblock was finding a nice external 5.25 drive bay with firewire 800. Yes, i could have used adapters to goto firewire400, but that takes multiple adapters and that just isnt optimal. You still need to follow the normal SCSI termination rules.

The SATA/IDE portion is just icing on the cake. But this "just works" under windows 10, and I couldnt be happier.
zNRRMYlm.jpg

And this is where I keep assorted lengths of wire...
RaKE8rjm.jpg

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.