02 February 2014

The old TC flood has dwindled to a few drops

With Apple introducing the NEW tower TC, it was inevitable that my fix and modify business of wild weekend activity would come to an end.
This seems to be it.
For the first time in nearly four years no TCs have turned up to be modified. I did have a PSU but that was it.

It seems that the TCs that are now failing are possibly being replaced with the new tower style, or an absolute minimum is being spent to keep them going for a few months; ‘PSU repairs only’ are up noticeably with reasons given for NOT modifying the TC body, as ‘I only want it to work for a few months and then I’ll buy a new one’. etc. etc.

So, this will continue until no one wants the old style TCs to remain as working items.

This got me thinking... I bought some old TCs early on, because parts were impossible to acquire any other way; I have ended up with several dead TCs that are beyond hope (black burn marks all over the logic board, chips blown off, bits missing) why do people send me these things? I have no surface mount removal or replacement capability and not even any schematics from Intel, or Hitachi or whoever has made the boards, so diagnosis is usually very difficult to impossible. blah blah... long story short... I have a heap of parts from which useful TCs can be made. I have some modifications to do to the resultant units and I have added some 2TB and 3TB drives; I even have for my own use a ‘bitsa’ with a 4TB Seagate drive... I have called this ‘THE MIGHTY ONE’ and it sits glowering at me from the Airport Utility screen.

I have just done a count-up and there are 7x TCs and 1x Airport Extreme! I really must get out more.

I had to find a way to link my new office, in the new garage built on the North end of my land between the house and the main road, with a network for office work and general TC fixing etc.

I tried an endless chain of TCs to an Airport Extreme and onto other TCs over in the garage but I had too few power sockets in each room to keep them all running... it was OK with a couple but 4x TCs was too many!!

I tried the idea of using mains bourn ethernet, with a pair of Netgear units. I must say I’m rather surprised with the speed and reliability of them. They worked first time and have not in any way let me down. In fact this weekend I moved the printer from the primary house TC USB port, to the Airport Extreme in the new office, which in turn links with the 3TB TC sat in the storage room at the back of the garage and linked via ethernet into the Netgear in the same 13A socket. I re-mapped the printer and it worked first time - good old Bonjour! All this runs back to the other Netgear device, which is ethernet connected into the back of the TC. The TC is ethernet connected to the BT HomeHub with its WiFi disabled.
I live ‘out in the sticks’ and I have my very own 2 mile cable run along telegraph poles to the nearest Telephone exchange with broadband - when it is tweaked and working well, I get a reliable 3.6Megs.

I have work colleagues who talk of 20Meg and 50Meg bandwidths down the fibre link, etc etc. I know about fibre, I know it has a main trunk fibre running down the road outside my drive way - can I get fibre? Can I hell, possibly 2015 but more likely 2020.
4G possibly? Not a hope, too far away from a centre of population. Semaphore? Morse tapper? Smoke Signals? More than likely...

3.6Megs is OK, don’t complain. Compared with many people on my planet, I’m in paradise and let’s not forget it.

The weather forecast is more rain... oh great. just what we need.