Ventblockers – keep IT clean! PC cleaning advice and discussion

The power supply is probably one of the grimiest places in a PC (after the case fans) and the static around the components (especially capacitors) will mean you either need to take the whole PCB out from the case, or get crafty with a brush like in this photo!

Being an IT administrator means wearing many different hats, especially when working in a school. From being the website editor to administering print queues, many things can fall under your remit. One of the first things I did when I took the job on was PC cleaning in the school’s IT suite. Having asked the person I was replacing whether they had ever been cleaned, it appeared that it had never been done. Well, there were a few horror stories (including large spider nests and even some gecko eggs!), but the main problem I encountered was dust build up around the fans (case, PSU and CPU) and heatsinks. Unfortunately, the school cleaners don’t use vacuum cleaners, so swept up dust ends up mostly just being moved around and back into the PC cases. This is something I hope to address, but it’s a case of take things one step at a time!

Welcome to the AllGeekTo.Me Technology Blog

Welcome!

Welcome to the AllGeekTo.Me Technology Blog.

I’m Andy, the owner of this site (and the previous incarnations of Lamai Design and Lamai Design Blog). I used to live on the small tropical island of Koh Samui in South East Thailand, but now I’m living it up back in sunny old England!

This blog site will talk about technology, with reviews and guides, but will also touch on other interests of mine including music, travel, video games and pretty much anything else!

Feel free to take a look around the site and leave your comments!

Cheers,

Andy :)

Koh Phi Phi 2013

Koh Phi Phi

My girlfriend and I had some rare time off together due to the Thai ‘Songkran’ national holidays. We seized this opportunity and headed over to the beautiful small island of Koh Phi Phi in the Andaman Sea.

Originally planning to mainly chill out on the beach, we ended up Kayaking and Snorkelling, with a bit of good old fashioned R&R inbetween!

How To… Turn Your Old Laptop/PC Into A Retro Games Console

Super Mario Kart

One of the things about travelling and working is that you can’t take anything too bulky with you. Living in Koh Samui feels the most like home because we’ve lived in the same building for more than 6 months, in fact, we’ve nearly lived in the house for a year now! As such, I don’t have much room for video games consoles (boo!) so to feed my addiction, I decided to go the old-school route with my old Compaq laptop (a CQ-61 if anyone cares – I purchased it in Australia 3 years ago and it’s been great, but I’ve heard horror stories about the very same pieces of kit from other people). So, with a fairly decent laptop I found you can play some decent emulator versions of old video games consoles.

How To… Build Your Own Hardware Firewall/Proxy/Cache using Smoothwall Express 3.0

The Smoothwall Express 3.0 Home Page

It has been a little while since I’ve written anything on this blog, which is a shame as it’s something I like to do. There is something therapeutic about writing up the details of a project you have just completed, especially when it created a lot of problems and you managed to (finally) overcome them.

The school I work at had a requirement for the File/Print/Intranet all-in-one server to be upgraded. Previous problems with the electricity supply to the school (including lightning strikes) had caused intermittent problems to appear on certain parts of the motherboard, including the SATA connectors, which is a big issue for any computer.

Serviio – A Quick Start Guide to media bliss! (Windows version)

Available DLNA players showing 2 Serviio servers

Serviio is a DLNA media server, that amongst other things, can transcode video and audio on the fly (meaning your smart TV/DLNA player can play files it wouldn’t be able to play) as well as having a huge library of plugins to extend it’s functionality. This is some very smart software that has definitely changed my approach to viewing my digital media. This guide will show Windows users how to set it up on there machine and get it running.

Led Zeppelin fans rejoice!

For the many fans that missed out on their last (ever?) concert together, 5 years on they are launching the DVD/Blu-Ray of their concert at the O2 Arena in London.

I cannot wait to get a copy of this…

Building (Wireless) Bridges

Jury-rigged AP, this is to find the optimum spot to locate the school side AP for good 'line-of-sight' - this point here on the balcony gives a good line of sight, with a slim chance of trees swaying in the way during heavy winds

Having recently upgraded some WiFi Access Points (APs) around the school, I was left with a couple of older (Wireless G – 802.11G) units that were not being put to use. Some colleagues of mine happen to be neighbours, and while I was able to connect to True Online’s internet service, they were refused by all of the main companies for being too far away from the local switch boxes. This didn’t seem to be correct to me as their direct neighbour has 3BB, and me and the other neighbours have internet with True. However, to save them alot of trouble, I asked the school if it would be possible to build a ‘wireless bridge’ using the old spare equipment. The tennants of the house will only be using the internet outside of school hours, and are trusted enough not to abuse the internet too much!

(Re)building a school IT lab (update)

The finished article!

Before the end of the last school term, I was tasked with setting up 5 news machines for the ICT suite.

Having provided maintenance for the existing IT lab for nearly 6 months, I was looking forward to giving it a revamp with more of a planned network including higher performance backbone. This was something I felt very comfortable doing, and I knew I was going to spend the first couple of weeks of my summer holiday working on the project.