BSIT 200 Week 4 Posting: Repairing a PC power supply

Repairing a PC power supply can be a cost-effective solution for tech-savvy individuals with electronics expertise and the right tools, but it also entails significant risks. While it offers the potential for cost savings and the opportunity to gain valuable troubleshooting skills, it can also void warranties, pose safety hazards due to high voltage components such as capacitors, and result in time-consuming, expensive, and complex repairs. For those without prior experience in electronics, seeking professional assistance or opting for a replacement power supply unit is generally a safer and more reliable choice to ensure the continued and safe operation of their computer systems.


Repairing your own PC power supply can
be dangerous and is best left to professionals.

BSIT220 Week 4 Posting: Choosing the Right Spot for Your Wiring Room

The wiring room's location is crucial for a smooth-running network. Here's why it matters and a quick guide on where to put it:

Why Location Matters:

  1. Accessibility: Easy access means quicker maintenance and upgrades.

  2. Shorter Cables: A central spot reduces cable length, saving costs and boosting speed.

  3. Efficiency: Proximity to high-demand areas minimizes network congestion.

  4. Security: A physically secure location prevents unauthorized access.

  5. Climate Control: Ensuring controlled temperature and humidity promotes equipment longevity.

Selecting the Ideal Location:

  1. Analyze Layout: Identify central zones with high network demands.

  2. Accessibility: Prioritize easy access for maintenance.

  3. Security: Choose secure spaces, possibly with access control. Lock your door!

  4. Climate Suitability: Assess the room's potential for climate control.

  5. Plan for Growth: Leave room for expansion in both space and power.

  6. Seek Expert Advice: Consult IT professionals for tailored guidance.

In short, your wiring room's placement matters for efficient and reliable networking. Consider accessibility, security, efficiency, and future needs to make the right choice. When in doubt, contract it out!

BSIT200: Week 3 Posting - An Article about Solid State Drives

This weeks article is from the ARS Technica website and is titled "Solid-state revolution: in-depth on how SSDs really work" (Lee Hutchinson - Jun 4, 2012). In it, Mr Hutchinson discusses Solid State Drive (SSD) technology and how it can make a computer subjectively faster by replacing tradition "spinning platter" disk drives. 

SSDs are basically a storage device that replaces spinning metal disk/platters commonly found in traditional hard drive mechanisms with non-volatile NAND flash memory, which allows SSDs to function at much higher speeds by reducing the latency time of read/write operations. NAND flash memory is the same technology found in cell phones and USB "Thumb" drives. The author provides a very detailed description of exactly what NAND memory is and how it functions. 

Interestingly, SSDs have one big shortcoming: they can only be used for a finite number of writes. Over time, the process used by SSDs to free up previously used space for new write operations slowly degrades the functionality of the SSD, slowing down the write times, until eventually it enters into a read-only condition where data can no longer be written to the disk. Manufacturers use controllers to attempt to manage the degradation and prolong the writable life of the SSD as much as possible. 

The author then progresses through various methods used by SSD manufactures to prolong the usable life of SSDs, before moving on to Write Amplification, which refers to the logical amount of data written to the SSD versus the actual amount of data written to the SSD, and wear leveling, which refers to how write operations are spread across all of the flash cells in order to keep their use evenly distributed across all of them. 

Finally the author goes into the popularity of SSDs, specially in data center operations where high I/O applications benefit from the low latency of read/write operations to/from SSD drives, as opposed to other well established technologies such as Fiber Channel attached drives and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives. SSDs tend to be more expensive per megabyte, but prove to be exponentially better because of their speed. 

Personally, I have an old Apple MacBook Pro (from 2012) that originally came with a SATA drive installed. Replacing that drive with a SSD effectively gave the laptop a new lease on life and since MacOS was able to read/write to/from it's operating system drive a lot faster, everyday operations became effectively faster, and made the old MacBook usable. 


Lee Hutchinson    -  Jun 4, 2012 3:30 pm UTC. (2012). Retrieved from

Linux on a Commodore 64

Someone has booted Linux on a stock Commodore64 from 1982. The Comodore's Brain was a MOS6510 clocked at 1MHz, and it had 64 Kilobytes of RAM. Linux took 39 hours to boot.

Read more here:


BSIT220: Week 3 Posting

There's various types of home networking equipment out there, and some of it has been in people's homes for longer than it should. Some of my friends still have Ethernet Hubs! The most popular speed for home switches seems to be Gigabit Ethernet. The term "Gigabit" refers to the speed at which information is transmitted from the source to the destination. There is also Fast Ethernet, which transmits at 100Mbps (megabits per second) and just plain Ethernet which transmits at 10Mbps. When connecting your laptop or desktop computer to your home router, care must be taken to correctly match Ethernet speeds among your equipment to prevent bottlenecks. Bottlenecks are what happens when part of the data path between your computer and the home router is slower than the rest of the path. This reduces the overall speed of the connection, as your connection will only be as fast as the slowest link. 

For example, let's say your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has sold you a link that is rated for 1Gbps bi-directional. This means that your home router can send and receive information to/from the internet at a maximum speed of 1 gigabit per second. You purchase a Gigabit Ethernet network card for your desktop computer, so your desktop can also communicate at 1Gbps speed. However, your friend gifts you a spare Fast Ethernet switch that he no longer needs, and you connect it in between your home router and your desktop. Now your Desktop will communicate with that switch at 100Mbps (the fastest speed the switch can handle), and the switch will communicate with the home router at 100Mbps (again the fastest speed the switch can handle. So although your desktop and home router are capable of communicating at a faster speed, your overall connection speed will be 100Mbps, and you will be paying for a capability that you are not using. This condition is often referred to as a "network bottleneck". To fix this issue, we can simply replace the Fast Ethernet switch with a Gigabit Ethernet switch, or we can connect the desktop directly to the home router, creating a network layout (referred to as a "topology") where all connected devices communicate at the same speed and maximize their use of the available connection speed. 

BSIT200: Week 2 Posting - Do the graphical elements introduced in Windows operating systems help or harm productivity?

It can be argued that the Windows Graphical User interface is responsible for making computers accessible to, and usable by, most non-technical people by hiding the complexities of the underlying operating system with a pleasant intuitive interface. You don't have to know what model of CPU you have or how much RAM is installed in order to send Mom an email, or search google for a recipe. On the other hand, by hiding complexity behind an easy to use interface, Microsoft has also removed any need for the average end user to understand how computers work, or what they are capable of doing, much to the consternation of many Technical Support Personnel. In my personal experience using computers, as well as in the experience of my customers over the years, productivity does seem to be impacted by the quality and usability of the GUI. Both Microsoft and Apple employ User Interface (UI) Designers just to ensure that the look, feel, and end user experience of their products keeps the users using their products, which opens the companies to future sales of add-ons, applications and services.    

BSIT220: Week 2 Posting - Are too many standards organizations attempting to regulate the networking field?

 I do not believe there are too many standards organizations since they tend to cover different technology areas, and when they do overlap, they sometimes provide competing ideas and opinions a forum for public discourse. I think it would be a very bad idea to allow governmental or larger international bodies to regulate standards as I believe this would stifle growth and innovation. The current organizations seem to be able to self-regulate and when competing standards arise, free and open competition ensure that the most popular product wins.

BSIT200: Week 1 Posting - Introduction

Greetings all! I'm Pete and I'm a 57 year old Systems Engineer who specializes in Linux systems and AWS Cloud solutions. I've been working in IT for about 40 years and have had many interactions with the networking department. As a Sysadmin, I do understand quite a bit about networking as it applies to the IT infrastructure and the servers that I administer. I've never configured a Cisco Router, but I also have never been to that class! 

I'm looking forward to this experience, although at the moment I'm still trying to figure out the basics, such as how to be a student, how to write a paper with citations in it, and how to use the website. No panic yet, but I'm getting close. Wish me luck!

BSIT220: Week 1 Posting - Introduction

 Week 1 Posting - Introduction

Greetings all! I'm Pete and I'm a 57 year old Systems Engineer who specializes in Linux systems and AWS Cloud solutions. I've been working in IT for about 40 years and have had many interactions with the networking department. As a Sysadmin, I do understand quite a bit about networking as it applies to the IT infrastructure and the servers that I administer. I've never configured a Cisco Router, but I also have never been to that class!

I'm looking forward to this experience, although at the moment I'm still trying to figure out the basics, such as how to be a student, how to write a paper with citations in it, and how to use the website. No panic yet, but I'm getting close. Wish me luck!

Starting a College Degree program at Bellevue University

 What's new and cool in my life? I'm starting a College Degree program at Bellevue University in Bellevue Nebraska. At least I now get something interesting to post about. Maybe even make a few new local friends around here!

Bellevue University Bruins Logo

Mec Le Nain - Dwarf Fighter 1 (Pathfinder 1e)

Mec Le Nain

Male dwarf fighter 1
CN Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.;
Perception +2 (+4 to notice unusual stonework)


AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex)
hp 17 (1d10+7)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training


Speed 20 ft.
Melee battleaxe +5 (1d8+3/×3) or
   dagger +4 (1d4+3/19-20)
Special Attacks hatred


Str 16, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 17 (21 vs. bull rush, 21 vs. trip)
Feats Toughness, Weapon Focus (battleaxe)
Traits dirty fighter, poverty-stricken
Skills Acrobatics +3 (-1 to jump), Appraise +0 (+2 to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones), Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4, Perception +2 (+4 to notice unusual stonework), Survival +2; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess nonmagical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Common, Dwarven
Other Gear hide armor, battleaxe, dagger, backpack, bedroll, candle, flint and steel, hemp rope (50 ft.), torch, trail rations, waterskin, whetstone, 457 gp, 3 sp, 6 cp

Special Abilities

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Defensive Training +4 Gain a dodge bonus to AC vs. monsters of the Giant subtype.
Greed +2 to Appraise to determine price of nonmagic goods with precious metals or gemstones.
Hatred +1 Gain a racial bonus to attacks vs. Goblinoids/Orcs.
Stonecunning +2 +2 bonus to Perception vs. unusual stonework. Free check within 10 feet.

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Inc.®, and are used under license.

The whole purpose of life...


“The whole purpose of life has been to pass on what was learned. There is no higher purpose”

Morgan Freeman’s character explaining what to do to Lucy in the movie of that name

ChatGPT: "Write a short story about a knight who has to rescue a beautiful dragon from an evil angry princess"


Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, there lived a brave and noble knight named Sir Galahad. He was known throughout the land for his courage and chivalry, and he had saved countless damsels in distress from the clutches of evil tyrants and monsters.

One day, Sir Galahad received a plea for help from a beautiful dragon named Eirlys. She had been captured by an evil and angry princess who was determined to destroy her and all other dragons in the kingdom.

Without hesitation, Sir Galahad set out on his trusty steed to rescue Eirlys from the princess's castle. Along the way, he encountered many challenges and obstacles, but he pressed on with determination and bravery.

When he finally reached the castle, he found the princess waiting for him at the gates, surrounded by her loyal guards. But Sir Galahad was not afraid. He charged forward, his sword drawn, and engaged the princess in a fierce battle.

Despite her many tricks and traps, Sir Galahad was able to defeat the princess and free Eirlys from her prison. The dragon was overjoyed to be rescued and thanked Sir Galahad with all her heart.

Together, they rode back to the kingdom, where they were hailed as heroes by the people. From that day on, Eirlys and Sir Galahad were the best of friends, and they went on many more adventures together, always standing up for justice and protecting the innocent. And the princess was never seen again.

The end.

ChatGPT: "Explain D&D"

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) that is played with a group of people. Players create characters and take on the roles of those characters in a fantasy world where they interact with other characters, solve puzzles, and engage in battles with monsters and other enemies.

The game is run by a Game Master (GM), who acts as the storyteller and controls the non-player characters (NPCs) and the overall plot of the game. The GM also sets the rules and makes decisions about the game world, such as the type of monsters the players will encounter and the challenges they will face.

Players take turns making decisions for their characters and roll dice to determine the outcome of certain actions. The game uses a set of rules and mechanics to determine the success or failure of those actions, such as skill checks and combat rules.

D&D is known for its rich and detailed fantasy world, with a wide range of races, classes, and abilities for players to choose from. It also encourages creativity, improvisation, and teamwork among players, making it a popular and enduring game.

ChatGPT: "Explain D&D in simple terms"

"D&D, or Dungeons & Dragons, is a role-playing game where players pretend to be characters in a fantasy world and work together to complete quests and defeat monsters. Players roll dice to determine the outcome of certain actions their characters take, such as attacking a monster or trying to open a locked door. The game is led by a person called the "Dungeon Master" who creates the story and controls the non-player characters and monsters."

That's life.

You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it.

--Denzel Washington

Playing Pathfinder 1e...

 My small TTRPG group has now started playing Pathfinder 1e, and one of the players is now DMing this new effort! We had our first session last night where we spent a lot of the time learning some of the game mechanics that are different than our previous sessions with D&D5e. Pathfinder is a lot more detailed (crunchier?) for stats and has more math in it. We're meeting again this Thursday to play more Pathfinder, so we'll see how that goes.

TTRPGs that are not D&D5e

Here's a list of TTRPGs that are not D&D5e! Have fun playing whatever YOU want to play.

Pathfinder 2e (hardcover from publisher):
Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Referee:
Old School Essentials Advanced Fantasy Player:
13th Age:
Fantasy Age:
Shadow of the Demon Lord:
Age of Sigmar Soulbound:
Pathfinder for Savage Worlds:
Dungeon Crawl Classics:
Index Card RPG:
Mutants and Masterminds Deluxe GMs Guide:
Wicked Ones:
Cyberpunk RED:
Blade Runner:
Hack the Planet:
Tales from the Loop:
Things From the Flood:
Star Trek Adventures:
Battlelords of the 23rd Century:
Death in Space:
Call of Cthulhu 7e Keeper:
Call of Cthulhu 7e Investigator:
Malleus Monstrorum (CoC):
Thousand Year Old Vampire:
Ironsworn Starforged:
Escape From Dino Island:
The Expanse:
Dune Adventures in the Imperium:
G.I. Joe:



The Adventurer’s Guide to the Bible for D&D5e


The Adventurer’s Guide to the Bible converts locations, characters, and monsters from the Bible into material playable with D&D fifth edition. As I read through the 350 pages, I was struck that the material was sufficiently true to the source material while also being a heck of a lot of fun. It isn’t merely a list of people and places as they appear chronologically in the Bible. Instead, Red Panda has created a unique adventure experience that brings roleplaying loosely into the narrative of the Bible.

The book details the basic historical setting evocatively in order to create an immersive campaign setting, as well as an adventure that takes characters through levels 1 – 10. Importantly, the campaign runs parallel to the events of the Bible, so players will encounter familiar people and places from Bible stories, but the adventure, while “on rails” still offers flexibility enough to tell an interesting story around the table.

And if you think inspiration from the Bible isn’t already in your D&D game then you don’t know your history. The Bible has leviathans, giants, oracles, serpents, and sorcerers! It’s the OG D&D. In fact, half of Gygax’s inspiration was the Bible and the other half was Tolkien, who took his inspiration from the Bible.

The spell summon monster and cleric class was created by Gary Gygax using direct inspiration from 2 Kings 2: 23-24. The spell gentle repose is taken from an ancient Catholic ritual. King Solomon was a demon wrangler. And I’m honestlyly going stop there because, as I think about it, I could be here all day with examples and I haven’t even touched on Tolkien and his influences.


Get it here:



Weekly TTRPG Time

 I got some people (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) who are coming over this Thursday evening, as we resume our weekly get-together to play Table Top Role Playing Games (TTRPG). This week we are going to try a short adventure/one-shot using the Pathfinder 1e ruleset. Should be interesting since we have been using the D&D5e rules up until this point. Not sure if we will continue on with Pathfinder, as the company (Paizo) has gone very woke. Maybe I'll just have to limit myself to the first edition material that came out before they went totally woke and ignore the second edition stuff. I also have Basic Fantasy RPG and Old School Essentials, so we might try those.