Wednesday, 29 February 2012

SLAG9 vs SLABS XEON 5160 Cross Compatability

When looking for a 1333FSB XEON dual core prcessor you may come across SLAG9 or SLABS

I found some SLAG9s on ebay and thought I would give them a shot as they were 1/4 price of SLABS they work fine.

Features of SLABS:

EM64T technology ?
Enhanced SpeedStep technology ?
Execute disable bit ?
Thermal Monitor 2
Virtualization technology

Features of SLAG9:

EM64T technology ?
Enhanced SpeedStep technology ?
Execute disable bit ?
Thermal Monitor 2
Virtualization technology


There is no differernce between the two as far as I can see and they work fine in my XW8400

For completness I should mention the SLAC3 aand SLAED which are quad core, which I guess whould be fatser under high load use.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

HP Vectra VL420 Obsevations & Review

HP Vectra VL420 - Overview


The HP VL420 is an aged tower PC that is now way out of date, but will if upgraded quiet happily run windows 7, for office based tasks. It is highly expandable, with a fair few PCI slots and three drive bays, although you are limited to four ide / PATA connectors (2 primary 2 secondary)

HP Vectra VL420 - Max ProcessorWhen I first aquired a vl42o it had a 1.6GHZ 478 socket pentium 4 with a rather small cooler, however, came by a 2.8 GHZ and installed that which made it quiet usable, the FSB is only 400, so don't expect wirl wind performance like I say this is an old PC.



HP Vectra VL420 - MemoryThe vectra takes PC133 dimms and will take up to 3 GB is you can find 1 GB dimms, although I would say there is little point you may aswell stick at 3 x 512 (1.5GB) which is plenty. Memeroy management in windows 7 will utilse the full 3 GB, which can onlt mean for a smoother ride.

HP Vectra VL420 - Hard DrivesOne thing I never got to work on my VL420 was the Solid State drive, which I should imgaiune would have eeked out my aged PC's existance for another couple of years. I made life difficult for myself by opting for a forwards compatable SATA drive, which is not native to XP (prefered OS) and the VL420 is IDE native, so I had to try and boot from a Fastrack PCI Sata Card one thing you might try for simplicity is an Iomax IDE to SATA convertor, which will mimic an IDE drive rather than having to install SATA drivers etc. I did try slip stream drivers in to an XP disk to get the SATA Acard to boot but it was a very time consuming and fruitless exercise.

HP Vectra VL420 - For GamingI am not an avid gamer, but I did try out unreal tournament 2004 once, which looked pretty glossy and I was able to play is glitch free at resonable resolutions. 800 x 600, with a 256MB AGP grahics card (ATI).

HP Vectra VL420 - Conclusions
The vectra is way past its best but if you can pick one up for cheap on ebay it will certainly last you a while if used for office based tasks, it will handle multiple programs, multiple monitors, 2 hard drives with mirroring and served me well for 3 years.
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Monday, 6 February 2012

Brooks B67 (S) Leather Sprung Saddle Review

Brooks B67 (S) Leather Sprung Saddle Review

I have recently purchased one of these saddles from SJS cycles based in Bridgwater, Somerset, UK and I will share my views on what is a very well made bit of kit. 



Brooks B67 Saddle - Shape

The B67 saddle is a saddle made of leather that is designed for a more upright riding position where the rider carries more of his load on the saddle rather than his hands. It is a wide saddle, but importantly keeps it nose narrow, which makes for a very good shape in my opinion.




Brooks B67 Saddle - Build

Before this saddle arrived I expected good quality and what I got was excellent quality, I am not over doing it when I say it is one of the best made things I have ever seen. It feel like it was designed before the time when people started worrying about maximizing profits by skimping on materials. It ways a lot, but its all good weight, thick leather, chunky springs, proper nuts and bolts, rivets. Made to last no wonder Brooks have the reputation they do.

Brooks B67 Saddle - Use

Being my first tensioned leather saddle I was a little unsure of what to do at first, the saddle fits on your bike just like any other (micro adjust in my case), and after discovering you need to ride the saddle with it angled up at the nose a little, it felt instantly comfortable (for a while at least).

The B67 is leather so after you first ride you may need retention the leather, which is fairly easily done by adjusting the nut under the nose of the saddle with the provided spanner.



Update 04/12/12 : The nut that tensions the leather may be prone to coming loose, I seem to have to tighten mine every couple of months. Many will say that this nut must never be touched, but if you use your common sense there is no problem in giving it a tweak. The most important thing is to keep the saddle dry, sitting on the saddle when wet will definitely stretch the leather.

Brooks B67 Saddle - Comfort

I have only ridden about 30 miles on this new saddle at time of writing, but already I can see little divots forming in the leather, it is shaping its self to better suite my a$$, which is good, and although I am not past the wearing in stage the saddle still proves more comfortable, than my previous wide sprung saddle. It proportions are well considered to suite rider you are out for a long time.

Update 04/12/12 : With previous thin saddles, I would wince when I sat down after a long ride. You really could sit on this B67 all day without feel ant ill affect. It is super comfy. People have said that there is a painful wear in period with leather saddles???? I never noticed this. Comfy from the word go the B67 it was.

Brooks B67 Sprung Saddle - Creaky

One niggle, the saddle can become a little creaky, the springs can creak as can the rail clamp interface, this can be solved with a little lube, and some insulation tape around the rails before fitting.

Update: Fix Creaky Leather Saddle


After various attempts to delicately drip oil on to p[possible creaky spots without getting it on the leather, I came up with an idea, I put so vegetable oil in a sprayer and liberally blasted all of the metal work under the saddle, apparently it is OK (don't quote me) to use veg oil on leather. A liberal pasting of veg oil on the under-workings of the saddle and the creak was cured for around 2 months where upon I had to repeat.




Oil Sprayer

Update 04/12/12 : So as time has gone buy I have got less fussy with this vegetable oiling procedure, no sprayer necessary turn the bike upside down, and pour olive oil, seed oil, veg oil on the underside, smear it around with your fingers, put the veg oil on the metal too. Repeat for upper surface.

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