Total Rewire

I decided to totally rewire my computer and video systems, since I am desperate to eliminate some electronic interference between my TiVo and my PowerMac. “Hum bars” and other interference patterns are the bane of any electronics rig, and they can be difficult to eliminate. I had everything all working a few weeks ago, then I merely put it all back in the cabinet without disturbing the cables and suddenly the interference is back again. It’s driving me crazy.

But this time, I think I have the solution. Some Mac audio geeks say the new MDD PowerMacs have ground loop problems when connected to external audio devices. The solution is a cheap $15 ground loop isolator from Radio Shack (part #270-054). I bought a couple and I’ll put them inline in the audio at various places in my Mac/TiVo rig, and see how that works.

So the server may be up and down over the next couple of days, and I hate resetting the server and losing my uptime. One of the crazy strategies that was suggested to eliminate the ground loops was to run all the Mac systems ungrounded, using a 2-prong cheater plug. That was obviously unsuccessful and now it’s just a hazard. Now I have to rewire the power plugs. I haven’t replaced my backup battery power supply either, that will cost at least another $150. I decided that the new Belkin UPS looked good, since they released MacOS X drivers for power management.

I’ve totally refurbished my office, and cleaned everything. I have a new high powered vacuum with a HEPA filter, it’s great. It sifts such fine microscopic particles that you can almost completely eliminate all dust from a room. But the 4HP motor pushes out so much exhaust that the room is practically a hurricane of dust, and you’ve just got a little straw to suck it up, so it takes a few repeated passes to get it all. But it is astonishing to see how much fine dust that computers and CRTs will attract. It’s important to clean this fine dust because when you work at a CRT and keyboard, the static charge also accumulates on YOU, your hands and face become statically charged and attract dust just like the CRT. You get dust in your eyes and nose, causing irritation. If you get eyestrain from working at a computer for hours, this is part of the reason. So go clean your desk and CRT.

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