Archive for November, 2019

Final Selected Parts For My First Computer

Friday, November 29th, 2019

After previously picking parts for my computer I discovered bestcomputersa's list of items on their website was completely incosistent with their actual stock. diana_coman decided the best option for me was to follow my original plan of ordering parts from the states. But the day before I gave up sourcing from Costa Rican stores, the rep from pcgamingcr responded to messages I had sent him a few days prior. After that initial delayed reply, he was constitently responsive through Whatsapp. Pcgamingcr had the coveted AMD FX-8350 with compatible motherboards and video cards. I managed to order everything I needed1 from them and cococo. The guts of the computer cost $1,123. The I/O devices and accessories totaled $1,259 bringing the final cost to $2,382. The items I bought are listed below.2

I. Guts

CPU AMD FX-8350 (CPU/MB/VC combo = 273mil, $486)
Motherboard GA-970A-UD3P (rev 2) (see CPU)
Graphics Card Radeon RX-550 Sapphire (see CPU)
RAM 2x Corsaair vengeance 8GB ddr memory 1600 MHz (89mil, $158)
PSU Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850 (95mil, $169)
Primary SSD 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD ($140)
Backup Mechnical Drive 64MB 1TB Seagate Barracuda (30mil, $53)
Case Corsair Carbide Spec 06 (58mil, $103)
SD Card Reader Lector de Memoria Interno Xtech3 (8mil, $14)

II. I/O + Accessories

Monitor Dell 24 Monitor: P2419H (166.5mil, $292)
Keyboard Ergodox. ($325)4
Mouse Marvo Scorpion5 (24mil, $43)
UPS UPS APC SMT15006 (319.5 mil, $569)
Thermal Paste 4x 2g Arctic MX-4 Thermal Paste ($30)

  1. Save the Samsung SSD and thermal paste that thimbronion graciously offered to bring from the states + the ergodox keyboard. []
  2. Prices are listed as (colones, usd) with an exchange rate of 562 colones to the usd. If I bought the item with usd directly then I list only the usd price. []
  3. I could not find a link to the spec details on xtech's website. It can read USB, SD, Micro SD, XD, MMC. I am not quite sure what an XD or MMC is. []
  4. In addition I expect to pay a yet unknown import tax. []
  5. Pcgamingcr did not tell me the exact model of mouse, I was looking only for a cheap option. The mouse came with a keyboard I can use while I wait for my fancy Ergodox to get here from Taiwan. []
  6. Recommended Replacement Batteries - Optima Batteries 8052-161 D31M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Battery []

Candidate components for whaack's first build

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Below is the prospective parts list for the machine I intend to use as my work station. To produce this list I first read through kitchentablecomputer's "Computer Parts" section. After reading the various buying guides, I started picking components based around the processor from the machine on which diana_coman installed cuntoo. The parts also had to be available on bestcomputersa. Once I made my list I checked the other store recommended by handbot,, for better options for the various parts. I only made one change: I replaced my ₡147,500.00 480GB Kingston SSD with a $140 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD + a ₡36,500.00 1TB Seagate Barracuda mechnical backup hard drive1 The price for all the guts (not including S+H, taxes, etc.) comes out to ₡623,500.00 + $140 , ~ $1215.

Further work includes making a buy list for I/O devices,2 miscellaneous parts,3 and building tools.4


₡ 142,500.00

Amd Am3 Fx8350, spec


₡ 64,500.00

Gigabyte Ga-970A-Ds3P, spec


₡ 44,000.00 x2

Corsaair vengeance 8GB ddr memory 1600 MHz x2, spec

Graphics Card

₡ 120,500.00

GTX 750ti ddr5 4GB, spec

Hard Drive

$ 139.99

1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD

Backup Internal Mechanical Hard Drive:

₡ 36.500,00
DD 1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA 64MB 3.5 7200RPM


₡ 115,000.00

Corsair RM850x plus gold, spec

Cooling 7

₡ 12,500.00

Corsaair-fan-air-series-af120, spec

Case 8

₡ 44,000.00

Corsair RED LED Mid Tower Gaming Case, spec

  1. It was coincidence that the best SSD option I found for myself is the same SSD diana_coman used in her machine. The Seagate Barracuda is a mechnical drive, which should have been obvious given the specs I listed. []
  2. Most notably the monitor []
  3. Such as an ethernet cable []
  4. Such as a screwdriver set and an anti-static device. []
  5. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 21.5cm.

    Note: I have to confirm with bestcomputersa the version of the BIOS is from post 2013, otherwise the motherboard will not support the FX-8350. []

  6. I need to check this fully modular PSU comes with a sufficient number of the correct cables to connect to every power drawing component I have. []
  7. I still need to find thermal paste. []
  8. 447mm x 200mm x 428mm []

A helpful han(d)bot

Friday, November 15th, 2019

I am working on acquiring a few items in Costa Rica. My goal is to build an ergonomic battle station equipped with a computer I've personally put together. Acquiring the iron necessary for my desired machine is difficult given my location on the beach. So per the advice of diana_coman, I hopped into #trilema-hanbot to speak with a lord keen on becoming accessible to those within tmsr.

hanbot es una experta en las cosas costarricenses.1 Upon asking for advice, hanbot immediately shared a list of stores she had handy. For computer parts she recommended best computers sa as well as the more modestly named cococo. For office supplies2 hanbot sent me to muguisa. These tiendas appear to have what I need.

hanbot also gave some advice regarding couriers I may want to use, should I decide to import goods from the evil empire. She noted that items do arrive reliably, but the companies she has seen are either expensive or require a credit card. hanbot made it clear that she will under no circumstance use the magic plastic. I didn't respond to this point during our conversation,3 but her conviction made me think.4

Getting advice from hanbot saved me hours of searching that may have turned out fruitless. It's becoming obvious I should ignore my initial belief that I shouldn't burden those who know more than me with questions. It is just too expensive to redo work that is avoidable via a short conversation. That said, thank you hanbot!

  1. Whose knowledge goes beyond where to buy office supplies. She also had advice to give regarding purchasing a car. []
  2. I specifically need a proper chair; I hired a local handyman to build a desk tailored to the layout of my apartment. []
  3. How was I to respond? "Ah yes, totally agree with you there hanbot, credit cards are for idiots and its our moral obligation to separate them from their money. However, they happen to be just too convenient, so I use them anyways." []
  4. The first question I wondered was - how would hanbot's recommended stores charge for items they send out for delivery given they don't require card and are fiat based? I answered this myself by ordering a chair through Muguisa. Upon placing my order, Muguisa gave me a bank account number. They informed me that they will send me the chair when I deposit cash into their account at a local bank. Now I know how ordered goods are paid for in a cash based economy.

    The second question I still have is - would it be wise to cut my credit card in half? On a personal level, the credit card is a spiritually draining item. It whispers in your ear, don't worry about saving for a rainy day my friend, for I am always here to extend you credit shall you need it. On a systemic level, credit cards wreak havoc on the economy. They destroy capital allocation by burdening everyone with even more money. I would love to get rid of my card, perhaps in style., but I don't know if that would be prudent. []

Verifying My Understanding

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

I have spent the past few days pondering why I tried to create links conforming to the new the html selection method before investigating their proper format. The first reason I came up with was I had thought it best to forgo investing time on understanding the new mechanism in order to get my work done quickly. But I discarded this dubious explanation because I am quite aware of the importance of learning before doing.1 The cause of my error comes from a deeper problem: I trick myself into believing I understand that which I don't.

When I read mp's comment

"Please use the ?b&e=#select selection mechanism instead."

I thought "huh, mp must have a new way to avoid having to use javascript for selecting text by passing in the flags b&e as query params."2 I "confirmed" my theory by verifying my malformed links selected their intended text.3 My bullshit experiment gave evidence to support my hallucination that I knew how to create urls for the new selection tool. Having falsely convinced myself that I understood what I was doing, I thought it okay to move forward and thus proceeded to produce the broken links.

There are two bad habits I've identified from this fiasco. One of them is inferring what tools do/how to use them. Instead of guessing their operation, I must RTFM. The other bad habit is duping myself with faulty experiments that are just the mind's way to convince itself what it already believes is truth.4 I need to find the rest of these bad habits, kill all of them, and be suspicious of my understanding when I learn something new.

  1. The explanation is also dubious because a mind's first answer to self exploration questions is often a trap. []
  2. I was correct in guessing the new selection mechanism did not require javascript, but I could have just as likely been wrong. []
  3. I viewed the links on a javascript enabled browser, so my test gave me no reason to think I was using a new selection mechanism. []
  4. This process of minds duping themselves into believing what they want to believe is easy to see on a macro scale in America with all the "A new study shows __" articles that get printed everyday. But it is harder to catch when looking into the mirror. []

Proper HTML Linking, A Battlefield Report

Friday, November 1st, 2019

Having been rightfully flamed for attempting to use a tool I did not understand, I return from the dark hell of the html & php mines with a tiny nugget of information that I hope will aid the republic.

There are two quirks I've noticed with the select displayer.

1. The select displayer can match the values provided in query parameters b/e to text inside of an html tag. This problem emerges from user error, but often one wants to match to text in a link that contains equivalent text in its opening anchor tag. It is currently impossible to select the second "trilema" that follows the "" in the example:1

<a href="">trilema</a>

My solution is to find the first match not positioned inside of a tag.2

function first_pos_not_in_tag($hay, $needle, $start) {
  $max_attempts = 2;
  $guess = $start; // Must be > 0 for the while loop condition.
  $length = strlen($hay);
  while ($max_attempts > 0 && $guess && $guess < $length) {
    $guess = strpos($hay, $needle, $guess);
    $next_close_pos = strpos($hay, ">", $guess);
    $next_open_pos = strpos($hay, "<", $guess);
    if ($next_close_pos >= $next_open_pos)
      return $guess;
    $guess = $next_close_pos+1;
  return false;

You must alter your server_side_selection function

--- $b_pos = strpos($content,$_GET["b"]);
--- $e_pos = strpos($content,$_GET["e"], $b_pos);
+++ $b_pos = first_pos_not_in_tag($content, $_GET["b"], 1);
+++ $e_pos = first_pos_not_in_tag($content, $_GET["e"], $b_pos);

2. The second quirk is the select displayer often spits out faulty html. For example, the displayer provides no closing </span> if the user leaves the value for e empty.3 This doesn't seem to cause any practical issues; browsers close spans automatically under certain conditions that I have not fully ascertained.

  1. The root of the problem is the displayer does not provide a means to match to the second occurrence of text; there is no way to select only the last duck in duckduckduck. []
  2. This doesn't fix the root problem stated above, but it prevents the select displayer from breaking tags. This is especially useful for stopping other servers' automatically provided b & e values - used to link back to your excerpt when you send them a pingback - from mangling your html tags. []
  3. This may come as a surprise, because some browsers (I've seen chrome) will silently provide a closing </span> where they see fit and will show that inserted </span> in their "view source" tool! []