Saturday, December 12, 2015

What Can Twenty Bucks Buy You These Days?

What can $20 buy you these days? In the second hand "box of random IT stuff" department, it seems like quite a lot.

I'd been looking around for a cheap low profile graphics card for a while to get an old PC up and running again. Eventually found one offered on the much-maligned-but-often-useful site gumtree.

I found a guy listing a GT220 along with a box of "random stuff" for $20. So I went to pick it up, and was amazed at what I found in this treasure trove. Among the items (keep in mind I really only wanted to graphics card) I discovered:

  • The GT220 graphics card (of course)
  • USB TV tuner with aerial and coax adapter
  • Brand new unopened Display Port cable
  • DVI and VGA cables and adapters
  • PCI wireless card (54Mbps — old and slow, but whatever)
  • SATA/Molex adapter cables
  • Case fan and other 3/4-pin fan adapters
  • Coax splitter and cable
  • AEC power cables
  • Various USB adapters and extenders
  • RJ45 network cables
  • Modem/telephony/RJ11 cables and adapters
  • A smattering of modular power supply cables (from an unknown power supply ;)
  • IDE cables (blastus from the pastus)
  • A whole bunch of audio cables
  • A whole bunch of audio adapter like 3.5mm <-> 6.5mm adapters)
  • A UPS (wtf?). Probably bad battery, but still
  • A label maker (
  • Random RAM sticks of various (old and most likely useless) denominations
  • A whole bunch of other stuff I couldn't even identify
$20 trove

The trove...some of it at least, already nabbed the best parts

Now, I probably won't ever use much from this smorgasbord of geek hardware wet dream. The funny thing is that many of the parts — like the DP cable, coax cable, USB tuner, USB extension, coax splitters, etc. — I've actually bought previously. So I know they're useful. Just don't know if they'll be useful to me again. Pot luck at its best though!

Maligned because while you get the occasional good transaction (like I did in this case) you also get a lot of time wasters, low-ballers, overpriced, over-bearing, clueless kind of people on both the buyer and seller side.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Grub: Boot from Previous Selection

If you run a dual or multi-boot setup with grub, setting "remember previous boot" is really easy and (I find) convenient as it tends to fit my usage patterns.

Couple of useful references at askubuntu and the grub manual, but all you need to do is make the following changes to /etc/default/grub:


Then run sudo update-grub